I had a serious flashback as I drove through the Colonial Plaza in Waterbury, I could almost smell the exhaust fumes, even though the plaza was virtually empty. Did you used to cruise around the plaza back in the day on Friday and Saturday nights?

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Today, in 2023, there are two places in Waterbury's Colonial Plaza that keep me coming: Ami's Bagels, and San Marino. I've noticed over the past few years that during the warm months, classic car clubs have gathered near the Wendy's in the Plaza on the weekend. It's nice to see that there are some of us who have kept this tradition alive.

Over the years, Colonial Plaza had many interesting attractions: the Plaza 1234 movie theater, Crazy 8 arcade, Pathmark, a Playboy store, and oh my sweet Applause Video. When those stores were open during the 1980's-1990's, the Colonial Plaza was the place to go on Friday and Saturday nights for the youth of Waterbury. The Crosby kids got along with Kennedy and Wilby, Holy Cross and Sacred Heart left their rivalries in the pew. We even welcomed Cheshire, Naugatuck, Thomaston, and Watertown High School students into our endless circles.

The evening cruises started in early June, around 8PM. It was innocent fun taking those endless laps around the perimeter, running into your friends, and trying to decide what movie to go check out in the theater, or rent from the video store. The other dilemma was choosing between Burger King or McDonald's.

It was a big part of my life that I haven't thought about in a long time.

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