It's been a long week! It seems like I've had something important to do pretty much everyday beginning with Monday night when the Ol' Man and I stayed up all night proofing the April issue. In addition to that deadline I just finally sent out about three projects that have been looming in the back of my brain for the past month. As stressful as deadlines and projects are there is definitely something to be said for the sweet relief and feeling of accomplishment that comes with completion, especially when you've done a good job getting your shit together.
Wed evening the Monthly crew hit the Midtown Business Association's annual dinner. The speaker was outstanding! His name was Dan Zack and he's from Redwood City. Many of the points he made felt like they were coming straight from my mouth as he was saying them. My two favorites were: a. Don't try to be the suburbs, you're not the suburbs, people don't come downtown for the suburbs they come downtown for the urbanity, embrace that. and b. Enact a right to party law. Nightlife makes an urban environment vibrant. It is unfair to expect to move into a 24hr neighborhood and then expect it to go to bed when you do. Yeah, yeah, yeah!!!!!
Many of the things Zack said were straight up common sense, however, in the context of where he was making these comments they seemed kind of ballsy. It's funny to me that you would even have to tell someone that if they move in across the street from a nightclub they really can't complain that much because they moved in across the street from a nightclub.
Heather Fargo or Steve Cohn, I don't remember which, made a comment that kinda jumps on my nerves. I say either or because I've heard them and many others make variations on the same comment at different times which is; "Sacramento is finally growing up!" That's a dangerous phrase and I don't care to speculate on exactly what is meant by it but I will say that what their term implies is that everything is so much better now. While I will agree there are things I like about the new Sacramento there are certain other things that scare the wits out of me, chief among them being our heady desire to roll over for developers as though as a city we still kinda stink and if we could just get the right person in here with enough money to clean up the joint....
Inspired by what Zack said I would like to see the city match some of what's already happening with some projects, programs, and events that will promote our local community. 2nd Saturday is on fire proving that people like to get out and wander the streets all year long. What about bringing back the Thursday market? How 'bout doing more with River Park? Or a midweek year round farmer's market similar to the one in Davis? We have the tools necessary to implement some other projects that would support what we already have nicely. Projects that wouldn't even require valet parking.
In essence my point is this. The visible landscape of Sacramento is indeed changing, in some ways that are good and others that literally make me ache inside, however, none of this has anything to do with one very important fact. Sacramento and Midtown especially, has a thriving, supportive, talented, and vibrant community that is the reason I chose to stay here thirteen years ago despite frequent desires to move to San Francisco. I really can't conceive of living anywhere else. That community is what makes this region and I'm not just talking about the music scene, or the art scene, I mean everyone who has an investment in Midtown from where I go out to eat and buy coffee, to the guy who fixes my truck. I really love my city. I loved it thirteen years ago and I still love it now, despite the valet parking.
Man, I really didn't mean to get preachy but there you are...