It didn't take long for "gentrification", "outside interests", "I've lived here __ years...", and "we'll become the next Phoenix/Portland/San Francisco" responses to come out!
I almost hesitate to suggest this because the meetings tend to go smoothly, and a bunch of reactionary idiots in the mix might be counter-productive, but the next time there's a public Downtown Links meeting, anyone who is afraid of the way planning is being executed should show up, listen, and talk to people. This project is being handled by smart, creative people with a great balance of sensitivity and pragmatism so far. http://www.downtownlinks.info
It seems to me that a lot of the panicking and internet yelling comes from people who haven't tried actual "civic engagement". If you're not a complete maniac, and can put a sentence together, people listen. If you're a whining dickhead with no constructive argument or suggestion, chances are you won't get the same attention in public that you do on the internet. So you'll need to adjust your ego. Sorry. That's just life.
I left Tucson six years ago after spending the first 24 years of my life there. I return every winter to see my family and my (former) home, and I can say with a fair amount of objectivity that Tucson has been losing its "soul". We can blame the city and transplants, but those of us who left for greener pastures can't expect a town we left behind to remain the way we left it.
There's always been a standard regarding safe flow of traffic. If you drive too slow, it is even more dangerous, but there is no ticket for driving 36 in a 45 mph - 6 lane hwy, where everyone is driving 56 or faster as the norm? Wake up, ..this is an illegal revenue grab, plus you are being spied on w/state cams. Keep giving up your rights & money!! I've been driving since i was 16--over 40 yrs, in several states, and was NEVER given a speeding tik, now I got one of these cam pics in mail...I know I was not exceeding...5 mi over has always been waived within normal flow by a real officer. Sheesh, I was driving to an evening church service. I AM SAFE--If I got one of these, everyone must be getting them.
Downtown Tucson has been in a state of flux as far back as I recall and I remember hanging out inside of Meyersons in the relative cool as I waited for my bus to come along, 15 cent ice cream cones at Thrifty Drugs, drunken cowboys passed out on the sidewalk in front of the Fox and all the empty stores that used to line the streets. Even back in the 70's people were bitching about gentrification. I guess it's true, "The more things change..."
I am a third generation native Tucsonan. I've lived downtown from time to time, loved downtown all of the time, and spent most of my life dreaming of the day that it would be a real downtown, full of life, and with people living safely, with an actual grocery store that we could walk and bike to. And no, the 4th Ave. Coop doesn't fill the bill. We need something like a Safeway or a Trader Joes, well lit and open early and late, and we need a fresh market. If those things were in place, then a whole new world of possibility would open up.
Much of what is happening is good, some things I loved have been lost, some bad things are gone... money has been wasted, and preferential treatment has been given to people who were already very well off indeed. I'm a big Richard O fan, and I love the HC, and I love Maynards, and I'm grateful for the market. But free rent? Really? I'm not sure that was our best move.
If I'm angry about anything, it's that so many mistakes were made laying the streetcar tracks. The endless delays and construction were really what killed off the small businesses and little dives we loved. It went on so long it was surreal. Only people with deep pockets or very secure clientele could weather it.
And yeah, I wish that the people who were moving into all of the new housing weren't mostly college students, because kids that age aren't the most considerate citizens. But I AM glad that the Greyhound station isn't our welcome to downtown, glad that the construction is finally, my God, almost over, sorry that so much of our money in general has been stolen for fossil fuel wars or misspent by our own local government. What I want more than anything is a healthy city, a focus on green power, conservation, and a lively, living downtown. And disincentives for sprawl.
I think that on the whole we are in a better place than we were five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago. And we should celebrate that, while still keeping a wary eye on corporate chains, on our elected officials, on excessive water use, and ESPECIALLY on people from Phoenix or LA telling us what Tucson needs.
This whole debate is pointless. Businesses open, businesses close. Owners get tired and sell, some owners die and the family sells. Some owners take the developers' money and buy a house in Oro Valley. Developers tear down old and build new. Demographics change, politics of cities change. People move out. New people move in. The culture changes.
Deal with it.
I grew up in Phoenix. I used to cruise Metro Center Parkway. Now Metro Center is a wasteland. I used to get staggering drunk at the Dash Inn on Apache. Now the Dash Inn is ASU student housing. North Scottsdale Road used to be expensive car dealerships and swanky restaurants. Now its strip joints and skeezy nightclubs owned by porn stars where drunk girls get their pictures taken in various states of undress which then get posted on The Dirty.
If you're consumed with nostalgia for the good ol' days of Tucson, get some friends together and buy your favorite hangouts and keep them as shitty as you want.
Downtown is better now that it has ever been.
-- More and better food choices
-- Hotel Congress is air conditioned
-- Better transportation options
-- yoga studios
-- Second Saturday Downtown
-- Fox Theatre is back to its former glory
-- Better parking
-- (I'm sure I've missed more to add, but you get the point)
Has it changed it character? Absolutely. that's a good thing!
5 years ago I never even considered venturing downtown. Recently I've considered moving closer to downtown. I think that says it all.
Keep Tucson Changing!
Well said, Dan. Ha.
Cole: Gosh, demands from semi-anonymous commenters? I can't imagine why David hasn't turned over his birth certificate yet.
You only "kind of" make me sick. And you bet I'm upset with you. You said hurtful things about very nice people. Like Donovan, I agree with 90% of what you have written. But it's a problem when you call people I know and love "shitty." It is unethical and you lack integrity as a journalist or blogger or whatever. And you still haven't told me where you are from....
Lets just put a starbucks, Chipotle, Best Buy and Jimmy Johns down there, then everyone will be happy!!!
Considering that I'm the one who makes you sick, and that you wish I would go away, I'm not sure that I'm the one who is pissed off between the two of us.
Anyway, thanks for reading!
Silly David - You forgot to answer the most important part of #2. No wonder. You are one pissed off fella. This will come in handy as you continue to piece together these hamburger jobs you call stories.
The shitty Tucson was the one everyone could afford with Jakes, Kippy's, and the lunch counters that offered a meal for a small price. The greasy charm of Tucson has long died catering to all the transplanted peeps. You are getting what you asked for now shut up and enjoy the nightmare. I want no part of it. The new Fox tries hard to lure people like myself back but no dice. Take a good hard look at the community center to see the future of downtown. No revitalization when you take from Peter to pay Paul.
1.) Hipsterism isn't a new thing. One doesn't need to be a mid-20s liberal arts major with a fixed-gear bike and questionable taste in pants to be a hipster, one solely needs the attitude along the lines of "man, X used to be so much better before Y," hating on the people who like the changes they're seeing.
2.) if you consider living here for seven years "new," then yeah, sure.
3.) I mean, considering I have no plans on leaving a job I love in a city I love filled with people, culture and restaurants I love, no I don't plan on leaving anytime soon. Sorry. But let's stop pretending that one needs to be a "ranking member of Downtown" to have an opinion on the area, because that is ridiculous and elitist as hell.
I've only been in Tucson since '06, but I've never felt this town has a shitty quality whatsoever. There is not one single neighborhood with streets I wouldn't walk. Not one. I get the feeling most of the KTS crowd are upper-middle-class white kids from the foothills. For real. I love this city. I also want decent public transportation. A grocery store within walking distance from downtown residential areas would be a good thing. And no, the Co-Op doesn't count for this single parent. I've been to the Grill enough times to say the food was not good. Sorry. The only thing keeping that place open were the hipsters coming down from the foothills to slum it up. I went to grad school with a bunch of them. They're good people. The food at the Grill still sucked. I don't spend much time at Diablo Burger or even Congress on a busy night. I do love me some coffee from that comfy joint below MLK apts. I miss Tooley's. I like the guys at Underestimated City and at Derrick Williams' shop. I love what they are doing. I used to love Shot in the Dark. Now I won't go there because I've seen one too many inhumane dealings with human beings in need. To refuse anyone water on a 114 degree day? Now that is shitty.
That guy Patrick Karneykaso is a real tool. I'm sure he just shits around downtown complaining about shit.
1) Most of those associated with KTS are too old to be hipsters, David. We have been part of something magical in this town long before that silly term found its way onto the pages of young men like yourself. Our Tucson is something magical you will most likely never understand.
2) You are new to Tucson, correct? From Phoenix, right? Is this the part where I say "no wonder?" Is this the part where I say you have probably never experienced a scene like the one we are slowly loosing?
3) Will you remain in our town after you finish school? Or are you just passing through, writing divisive stories about a downtown you know so little about while acting like a ranking member.
4) Please do not respond to this. You kind of make me sick, and we all just really wish you would go away.
"You know, Chuy, you're gonna have a magical life. Because no matter where you go, it will always be better than Tucson." --Hamlet II
Tucson Weekly |
3280 E. Hemisphere Loop, Suite 180, Tucson AZ 85706 |
(520) 294-1200 |
Powered by Foundation