Bryan performed a feat, not a "fete", but a fete could certainly have followed his act.
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.
I'm a strong supporter of both medical marijuana and also of the legalization of the drug for recreational purposes, but I have to agree, Smith's column isn't helping. If anything, he's just another data point for people who've decided that marijuana use damages critical thinking skills and makes for less motivated, less useful members of society.
Wouldn't it be amazing if we had someone writing locally on this issue who didn't so beautifully fit the slacker pothead sterotype?
It must be admitted that currently there IS too much parking downtown, but I believe the idea is that we are planning for a somewhat more glittering future, perhaps if the construction crews ever finish the streetcar tracks. When they ripped into Congress again, it became so surreal that now I expect them to always be there, surrounded by mostly-empty giant garages.
I had to laugh about the Keep Tucson Shitty contingent. I am partly guilty. I don't miss the Greyound station as our Welcome Mat, but I do miss the gentle entry to downtown, the view of Joe's murals on the Rialto. Suddenly, when approaching from the east, it's a multi-story assault, giving no view but a wall of what to us can only be called skyscrapers.
Of course I understand that we have to make parking while the sun shines, and while we have useful people in office who can actually get things done. (I love you, Mr. Rothschild.)
But yeah, I mourn a bit for the lost gentle view of the Hotel Congress, the murals, the mountains. Soon, though... maybe we'll be swank. And those garages will be full of cars. I'm personally stoked about Bianco coming in. Maybe this one we'll be able to get into without a two hour wait. I've given up at the one in Phoenix as often as I've gotten in.
I've been reading the Tucson Weekly since the first issue, back in the 80s, back when I feared for the safety of the writers of The Skinny, because they were so fearless. Remember? Anyone?
What I really love in an alt-weekly are local stories and issues covered by crack journalists without censorship as to position, without a right-wing slant, without a corporate mindset. The quality of the TW took a rather noticeable editorial dive when Jimmy Boegle came in to run it, and it just seems like it's lost grit and focus. These days, I look to papers like the free, independent Chicago Weekly to stand in for what the rest of you guys used to pull off, and I just check the TW online to see the event listings, movie reviews, and maybe read a story here and there. It's been a long time since I've been stopped in my tracks by an issue of the Weekly, or an intro by the editor.
I'd love to see the kind of edge that the TW used to have come back, but now? I''m writing this instead of writing Circle K, because I stopped picking up the TW print edition a few years ago.
I simply can't believe that Tucson is so close once again to electing a Tea Party candidate. What a shame. And what a slap in the face to both Giffords and Grijalva. As a lifelong Tucson resident, I've always been proud of our independent progressivism. But voting down school funding and voting up right wing extremists is not the way forward. What's happened to us?
Too many old white people with no children left to educate have moved to Tucson, apparently, and can't seem to grasp that other people's children matter too.
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