Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Response to Sparring Proposals (San Diego Downtown News) May 2016

I don't want to and I won't read any more editorials after this one about the Chargers proposed stadium downtown and why it is good or bad for San Diego. I first came to San Diego to live in July 1982 with my little family of three. How many people did I know in San Diego? That would be zero! Look up the word entrepreneur in the dictionary. The moron who loves working for himself and only himself, not taking orders ever from anyone and flies through the air of life without a safety net and you very well might find a picture of moi. So much for the self serving bio. My first week here was Tony Gwynn's first ever game as a San Diego padre. That was 34 years ago this July. What was downtown like? What downtown? There was nothing! Nothing nut stores in the process of closing, drunks and prostitutes. It was like there was a sign on the still functioning iconic San Diego Hardware building still standing on Fifth Avenue: STAY AWAY! And most of us did just that. You came to San Diego in 1982 and you stayed somewhere on Hotel Circle. That was downtown San Diego 34 years ago. The US Grant Hotel, built in honor of our 18th president by his entrepreneurial son in 1910 was on life support and months away from the wrecking ball. Today it is like a treasure chest taking you back to 1910 like stepping on the Titanic would take you back to April 1912 seconds before disaster. So what changed? Three things happened to change life as we know it in paradise. For those of you who don't comprehend my use of the word "paradise" it is one of the words I use to describe San Diego. Another is Goldilocks and now you know the origin of my passion for my adopted hometown. The three history changing stories? Horton Plaza 1985 Gaslamp Restoration 1990's Petco Park 2004 The naysayers can get on their soapbox and rant. The fact is that the Chargers stadium downtown with or without a Convention Center connection will brighten the diamond of this city even more. Anyone who fights this stadium just doesn't get it. I have watched this city grow from my perch across from Cowles Mountain. I saw a city expand block by block, restaurant by restaurant, club by club. And I heard the noise---Build a Stadium? What we need is a LIBRARY! And they were right! For I am a bibliophile and my visits to the E Street facility (built in 1954) were visits to a very strange place. Not a place for the faint of heart or small children for that matter. And our run of mayors during those years was like trading mug shots. If they weren't indicted, the hint of impropriety or flat out incompetence or both tainted one administration after another. Building Petco (voters had approved project in 1998) was like surviving the 100 Years War but one day we wake up to another glorious day in Heaven (still another great word) and guess what? We had a new gleaming baseball stadium and we had a 200 million dollar glass tower library as well. And lofts and businesses were and are still to this day being constructed at a dizzying pace. Petco completed the treasure chest that today is known as Gaslamp. And when you mention to these visitors that 30 plus years ago this was a wasteland they look at you like you need a designated driver---now! And adding a dazzling billion dollar football stadium to the mix and attracting events like the Super Bowl who will be fighting their footballs off to show off their annual event every February---well let me slip into a little New York lingo for you--- Forget about it! Steve Tarde plays the legendary Casey at the Bat See his act on Fox TV at youtube.com/stevetarde BOOKMARK his blog which dates back 10 years!

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