Love where you live!
LA MESA -- As soon as I finish writing this article I am going to close my store for 30 minutes, grab a little cash and walk up across Spring Street and go buy something in the Street Scape Zone. I don't really need anything, but I'm sure by just walking into one of the stores affected by the growing pains it will convey my sympathy for what each store is going through up there.
It occurs to me that for the next several months, it will be important that I as a citizen make an effort to do something positive for a store that is caught in between the future fantastic view of La Mesa Boulevard and the current orange barricade zone, complete with no trees and lots of dirt, in which they are stuck.
I'm looking at this as one of those old fashioned barn-raising things where all the neighbors help out the one person who needs a barn and can't build it alone.
Maybe I can put a smile on the face of someone who won't see too many customers today. I would hate to think that by my ignoring my shop neighbors I would contribute to additional suffering that can have real and long lasting consequences. After all, we're pretty much in this together...
Additionally I would like to say something to the Parking Commission folks. I am not sure what the official recommendation to the City Council will be or has been regarding the temporary cessation of parking meters along the boulevard here in the ZONE. I suppose if you are not a store owner, it won't sound all that important to do this. But it seems to me that allowing free one or two hour parking in front of these stores would be a tremendous boost to shoppers who might otherwise just drive on by. "Dirt AND a parking meter fee? Pass. I'll go to the mall." How seriously could it possibly hurt the parking fund to discontinue collection until after this chaos and mess is over? The people doing the work are great and working hard. The store owners are more or less trapped but are nevertheless faithfully turning around their OPEN signs daily as if there were nothing so game-changing going on. That takes patience and grace to do.
Wouldn't it be a great gesture to the all those affected if both the Parking Commission and the City Council would say, 'Here's an idea. Let's turn off the meters! Let's show the shop keepers as well as the shoppers that while we can only imagine the disruption this upheaval is causing them, we can make a small contribution to ease at least the parking meter portion of the pain.'
This can be your contribution, Parking Commissioners and City Council, to what is going to be a glorious, and laborious rebirth of the Village we all adore. This is your opportunity to show you are willing to lend a hand...
Chris Shea is the proprietor of Lifesighs Cards, a shop on La Mesa Boulevard.