Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I love the nightlife, I got to boogie

Over on the Foothill Cities blog, Publius wondered what we thought about having an "entertainment district" in downtown Pomona, as the Daily Bulletin recently discussed. I haven't consulted K, but I am just fine with it. As everyone has been saying about the Laemmle's branch office in Claremont, finally we won't have to drive to Pasafriggindena.

Most of the places we've lived in the last 20 years have been one form of entertainment district or another, even if our San Francisco entertainment district (SOMA) came with a methadone clinic next door (which, btw, makes whatever drug dealing goes on in Lincoln Park look like, well, a walk in the park).

In Atlanta, we were part of the move to preserve the residential character of our nabe, the Virginia-Highland area. We loved being able to walk to supper (come to think of it, Pomona is the first place we've lived where we couldn't amble down the street for a meal) but having the Buckhead yuppies block our driveway didn't go down so well. And then there was the time we woke up to hear two drunk women peeing in the grass right outside our window.

In Claremont, we lived about as close to Village nightlife as you can get -- but, of course, they roll up the sidewalks at toddler bedtime there, so the biggest downside was living in boutique hell. As K. is wont to say, "There are five places I can buy a little black dress, but nowhere to buy a nail." (People then think that Claremont is some kind of tranny heaven, a notion he then has to disabuse them of in a hurry.)

Pomona, it strikes me, is in a perfect position to develop downtown as an entertainment district. It isn't taking over an established residential neighborhood, and I will be utterly unsympathetic toward anyone who buys one of the new downtown lofts and then whinges about the noise. The first time it happens -- and it will, I guarandamntee it -- look for a furious post here.

Also, diversity is one of Pomona's greatest strengths. I was eager to escape Claremont's overwhelming homogeneity (in class, color, creed, you name it), and Pomona seems to have an amicable mix of most everything. Admittedly, I've only lived here a short time, and I invite denial in the comments, but the heterogeneity doesn't appear to have engendered a pitched war for resources (as in the film Flag Wars, which we've just seen and will post about in more detail). Our gangs seem to go by names like Ghost Town Sharkies, not "La Raza Against Yuppies" and "Preservationists United Against Undesirables."

My only hesitation is the use of Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade as a model. Pace, GoP, but I utterly loathe that place. It gives a new meaning to the 19th-century diagnosis "galloping consumption," and I break out in hives at the very thought of it. Bring that to Pomona, and we might have to leave town.

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