124 pages. 31,803 words. 64 figures. 66 tables.

And I am almost a third of the way done.

I didn’t blahg about the new underground parking garage they are building (and building and building and building) on the site of my fav-o-rite old Library Lot yesterday. Today is a different story. Today was one of those days when I was so hunkered down writing (MS Word) and tweaking code (html/css/jquery) that I didn’t even talk to one co-worker until she returned to work from a class in the late afternoon. I was in my BAcave. You’ve heard of “Mancave”, roight? Yeah, I know BAcave just doesn’t have the same ring. What the heck is a BA? What does a BA do? Sometimes I’m not even sure what I do. (Don’t kid yourself, I am in my element and having fun!)

Anyway, I had about a half hour left by then and I couldn’t get any traction, or even figure out where the heck I was so… I. checked. facebook. What did I find? This link, posted by Mouse. The short story, if you don’t want to bother with the link, is that two very popular and successful vegetarian restaurants (Jerusalem Garden and Earthen Jar) that have been around FOREVER are having trouble making a go of it. Why? Because the once parking lot adjacent to them and the street in front of them are closed. And have been for what seems like decades but is actually six months for the street and a couple years (?) for the parking lot.

Both of those restaurants are wonderful but I don’t frequent them too often. Why? Mostly because I don’t go downtown very often. But when Mouse worked at the yarn store out on South Industrial (closed, alas) and I was a vagabond, I would frequently go and pick up lunch for her (and sometimes some of her co-workers (and sometimes myself)) at Jerusalem Garden. In those days, I could just swing in to the Library Lot (if it wasn’t during the Art Fair, heaven forbid) and walk over to get food. Today? Not so much. I can see why these restaurants are suffering.

I can’t figure out why the city officials and the Downtown Development Authority thought that the Library Lot needed to be turned into an underground parking structure. (what the hell is a DDA anyway? And whose pocketses is it in?) The Library Lot was just about the most handy parking lot in town. It was centrally located and there was no snaking around and around and around like the old Jacobson’s structure (although that one isn’t the worst). On most days, you simply drove in to the Library Lot, snagged your ticket, parked, and walked freely to whatever stores you wanted to patronize. If you had purchases you didn’t want to carry, you could easily walk back over to the Library Lot and put them in your trunk. And it was free on Sundays. Once in a while it was full but not too often and, if you live on the Planet, you just deal with it. Heck, parking around here isn’t anything approaching what it’s like in say, San Francisco!

So. Underground parking structure? For what purpose? And why a conference center on top? I am sorry. I know that change is necessary in some situations. I don’t think this is one of those situations. I think that real estate developers have put dollar signs in the eyes of some of the local politicians and their adjuncts. An underground parking structure is bad enough for these venerable restaurants but a conference center might kill them. We may need a conference center but I hate the idea of having one on top of the Library Lot and I don’t think that us taxpayers can afford to fund something like that, which will probably end up being a big empty hulk, like the much-touted Tally Hall and some other prodjects.

Ah well. I hate real estate developers. Why do our city officials even give them the time of day? They are speculators. Actually, I think that, in some ways, they would make good dictators… Thank the gods for the messy democratic process that we have that keeps a lot of those folks from seeking political power…

2 Responses to “124 pages. 31,803 words. 64 figures. 66 tables.”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Our developers did the same thing along several routes which did nothing for the businesses; the “improvements” and blockages lasted for years rather than months. I had completely different routes about how to get places and where to eat out/have coffee, etc…Who authorizes and thinks through these projects??

  2. jane Says:

    I do love Jerusalem Garden, and try to go there when I can to help them out. mmm – falafel with hummus and then the hot sauce that clears out my sinuses!!!