My Town, My Street

3 10 2006

Anyone remember Buck O Nine?

Anyway. My city is a suburb of San Diego. I’ve virtually lived here all my life, except for the 8 years I spent in Paradise Hills, the two I spent in Lincoln Acres and the six months in Denver. I won’t count the two weeks in England. So really that makes it sound like I have only spent 2/3 of my life here, but even when my street address wasn’t in this town, my grandma’s was and I spent a great deal of my childhood over there and I’ve only gone to schools in this city.

This city is now the fastest-growing city in the State or something. Look at these stats:
Population (year 2000): 173,556.
Estimated population in July 2005: 210,497 (+21.3% change)

In five years it’s grown 20%!!! And it’s all because of the new developments. What was once (in my memory, even) farmland with lush grass and gentle cattle roaming, was once dirt roads and desolation, was once peace and precious quiet, is now bustle, construction, fancy strip malls, ritzy public schools and terrible traffic.

Those of us who’ve lived here our whole lives do not really acknowledge anything east of the 805 as “Chula Vista”. We kind of actually laugh at that idea. The city is very much divided. Over here we have the poor, the elderly, the punk kids. Over there they have families and sports utility vehicles and the average 2.8 children. Over here we have VCV and the cholos, over there they have the fear of such things. Over here was have neighborhoods with character and beautiful historic homes. Over there they have tract homes and planned neighborhoods. Over here we have intense pride in our city and our culture. Over there they have beautiful surroundings, but no character.

Don’t get me wrong, I like it over there, too. We just discovered “Heritage” park where M has her new ballet classes and it’s stunning. Rolling green hills, a peaceful pond within a coniferous forest. My only real problem with the area itself is that it’s so FAR. It’s ironic, but it takes just as much time to travel within my own city as it does to drive to central San Diego.

What I really have the problem with is the government (gee, big surprise there, huh?). Over here, in my part of town, they are working on a redevelopment plan which pretty much means they want to turn any place that currently houses low-income folks into high-rise million-dollar condos. (The idea of anyone paying a million dollars to live HERE just makes me pee my pants a little from laughing so hard, but hey, if you build it they will come. And I will laugh in their faces. And probably pee a little again.) Where will we go if this plan goes through? To the slums? It will be all we can afford without leaving the state. But that’s what they want. They want to be rid of the low income so they can be ritzy. They talk about the elimination of the middle class and here I am a personal witness to it. Odd.

The mayoral race is coming up and the one and only issue I am voting on this time is the general plan update. There were only two candidates inthe primaries who were opposed to redevelopment and I’m not even sure if they made it into the running. Sad. I guess I ought to add letter-writing to my to-do list. *sigh*

This isn’t exactly where I was planning on going with this entry. Funny how that works.




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