childe harold 
Member since Nov 16, 2010


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Recent Comments

Re: “READER CONTEST: Help Robert Gammon Find a New Life's Mission

Are you kidding? That's the winner? I mean, unethical is an inappropriately strong word for such a low stakes, silly contest, but I can't think of an adequately diluted synonym. So the award goes to a San Francisco journo whose suggestion is unadulterated flattery. I guess I missed the deadline, but I'd say Robert Gammon should go back and fact check his own articles, not that it would be anyone's loss were he reassigned to the dining beat.

Posted by childe harold on 11/16/2010 at 6:08 PM

Re: “BREAKING NEWS: Oakland Picks Site for New A’s Ballpark

Putting aside the basic issue of whether a stadium is a worthwhile investment for a city, and especially for a city with serious budget problems, I think putting a ballpark in the middle of a downtown area is short-sighted, asinine city planning. No doubt, Jack London Square looks pretty anemic as it is now, but there will be development there whether or not a stadium is built. I lived in San Diego for some time. The Padres built a new, ugly-as-sin downtown ballpark and the downtown gentrified, and the city council reveled, because to them, correlation is causation. It certainly improved traffic, to the point that on game days you can't find a parking spot unless you're prepared to part with a Jackson. While this was great shakes for the owners of parking lots, most businesses stood to lose, because for every person who goes to a ballgame and has some expensive dinner they would not otherwise have had, there are two dozen who are just there for the game. Meanwhile, this huge influx of people was an unmitigated hassle for the people who actually lived downtown. Never mind that -- there was a housing boom on (which, coincidentally, along with the nationwide movement of the rich back to urban areas they had fled in the fifties, may have something more to do with development than the arrival of Petco Park). Developers filled the downtown with skyscraping apartment buildings, which are now halfway occupied. The city planners had managed to gentrify the downtown under the assumption that, if you build it, the yuppies will come. And it's just not true. I'm not saying I believe that development can ever be merely organic, but when I think about Jack London Square with a ballpark, it sounds to me like more of the same garbage that we were sold in San Diego, a waste of valuable civic space designed to attract yuppies who may or may not be interested and who probably not be more interested when you include a ballpark in the package. Now, the young and aspiring in San Diego live in North Park, adjacent to the downtown and a fraction of the price, while the apartments that were built with them in mind stand vacant a few miles away. Most of the restaurants and boutiques that all popped up simultaneously five years ago have gone out of business. Does a ballpark attract development? Some, I guess, but it mostly just attracts crowds and makes life more difficult for residents.

Posted by childe harold on 11/16/2010 at 5:45 PM

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