I have lived in SLO for 35 years. Some of you have lived here longer. Some of you were born and raised here. In my case, I left my hometown of Hollywood to live somewhere with a slower pace and was fortunate enough to end up in San Luis Obispo.
A few weeks ago while having breakfast at my favorite eatery on Broad Street, I noticed a fence surrounding the parking lot across the street with a sign saying “parking lot closed permanently.” And why is this I wondered? As fate would have it, I bought a paper to read that morning and lo and behold, there was my answer in a full-page article. The parking lot along with the beautiful trees that have been there longer then I have lived here are being destroyed to make way for a lifeless, homogenized, ugly four-story hotel.
Until that moment, seeing the fence around the parking lot while reading this disheartening article, I don’t think I fully realized how much I enjoyed watching people come and go across the street, along with taking in the beauty of the trees all these years. I hear Joni Mitchell’s lyrics: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”
Returning for breakfast a week later, I was just in time to see above the fence, men with chain saws taking out these majestic, beautiful trees. Some of the long-standing employees had tears in their eyes.
Can someone please tell me why is it we leave the hustle and bustle of a big town for a smaller and quieter town, only to re-create what we left behind? I don’t get it but it feels akin to a cancer.
And so, soon, my favorite eatery will have a dark cloud over it, and I won’t see sky, beautiful trees, or people in the parking lot anymore. Oops, there goes another city. Kerplop!
So long, San Luis. It was great to know you. Thanks for the memories.
-- Craig Nuttycombe - San Luis Obispo