Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego
Sandra Simmons

Life in the City

-by Sandra Simmons

Intimacy and change, two words that frighten as well as intrigue us. Can anyone hear the word “change” without feeling even the slightest butterfly in his or her stomach? People often feel scared of change if it doesn’t seem absolutely necessary; yet, we cannot deny the ongoing growth and change.

Downtowners won’t be able to miss new buildings popping up all over our neighborhoods, orange signs and cones directing our paths, but are we sure we want this change?

At times it seems frustrating dealing with continual Gaslamp traffic and numerous expansion projects, yet change is a necessity for growth. Without growth, stagnation and death prevail.

Although change is not always comfortable, there are many positive aspects involved. Changes open our senses and make us see with different eyes.

I’ve seen personal as well as community changes, including starting a new business, different sun and wind patterns on my condo (The Brickyard) because of new construction, and $87 jaywalking tickets.

Since he moved Gaslamp Video and Tan to 620 Market, Gary Truman (known to me as GaryGary) has noticed far more community interaction, stocks more video and DVDs, and added tanning booths.

Soon Becky Wissbaum and Sherm Harmer will move into City Walk, and Becky will make an exciting career change.

Sixteen moved their studio Downtown, and Horton Square hasn’t been the same since. Phyllis Schwartz, President/General Manager relates the employees’ excitement about becoming part of the region’s pulse. Their adjustment period quickly gave way to an energized spirit that comes across in their newscast, complete with a live backdrop of our community’s ongoing motion.

Penny Martin (Renaissance), Vice President at NBC 7/39 loves walking two blocks to work now instead of enduring a car commute.

Gary London’s leg muscles ache from constantly traversing his new four-floor office/home (Rowhomes of F), but he won’t deny the strength the aches produced.

Annett Polaszewski (Avalon at Cortez Hill) moved from Berlin, Germany and missed the city feel and European flair of walking everywhere. However, since she moved Downtown she feels at home.

I’ve been waiting for this change, waiting for our separate neighborhoods to fuse together. Our eight neighborhoods make one community, and together our community will grow. In numerology, 8 symbolizes achievement, strength, and change. As our community grows and changes, it will retain its strengths. But how do we embrace the changes without losing the intimacy we cherish?

I wonder…In a cosmopolitan city, what form does intimacy take?

Living within this busy, growing city means we’re provided with the opportunity to transform these changes into relationship-building experiences. It’s up to us to create our pockets of intimacy. I like to support local coffee shops, visit the San Diego National Bank and know my teller, discovering little pieces of community, creating my own intimacy.

Despite its tough moments, change excites me and I embrace the intimacy our community is creating. - March 20, 2003

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