Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego
Sandra Simmons

Life in the City

-by Sandra Simmons

What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. - William Shakespeare

The Community Plan Update Steering Committee has proposed dividing East Village into four separate neighborhoods with their own distinct names.

What to name the possible new quadrants? Suggestions have been made for no name change; others to call them after adjoining parks.

In the very near future, sidewalks bound by 6th, Market, and Park will teem with residents. A richly woven tapestry of historical buildings will blend with shiny slick structures, connecting the earth to the sky. This area’s center will emerge in the quaint historical buildings surrounding the Park-at-the-Park. The possibility of a weekend jazz festival fills the ballpark, with The Park hosting an array of edible delights.

Every day new developers come forward with proposals to build more intimate and livable structures to be mixed with larger, more flexible buildings on the blocks east of Park, south of G St. This neighborhood’s center will surround a park on 14th between Island and J St. Imagine sidewalks lined with trees and colorful flowers distinct to this neighborhood, calling out a sense of arrival to this special place.

Except for the forward thinking developers of Union Square, the area north of G St. between Park and the freeway is still an empty palette. There’s room and imagination for exciting visions, if we dare. We will walk from the large neighborhood park over meandering pathways above tiny fault lines buried within city blocks, exploring open sidewalks filled with the sounds of people chatting with neighbors.

Our wonderful Urban Art Trail is embedded within the mid-village neighborhood. Sandwiched between six of the ten neighborhoods, this neighborhood’s beauty is not hidden by fences or walls. Mixed within the city are walls decorated by brightly painted murals, sidewalks with profound sayings etched in, and the possibility of forests of artistic urban trees. Converted historical buildings make up this area’s center. Here are perfect plazas to enjoy lunch and listen to lively Cajon reggae on a Sunday afternoon.

If a name defines how a neighborhood will identify itself, and how others will identify it, shouldn’t the name tell a story? Or express the residents’ vision? Be unique? Be memorable? Roll off the tongue?

I muse…Is the name the same or a game?

These Downtowners name their respective neighborhoods.

Brenda Kayzar (Northern Wing of the Carn): The Ballpark Community of East Village

Wayne Metlitz (Parkloft): Outfield Village

Gary London (Rowhomes of F): Upper East Side

Patrick Roche (Entrada): Eastside

Allison Borkenheim, Kari Fitzsimmons, Tod Fitzsimmons (Union Square): Union Park

Dan Larson, Pat Kreder (Union Square): Upper East Village

Those of us living in the neighborhoods outside of East Village didn’t have the opportunity to choose our names. I hope the residents living within the four quadrants of East Village will seize this chance and choose remarkable names expressing their vibrant character. College, Bayside, Rose Park aren’t such names. - March 2005

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