Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego
Sandra Simmons, Viva-city

Life in the City

-by Sandra Simmons

It isn’t a dream. The only sound that you will hear – is when I whisper in your ear – I love you forever and ever. –Lyrics from There’s a Kind of Hush by Herman’s Hermits, circa. 1967

As I sit along the Embarcadero, I reminisce.

My childhood was spent listening to the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Sonny & Cher, Donavan, and The Beatles. The melody and composition captured an existence filled with sun, acceptance, and happiness–quite a contrast to my life growing up on the Oregon coast.

In the early 90s, I ventured out to seek my long held dream. As the plane approached Downtown San Diego, a small number of skyscrapers were backlit by an azure blue sky and what appeared to be sparkling diamonds floating on the bay. A smile at once spread across my face. I had found what spun in my imagination all those years.

Though the streets were gritty and, dare I say a little dangerous, I saw the potential. Downtown was to become a mixture of Southern California easy with the urbanity of a breathtaking, sophisticated metropolis. The very elements I seek in a lover.

And, as all good things are worth waiting for, slowly my beloved emerged. Abandoned warehouses lined with make shift cardboard units gave way to vertical glass arrangements filling the skyline. Hard empty spaces were replaced with fluttering trees and soft fragrant plantings. The sound of breaking car glass tinkling to the pavement became children running and grownups laughing.

It’s no longer just the two of us. Sharing my love only reaffirms my desire.

I ponder…Are you, too, committed to the object of my affection?

It seems others find our neighborhoods as irresistible as I do.

Recently, Victoria Divis (Market Street Square) was given three work assignment options. Hailing from Hawaii, there wasn’t a question in her mind–she chose Downtown San Diego. “I’m a West Coast girl.” Victoria loves the beautiful outdoors, the different neighborhoods, and all the fun activities. Within walking distance are coffee shops, wine bars, great music, and a childhood friend.

With the soaring buildings liken to mountains, Milton and Janet Collins (Park Row) have no trouble getting their bearings on their rambling walks. Each day they venture out to attend a concert, the theater, or just to survey the neighborhood. They often remark when seeing the skyline as they drive in on I-5, “It’s such a nice city, I think we’ll stay awhile.”

“What’s not to love about Downtown. It’s the best-kept secret. If you are bored living here, it’s your own fault. There’s no end to what you can see or do.” Each morning Dan and Carol Grenier (Park Place), wake up to the sound of birds singing passionately. They venture out as the sun rises to experience it all.

My heart quickens and butterflies form in my stomach every time the Downtown skyline comes into view. Ever so softly, a whisper escapes my lips, “I love you forever and ever.” -August 2009

Downtown San Diego Skyline

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