Thursday, January 10, 2008

cockamamie to the max

There are only 26 hours until There Will Be Blood opens at the Tower Theater. This is the movie I am most excited to see since Eyes Wide Shut, but let's not discuss that movie. I caught plenty of shit for liking it. Wow, I don't know how Atonement is doing, but Tower is keeping Juno, too, so that seems like an unprecedented slate of blockbusters for them.

OK, let's talk about the bus station. What do you guys think about this plan? It seems cockamamie to the max, to me. If the bus station is eventually going to be moved as part of the railyard redevelopment, then why slap a band aid on the problem and NIMBY it out to Richards Blvd., which is already pretty creepy and isolated, only to move it again in a few years? If they're going to spend that much money and they say it's because of crime, why not just hire a cop to patrol the station? I may have slightly moved past the days when I'm busing it to the Bay Area (although I wouldn't rule it out in certain cases cuz Amtrak is so expensive and takes more time), but if you've done that, think about how that would effect your decision. One of the best things about where the bus depot is is that you could walk home when your bus got in. Getting dropped off on Richards at like midnight? What the fuck are you supposed to do? What's their rationale? It's a magnet for crime? So, won't that be the same when it moves? I am particularly interested in what wburg thinks of this, since many of his client's SROs are going to be next on the list. I personally would rather bike past the block with Greyhound than the blocks of K street nearby, where I am forced to walk my bike and sometimes do get hasseled. The greyhound station is active at all hours, with cabbies as well as bus passengers and groups of people at night are less scary than walking down an isolated street with one sketchy person. If they turn it into offices, it will just be another block with no night-time activity. I know, they think right now that it will become some lively "mixed-use" area (isn't that kind of what it is currently?) but who knows really what will happen. It could just sit empty for years.


fft said...

saw the excellent EWS twice on opening day. excellent. had to stay at work but ol MOVIE CITY USA saw TWBB on Tuesday, the bastard.

wburg said...

The Marshall Hotel across the street is already winding up to relocate its residents and shut down, to be turned into a "boutique hotel" along the lines of the Citizen. The Berry just changed ownership and will remain an SRO, but with more professional management. As downtown changes the SROs will be at risk, but there is at least a city ordinance that makes closure of SROs very difficult.

Moving the Greyhound station is a band-aid, in a long city tradition of trying to eliminate problems by moving them to a place nobody cares about instead of solving the problems in the first place. It's also part of a long-term effort to change the, ahem, complexion of the neighborhood (to a paler shade of white.) The assumption of the Chamber of Commerce types is that people who take Greyhound are people they'd rather not have to associate with, or even see, ever.

Their other assumption about those who take Greyhound is that their actual safety isn't as important as the perception of safety for Chamber of Commerce types, even if it isn't based in reality.

You are correct in that a busy, lit neighborhood is safer than a quiet, dark one.

Natalie said...

This greyhound thing is fucking driving me crazy, I agree with everything you said.
I wish someone would let Heather Fargo and the city council know that empty dilapidated buildings do not decrease crime, they raise it.And more vacant buildings is hardly something to be celebrated. K st is already at the worst its been in the 10 years I have lived here.
I can't wait to hear Fargo's State of Downtown later today. Valet! Luxury! foot traffic! Lofts!
fuck, why do I even discuss it anymore?

Anonymous said...

"Valet! Luxury! foot traffic! Lofts!"

If only there were some way to bundle all these attractive features in to one urban mixed-use ultra-cove.


Natalie said...

May I say "ultra cove" is the new "luxury loft"

or perhaps luxury caves could be the new trend.

wburg said...

I went to the State of Downtown. It's basically a bunch of Chamber of Commerce types and local developers congratulating themselves on how great they are. I did like this year's keynote speaker more than last year's, but had to leave early. I was seated in the back with some gents from the Sacramento Observer, and meeting them was pretty much the high point of the breakfast for me.

Anonymous said...

Also on the topic of the Greyhound move to Richards Blvd:

Sacramento Appreciation Society of Sacramento

DB said...

"There Will Be Blood" up, "Eyes Wide Shut" down.

beckler said...

i thought you were a big fan of kidman's caboose. i guess i was wrong.

Barnesyard said...

Kidman caboose way, way up; rest of the movie way, way down. "Eyes Wide Shut" is the rare film that even a spectacular ass can't save.