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Tag: modern times

Little Italy Food Hall

Little Italy Food Hall

The Piazza della Famiglia project in Little Italy opens next month, and by summer it will take a cue from Liberty Station’s hugely successful Public Market concept by including a food hall. The hall will include two Public Market vendors, Wicked Maine Lobster and Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop. A food hall makes sense given the large number of sit-down restaurants already in Little Italy, and you’ll be able to bring your meal into the open-air public piazza:

While public squares are commonplace throughout European cities, this is the first of its kind for San Diego, where we’ve long dedicated most of our public space to moving and storing vehicles. Given the piazza’s likely success (Little Italy is doing pretty well), could this spur other urban communities in San Diego to rethink how they allocate space in their commercial districts?

Here in Kensington, where the Heart of Kensington residential group killed a public space in front of the Kensington Commons project, we’ll just settle for a new restaurant in the long-vacant Kensington Vine space.  Tanuki Japanese will be a “coffee bar by day and a sake bar and eatery by night”, according to Eater. This is just around the corner from our block. With the opening of Kensington Brewing and Pappalecco in the past year, it’s great to have more walk-to options in the neighborhood.

Tickets are nearly sold out for next Saturday’s Modern Times Carnival of Caffeination on Broadway Pier. Proceeds go to BikeSD. There’s a pretty amazing lineup of brewers, roasters and food trucks:

Earlier that day I’m hoping to join the celebration for the long-awaited opening of the Centerline bus rapid transit lanes and stations at Teralta Park over SR-15 in Mid-City:

Speaking of freeways, if Caltrans has an annual funding/maintenance gap of $6 billion, why are they spending $8 billion on an environmentally-damaging, sprawl-inducing freeway in the Mojave Desert?

BikeSD recently endorsed Omar Passons for County Board of Supervisors (thanks to all the candidates who responded) because we know he’ll stand up for the rights of bicyclists even when it’s politically difficult to do so. I joined Omar, urban planner Howard Blackson and a group of bicyclists recently for a ride around downtown where we experienced the challenge of riding in a busy area still bereft of safe bike infrastructure. One highlight was hearing architect Mike Stepner’s efforts in creating the notion of the “Gaslamp Quarter“:

Another reason I support Omar is his support for more housing… which means I can segue into yet another batch of housing bullet points:

  • Opposing housing for your kids to preserve your free street parking isn’t “progressive”, no matter what OB Rag says.  I’m excited about the YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County group because it could make many local Democrats consider where they stand on the housing crisis.  The group has its launch party this Friday.
  • David Alvarez, who will be at the launch party, has several suggestions for the San Diego City Council on how to build more housing, including allowing conversion of vacant ground floor commercial space to housing, and “waiving parking requirement for small apartments, condos, live/work units and studios near transit”.
  • Our City San Diego covers San Diego’s growing affordable housing coalition and how reducing parking requirements gives developers more land on which to build.
  • Todd Gloria introduced a state assembly bill to encourage construction of affordable, smaller units close to transit that would reduce parking requirements.
  • Nearly every city in the state failed to reach state-mandated housing goals and will now be required to streamline projects that include affordable housing.
  • Inner suburbs that declare themselves “built out” and oppose housing (i.e., Bay Park) are a major cause of housing crises in cities across the U.S.

    The reality is that most of the housing stock and most of the land area of America’s metros is made up of relatively low-density suburban homes. And a great deal of it is essentially choked off from any future growth, locked in by outmoded and exclusionary land-use regulations. The end result is that most growth today takes place through sprawl.

  • A public workshop on the Riverwalk project in Mission Valley detailed how the 4300-unit project’s new trolley station will be the center of the development’s retail area.  Constructive input from neighbors included “we don’t want your residents parking on our streets” and declaring that Mission Valley would turn into a Mumbai slum.
bike sd fundraiser

bike sd fundraiser

Today is the last day of the BikeSD January online fundraiser.  For the fundraiser, I wrote a post on the BikeSD blog about how my husband and I were personally affected by the unsafe conditions for people on bikes in San Diego.  Check it out here (or here if that doesn’t work) and donate if you can!

BikeSD is a non-profit organization that’s trying to pay a salary to our Executive Director Samantha Ollinger after her years of amazing, expert advocacy – that she did for free.  If my story can’t convince you to contribute, check out these other perspectives.

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There are some fun BikeSD-related events coming up too.  MJ’s Cyclery celebrates their second anniversary next Saturday evening (2/6), with proceeds going to BikeSD.  The Modern Times Festival of Funk benefits BikeSD and Cleveland National Forest Foundation, and happens on March 5th in Bankers Hill:

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And Bikes and Beers returns for a third year on March 26th, starting/finishing at the Quartyard downtown.   There are some other cool BikeSD rides and events coming up later this year too.  Let’s keep up the momentum especially considering all the bike infrastructure that’s about to be built.  Other stuff going on:

–  We spent last Saturday in National City (check out the recent San Diego Magazine neighborhood writeup) visiting my husband’s family and hanging out with Marcus Bush, who also lives there.  As head of the National City Chamber of Commerce, Marcus led the group in opposing the SANDAG Regional Transportation Plan because it adds general purpose lanes to I-5 there, while killing the Blue Line trolley express track that would have been less expensive.  The result is more air pollution in an area already suffering from poor air quality.  Marcus mentioned two interesting events coming up in the area:

  • The National City Rotary Club meeting at the San Diego Electric Railway Museum. 922 W 23rd St, National City, on Tuesday, Feb 2nd at 12:00pm.  Optional lunch is $10.
  • Gentrification v Revitalization San Diego American Planning Association luncheon panel on Friday, February 19th at the Sherman Heights Community Center.
We met Marcus at Machete Beer House on Highland Ave and I was pretty blown away by their tap selection – lots of obscure sours, IPAs and stouts.  After that Jay and I headed over to the 8th Street Corridor, where SANDAG has invested in connecting the street to the trolley station there.  And then we hit the new Toto’s Grill, featuring $1 skewers of Filipino street food.  It’s across the street from Hanaoka on Sweetwater Road and the line snaked into the parking lot during our visit.
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