Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. recently released its annual report stating that Downtown is as vibrant as ever.
So, this week Q-Line asked:
What’s your assessment of Downtown and all it has to offer?
Here are your responses:
“I think what’s happened to Downtown is wonderful. I’ve lived in [Santa Monica] for many years now and I … think it’s great. We’re a world-renowned town, don’t you know, despite the erasable rent control.”
“I would not use the word ‘vibrant’ to describe Downtown. I see it as overbuilt, overpriced, and overcrowded. I no longer have any reason to venture there now that the post office and Michael’s have relocated. It’s a shame that the City Council made such a mess of it. I say ‘so long Downtown, it was nice knowing you.’”
“Downtown Santa Monica is just as bad as the rest of Santa Monica has become, only worse. I made a couple of brief visitations and decided both times never again. Too traffic-y [sic], too many people, stores and shops and shopping in general smack of tourist traps; not for us residents. And the bums and low-life all over convinced me more than anything that I am definitely in the wrong place to shop or dine in peace, quiet and safety.”
“Downtown does have a variety. You have the drunken bums, drugged-out bums, passed-out bums, smelly bums, yelling bums, bums who steal things, and bums who assault people. Yes, a variety.”
“Downtown now has absolutely nothing for us. … We’ve tried to park in the structures and the first time we used the machine it was unintelligible. Then we finally got it figured out and there were people who were waiting in line to get out at the parking gate and they had to call an employee to come on over under the gate. Meanwhile, we were all there probably 10 to 15 minutes longer and they probably could have charged us more. We will never park in the structures again. Went to go to a movie on Second Street, hoping we could park on the street. We ended up driving by and leaving Santa Monica. We will never shop in Santa Monica again.”
“Downtown Santa Monica has much to offer to the tourists that come here and are inundated here; has much to offer to the wealthiest of wealthy people that also live here who can buy handbags for $10,000 by Michael Kors, Coco Chanel, etc. It has nothing, or nothing is left, for the middle class in Santa Monica these days.”
“I rate going Downtown right up there with a root canal. Parking is a pain, and goods are overpriced. Living at the south end of Ocean Park, it’s easier, quicker and cheaper to take care of business in Venice and the Marina. Except, of course, for Bob’s Market.”
“As your newspaper said awhile back, newcomers and tourists who don’t remember how our once quiet town was think all this over development and tourist traps are wonderful. Anyone who has been here before Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) completely took over can remember that Downtown was catering to low- and middle-income locals. The shops were all owned and run by locals. Now it is just a high-priced regular shopping mall run by corporations. The old locals shop elsewhere and avoid Downtown like the plague! SMRR has sold us out to tourism and developers. Their rent control lies keep them forever in power, while the soul of our town has been sold out to the highest bidders.”
“I’m a long-term, 30-plus-year resident of Santa Monica. I used to love the Promenade. I hate it. I would love to eat at outdoor restaurants, but I’m not going to pay money to sit and listen to those street performers on their too-loud amplifiers. The music is horrible. Why would anybody want to sit outside and listen to some of that awful stuff? And nobody enforces the noise laws, so the mall — the new mall — I would love to shop there. There are no shops there that I would shop in. The music is terrible, it’s loud (boom, boom, boom) and so I don’t eat there. I don’t go there. I would love to. I used to love my city. The traffic is terrible.”
“It offers not much in respect to what has been taken away from Santa Monica’s residents and neighborhoods. Stripped of parking spaces and favorite shopping sites, they are shopping outside of the city. Gridlock and idling in traffic is becoming all too familiar to Santa Monicans. Business seems to be doing very well for parking enforcement. One policeman stated he sees 200 cars for every one bicyclist. Once a beach town, now a town with a beach in front of it. That’s what Santa Monica has become. And residents are insignificant. And neighborhoods are insignificant and standing in the way of developers. We have a jewel here because we are near the beach, and we are being sold out. The developers are taking away our town.”