Sunday, May 23, 2010

How Things Change

When I first moved to Claremont, California in 1995, the way you got there from the west was to take the 210 freeway to its end in LaVerne and get on Foothill Boulevard, otherwise known as Route 66. As you drove down Foothill eastward towards Claremont, there were quite a number of businesses, but also a lot of open space and one huge plant nursery on the south side of the street which probably took up an acre or more.

During the fourteen years that I lived in the Claremont area, I watched businesses spring up along Foothill Boulevard. Supermarkets, gas stations, fast food restaurants, townhouse complexes and gyms appeared, and the open spaces became few and far between. It was some sort of progress, I guess.

Now when I drive into the area, I still get off the 210 at Foothill, although the freeway was extended years ago and I could take it all the way into Claremont. The recession has not been kind to Foothill Boulevard. Businesses are closing and townhouse complexes have been left half-built. The big Ford dealership on the north side of the street has been closed and it looks empty and sad.

I'm sort of hoping that someone buys the land of the Ford dealership, rips up the concrete and puts in a huge plant nursery, the kind of business that exists in a place where land is cheap and you can take up all the space you want. Progress is fine, but there are some things where I'd prefer regression.

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