Apparently This Is Not Walnut Creek


Alameda's enemies of economic freedom are currently waging a PR war against a planned multiplex on the island. I drove past a police rummage sale on my way home from the gym just now and saw a bunch of them holding signs. Most of them just said "Stop the Megaplex," but one said "This is NOT Walnut Creek!" This made me think of a few things.

First, I thought it would be funny if a married couple drove past and were arguing over whether they were, in fact, in Walnut Creek, and the wife saw the sign and said "See! Right there! 'This is not Walnut Creel.'"

But more importantly, what's wrong with Walnut Creek? I like Walnut Creek. If you're going to criticize East Bay cities based on their ungainly shopping centers, why not start with Emeryville? Emeryville is terrible. I hate everything about Emeryville. I resent the fact that so many stores that I find myself needing or strongly desiring to shop at are in Emeryville. Also, Emeryville is a lot closer than Walnut Creek, so reminding people that there's a god-awful multiplex in Emeryville might endear them to the cause of keeping one out of Alameda. But drawing the comparison to Walnut Creek suggests that you'd have to jackass all the way into the Deep East Bay to find a giant movie theater, in which case a multiplex in Alameda might not be so bad.

So, "This is NOT Walnut Creek" Lady, if you're reading this, maybe get a new sign. And if you keep talking smack about the W.C. I'll have to punch you repeatedly in the groin.


They actually have done a great job with development here in Walnut Creek, preserving the small-town feel while attracting all kinds of neat boutiques and gourmet restaurants. But you know some people -- they're upset by any commercial development whatsoever.

I wasn't able to find any movie theaters located in Alameda, so maybe a movie theater isn't such a bad idea... considering that it is an island and thus more annoying to leave to see a movie at Jack London Square (or Emeryville), and much harder for teens to see movies. I remember being very bored with Alameda when I lived there since there was no where but South Shore for us to hang out; I wish there had been a big movie theater there back then. I think Alameda used to have a drive-in theater that closed sometime in the early 90's, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I don't think a large theater would increase traffic in Alameda that much, since I doubt Oakland residents will really want to go out of their way to get to the theater when Oakland and Emeryville have so many theaters of their own.

Emeryville is possibly one of the worst-planned cities anywhere. It's almost comical, a hilarious parody of urban planning. You look at LA, and it's a disaster, but you understand why. It took decades, and you can imagine how people lost track of things, how they couldn't have foreseen the direction things took, the tremendous population influx, etc. But Emeryville is so small, and the disastrous overdevelopment so recent and accelerated, it's been practically engineered to implode.

I feel that I've already given Emeryville what for, and I don't believe Walnut Creek is all that bad, at least in terms of multiplexes. If anything, Walnut Creek aspires to be like Berkeley, albeit with more chain stores and sprawl. Both Pleasant Hill and Concord are far worse with the multiplexes and the supplicating themselves to mini-malls and Ross Dress 4 Less.

Walnut Creek also has some nice natural areas, including walnut trees and possibly a creek. And a mountain. I think the Dub C even surpasses Alameda for natural wonders, although maybe not with the coastline factor.

I agree with Kristina-- I don't know why everyone here is whining about bringing a movie theater to Alameda. They've done a nice job in the 2 years we've lived here of bringing up the standard of living on Park Street. It's sort of cool now, with more restaurants and interesting stores-- a lot less of the pawn-shop-dive-bar feel that Webster street still has, and more of the University-Ave-Palo-Alto feel.

The new movie theater would simply remove an old, practically abandoned theater that currently exisists. For all I know, they might even keep the old facade. Since NOTHING happens in the old theater now except some ballet lessons- not even community theater productions, which all take place at the high school- I really don't understand the protest.

I used to do gymnastics in the old Alameda theater. All I remember is that it was very large inside and FREEZING in the winter.

Kenny, remember what an eyesore the abandoned paint factories in Emeryville were? Or the polluted tracts of vacant land?

The part of the city east of the train tracks has some nice areas with lots of new housing being built.

The "overdevelopment" of retail in the city is the result of California cities' reliance on sales tax revenue.

I'm not saying the city is perfect by any means, but most of the mistakes made have been politically driven, not the result of poor planning.

Los Angeles is a nightmare. For more info, read any Mike Davis book, but be warned, his books are haunting.

Dub C and prowd! Yah! well a few ingrates will always throw stones at those who live better and know better. Dub C will always be better because we are better...and we love freedom too, unlike those ingrates who complain all the time. if they don't love freedom why do they complain?

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on July 23, 2005 12:41 PM.

Who Wants a Civic? was the previous entry in this blog.

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