• Sprucing up the neighborhood

    by Dixie Layne

    The day we lost 9 trees.Thank you, Pacific Grove.

    It has been some years in the making but the businesses that surround Fountain Avenue at Lighthouse are feeling pretty good these days. We have been lit, paved, painted, and soon to be washed. We are feeling so good about things these days that we believe we’ll get our trees back.  Good things are happening all around our neighborhood.

    It has been “a long and winding road” but life is returning to our neighborhood.

    The deterioration of our neighborhood started many years ago – a “sink hole” formed in the middle of the parking lot and the roots from one tree near the bus stop caused the sidewalk to buckle; the theater closed and Holman’s was desperately in need of some TLC. About three years ago motorists took out two of our street lights – one above Lighthouse and the other below. Then to top it all off, PG&E came in to replace a transformer and managed to set fire to Favaloro’s Bistro, and for the past couple of years uninvited visitors began finding their way down Gardner’s Alley to pinch recyclables and sleep behind the buildings. Was the sad state of our neighborhood just the inspiration someone needed to break into Hauk Fine Art? Things were not looking good around the neighborhood.

    We may have had a few false starts but one improvement led to another and another … and today we are a much different neighborhood. We are looking good!

    It started slowly; the theater reopened and about six years ago the City sent a team to remove the tree that caused the sidewalk to buckle and to repair the sidewalk, as well as spruce up the parking lot by replacing the broken car park stops and painting some of the parking delineation lines. Sadly, their repair work removed the bus stop bench plus seven trees along the parking lot’s edge. Five steps forward, three steps back.

    Nine ugly stumpsRegardless of any temporary setbacks, our neighborhood continues to make progress. During the past couple of years new energy efficient lights were installed throughout the parking lot, a new bus stop bench and sign installed for MST patrons, and both Fountain Avenue streetlights were replaced with lovely Victorian style lights. Additionally, the Favaloro’s Bistro remodel and the new Ariana’s Cafe next door look fabulous, the Victorian Corner Restaurant repainted their colorful landmark building, and the neighbors on Gardner’s Alley installed lights along its path. The workmen just finished the parking lot – they filled the sink hole, removed the seven unsightly tree-stumps, “repaved” the lot and repainted all the parking delineation lines. A dozen steps forward.

    And there may be more to come. The City sent a team to walk through Gardner’s Alley and meet with the neighbors to discuss with neighborhood business owners and residents possible solutions for refuse storage problem and the unwelcome visitors who are the pinchers and sleepers – plus possibilities for general improvements and commerce. Oh, and lest we forget – we anxiously await the sidewalk power washers that are scheduled to clean our sidewalks this week.

    For the past six years, I’ve watched all this activity from my perch three stories above the neighborhood. I’ve watched as my neighborhood was transformed to resemble the visually idyllic village of my childhood memories, and I remain ever hopeful that Pacific Grove will once again become the economically robust hub of the Peninsula it once was so many years ago. How could it not when we look this good. Now, if only … dare we dream for the trees to return?

    Sink hole repair 2On behalf of my neighborhood, may I say thank you to everyone who had a hand in beautifying and improving our little corner of the world.

    It has been some years in the making but the businesses that surround Fountain Avenue at Lighthouse are feeling pretty good these days. We have been lit, paved, painted, and soon to be washed. We are feeling so good about things these days that we believe we’ll get our trees back.  Good things are happening all around our neighborhood.

    It has been “a long and winding road” but life is returning to our neighborhood.

    The deterioration of our neighborhood started many years ago – a “sink hole” formed in the middle of the parking lot and the roots from one tree near the bus stop caused the sidewalk to buckle; the theater closed and Holman’s was desperately in need of some TLC. About three years ago motorists took out two of our street lights – one above Lighthouse and the other below. Then to top it all off, PG&E came in to replace a transformer and managed to set fire to Favaloro’s Bistro, and for the past couple of years uninvited visitors began finding their way down Gardner’s Alley to pinch recyclables and sleep behind the buildings. Was the sad state of our neighborhood just the inspiration someone needed to break into Hauk Fine Art? Things were not looking good around the neighborhood.

    We may have had a few false starts but one improvement led to another and another … and today we are a much different neighborhood. We are looking good!

    New bus stop and repaired sidewalkIt started slowly; the theater reopened and about six years ago the City sent a team to remove the tree that caused the sidewalk to buckle and to repair the sidewalk, as well as spruce up the parking lot by replacing the broken car park stops and painting some of the parking delineation lines. Sadly, their repair work removed the bus stop bench plus seven trees along the parking lot’s edge. Five steps forward, three steps back.

    Regardless of any temporary setbacks, our neighborhood continues to make progress. During the past couple of years new energy efficient lights were installed throughout the parking lot, a new bus stop bench and sign installed for MST patrons, and both Fountain Avenue streetlights were replaced with lovely Victorian style lights. Additionally, the Favaloro’s Bistro remodel and the new Ariana’s Cafe next door look fabulous, the Victorian Corner Restaurant repainted their colorful landmark building, and the neighbors on Gardner’s Alley installed lights along its path. The workmen just finished the parking lot – they filled the sink hole, removed the seven unsightly tree-stumps, “repaved” the lot and repainted all the parking delineation lines. A dozen steps forward.

    New Street Light 8-2013And there may be more to come. The City sent a team to walk through Gardner’s Alley and meet with the neighbors to discuss with neighborhood business owners and residents possible solutions for refuse storage problem and the unwelcome visitors who are the pinchers and sleepers – plus possibilities for general improvements and commerce. Oh, and lest we forget – we anxiously await the sidewalk power washers that are scheduled to clean our sidewalks this week.

    For the past six years, I’ve watched all this activity from my perch three stories above the neighborhood. I’ve watched as my neighborhood was transformed to resemble the visually idyllic village of my childhood memories, and I remain ever hopeful that Pacific Grove will once again become the economically robust hub of the Peninsula it once was so many years ago. How could it not when we look this good. Now, if only … dare we dream for the trees to return?

    On behalf of my neighborhood, may I say thank you to everyone who had a hand in beautifying and improving our little corner of the world.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on September 12, 2013

    Topics: About PG

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