The Star-News


How often are optimists born?

Sat, Feb 19 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Carlos R. Davalos

Not too long ago I was part of a local media panel. Maybe the only thing funnier than having me on some sort of panel is asking my opinion about economics, specifically my thoughts on how the local economy was faring.

Get this: I said I was cautiously optimistic. The last time I was optimistic was a few years ago when I was crossing the street. Pleased that I had made it across without getting smashed by a car, I was feeling pretty smug with myself. Then I stepped on the curb, twisted my ankle, stumbled, fell and put my hand in a pile of dog feces.

Optimism is for suckers.

Anyway, at the time I told the audience I was optimistic, I cited life along Chula Vista's Third Avenue as evidence for my attitude.

In the last year or so, I said, there appeared to be more feet on the street thanks in part to the UEI school at the corner of Third and F Street. There even seemed to be fewer vacancy signs posted in abandoned shop windows and I mentioned how it was a good sign that an Italian restaurant, Italianissimo Trattoria, was slated to open.

I even went as far as to suggest that one local coffee joint, The Sweet Life, was doing everything right by adding welcoming outdoor seating and doing their best to make the shop more attractive to would-be customers. I hoped out loud that the city would make outdoor improvements like theirs easier by making the permit process easier to navigate.

The Sweet Life, I nearly gushed, was a perfect example of why I was optimistic about Chula Vista's future.

A few months later the coffee shop closed. The manager said they just couldn't afford to keep the business open, despite their apparent loyal following.

Did I mention optimism is for suckers?

But hang on. Just a few days ago Sweet Life opened again, under new management now, and Italianissimo Trattoria is still open and getting decent reviews.

What's more a bike shop - a bike shop! - opened in the building where the Junior Theatre used to host classes and plays.

While there still may not be a lot of activity and excitement to attract anyone from outside the city limits (or even east of 805) to spend any time on the Village's main thoroughfare, there does seem to be life.

We'll see how that life is affected when and if the city converts the four lane avenue to two.

That and other changes to Third Avenue will be discussed during a 5 p.m. presentation on March 7 at Just Java, 285 Third Ave.

As for optimism and suckers? Well, as P.T. Barnum reportedly said, "There's one born every minute."

 


© 2009 The Star-News