Our crumbling city


Tyler White

Watch your back and watch your mouth. Don’t be surprised when you wake up with your mouth stuffed with big macs and your wallet is stolen.

Jake Hamilton , Opinion Editor

A few months back, I had a… let’s call it an emergency. One of those rare emergencies where you need to buy flowers and you need to buy them fast. With that goal in mind, I drove straight to that small flower shop–right between Board and Brew and the Armenian Cafe–that I’d passed by a million times before.

It was closed.

I followed the directions to the shop’s new location on the edge of downtown Carlsbad, and bought the emergency flowers. The owner was more than willing to discuss the relocation.

Apparently his shop and the famous Armenian Cafe (best breakfast in San Diego) were both relocated to make room for a new hotel–as if we don’t have plenty already. He was lucky enough to get another nearby location, but the Armenian Cafe is being moved all the way to La Jolla. And it gets worse.

The strawberry fields, one of the city’s last few beacons of purity, were bought by a rich entrepreneur. According to the flower shop owner, this millionaire guy had beef with the owner of the strawberry fields, so he went through the city hall and bought the land. Him and his company Caruso Affiliated are going to take those open fields, and build a… wait for it… a shopping mall! That’s right, ignore the fact that its only, like, a mile from the Outlet Mall. This is far more important than fresh fruit.

They also bought the land and beach along the backside of the lagoon. What was once a jungle of exploration for kids will now be an crew-cut resting place for tired shoppers.

Now, the finer details of this are just rumors, but the fact remains: the city of Carlsbad is dying, and as it struggles for breath, the least we could do is try to save it.

If you’re force-feeding your money to Starbucks, try Vinaka Cafe for a change. When hunger strikes, maybe treat yourself to one of the many local California burritos instead of a Carl’s Jr six-dollar burger. If you’re looking for a change of hairdo, there are many local pros downtown; far better than anyone at Supercuts. At the very least, go to your favorite small business, tell her you love her, and hold her close, because she might not be there for long.

This local flavor is the city. Try to keep it alive, but most importantly just enjoy it while you can, because the future is not so bright. It’s full of Wetzel’s Pretzels, hotel lobbies, clean shaves, and dinner dates at… Chile’s. We’ll buy our emergency flowers at Walmart and our gravestones at the mall.

Maybe that works for some cities, but not for Carlsbad.