Instead, the lull in the active Oakmont V controversy provides the
opportunity to consider a more subtle but highly significant impact of
the huge development. The damage it will inflict upon the soul of the
Cities indeed have souls. Consider Paris, Rome or New York, cities
with deep, intense souls. North of our own city lies Santa Barbara or San
Francisco, to name just two particularly soulful ones. More locally,
Santa Monica certainly exudes soul -- the ocean breezes, the great
community spirit. Pasadena has its Old Town, the Rose parade, the arroyo.
Like human soul, these cities have dark problems, such as poverty and
pollution, but as these examples demonstrate, these cities shine with a
certain unmistakable spirit.
While certainly less famous, our own hometown of Glendale has a
distinct soul of its own. There's the dark: ethnic tensions, gang
violence, declining quality of schools, increasing pollution and traffic
congestion, among other numerous problems. But even these trends have not
completely eclipsed the spirit of the Jewel City. Glendale still has a
special, unique charm, a soul all its own.
Thus the light: The family picnics seen almost daily in Verdugo Park,
the small shops lining the streets in Montrose, the Thursday night family
festivals there, the Glendale Galleria, Cruise Night on Brand Boulevard,
the bookstores and the auto dealerships farther down the street, the
regular pictures of our City Council people in this local paper, the auto
repair shops on south Glendale Avenue and Colorado, the little coffee
house near Whole Foods Market, and much, much more. Glendale has a rich
cultural and ethnic diversity that renders it a truly modern,
Perhaps most significantly, the city is framed, in a most
aesthetically pleasing way, by hillsides covered with oak trees, bushes
and wildlife. Like the San Gabriels frame Pasadena, and the ocean frames
Santa Monica, these gorgeous hillsides surround and flatter Glendale. In
many ways, they define the city.
Not all communities are so lucky. Take Valencia, no offense meant to