The Demise of a Famous SoCal Attraction
Three times a year, or rather, three birthdays a year, two good friends and I get together for lunch and shopping. It is a long treasured tradition, going back probably 30 years!
It starts with a luncheon at the restaurant of choice for the birthday girl, and is followed by a leisurely shopping spree through whatever mall we happen to be near. I will say that the lunches get longer as we get older, and the shopping gets shorter...but we always enjoy ourselves, and are grateful for such a long a cherished friendship. We've made a little family, we three, and we hope to enjoy many more birthday luncheons together.
However, I must say that we were all shocked to see the state of the Third Street Promenade. This is a fairly famous LA spot, and pre-Covid was a bustling concern for tourists and locals alike. Lots of outdoor activities, street performances, teenagers on dates, families with ice creams -- just lots of fun.
But the Promenade that we visited was a desolate, almost vacant stretch of empty businesses, and untended streets and amenities. There were few visitors, and fewer shoppers. I could count on one hand the number of people we saw in the stores that we entered. Plus -- all those help wanted signs everywhere -- although those are not peculiar to the Promenade.
I don't think it will ever be the same. And part of that makes me sad. But things must change. And whatever the new iteration of the Promenade will be, we will adapt. If it means that my two girlfriends and I need to go to a Starbucks and power up a computer to go internet shopping after our birthday luncheons-- we'll be all in.
Because in the end, it's not really the shopping that matters. It's just being together.