Restaurateur Jay Porter, who shuttered his North Park restaurants (The Linkery and El Take It Easy) late last year, explains why he left San Diego. (opening up his new restaurant, Salsipuedes, in Oakland.)
"Even when I was a kid, so much of the illusory “prosperity” of the city has been fueled by land grabs. It’s been politicians taking land and selling it to developers at below market value, who in turn pay off the politicians and develop the land for resale. All without paying the full cost of things like maintaining sewer and water and roads far from central areas of the city.
That’s the core underlying story of development in Southern California and that’s shaped our communities.
There are people who are trying to change that, but they’re outgunned by money.
A great example of this is back in 2010, when the city indicated that they didn’t want big-box stores and Walmart just steamrolled through the process and got in anyway. Yes, Walmart pushed that through, but the City Council was complicit. It didn’t go to a vote or anything. City Council just rolled over…
I don’t want to say that the city can never improve, but I think it’s a really long process. The progress is not very impressive.
So, for me, I want to live in a place that supports the things that city dwellers value.”
read more of the interview: vosd, 06.02.14.