Downtown Pomona reconsidered

This nice note arrived late last month from reader Lyn Williams and I’ve been remiss in not sharing it. What I appreciated most about it is that someone who thought I was kidding myself in seeing potential in downtown Pomona changed her tune after visiting. Here’s what she had to say:

“I am writing in regards to your column entitled ‘Brokers Sell Optimism in Pomona’ that appeared in Wednesdays 11-21-07 edition of the Daily Bulletin.

“I often read your column and I smile at your tenacity in what could be called trumpeting the cause for the underdog. I always wondered why downtown Pomona appealed to your sense of nostalgia, and the idea of ‘what could be, if given the chance.’ A few months back I felt I was experiencing firsthand a David Allen column on Pomona.

“I had ventured to downtown Pomona to have dinner with friends at the Japanese restaurant in the Mission Promenade. I almost passed the location up, as I couldnt believe that this little ‘oasis’ was actually Pomona.

“Before dinner, one of my friends and I strolled down a few blocks so she could show me the imminent location of her familys Vietnamese restaurant. As I stood on the corner, I looked around me, and pondered the possibilities, opportunities and ventures that could and should spring forth in this quaint downtown area. Whats more, with all the press given of Pomonas crime, I stood on the corner feeling safe and calm on a beautiful, warm summers evening, there in downtown Pomona.

“If I had the capital, and the mind of an entrepreneur, I would have looked to franchise in this area, after all having Starbucks as a neighbor isnt half bad.

“My other dinner friend that evening was Chris Gutierrez who you mentioned in your column. His passion, as you were given privy to, is to try and get downtown Pomona to a grandeur which could one day rival its neighbor to the west, downtown Pasadena. And in that evening, I saw for the first time in a long time, what Pomona could be if given more than a pioneering spirit.

“To quote from a great movie, ‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘If you build it, he will come.’ And, on your short list of a dream of retailers, I say to them, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Here is a toast to you, Mr. Allen, and a toast to Pomona, and those who more than believe in its possibilities such as Chris Gutierrez. The chance is there for the asking, and it could and will be more than a dream of opportunity.

“As always, thank you for your entertaining column, and thank you for your time and consideration.”

Wasn’t that nice? She even toasted me. Thank you, Lyn. I think downtown Pomona is worth our attention, and I’m pleased you now agree. Onward to greatness in P-town!

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  • Curious in Claremont

    Not to suggest that you’ve lost some of your sleuthing reporter skills, but is it possible that Mr. Gutierrez is playing you a bit? Let’s see, the letter states franchise potentials, feeling safe from crime, and an imminent new downtown business. Or am I underestimating your acumen. Perhaps that is reason you went with the “Pomona wasn’t ready for” art twist in your “…font of memories” article? At least that point of view is consistent with AMOCA looking to relocate above Claremont.

    I personally don’t get all warm and fuzzy about Pomona when I read the Daily Bulletin. Just wondering?

    [You're a cynical person. That said, you may be right about being "played," which is why I saved the note to run over the holidays, when fewer people than usual are reading. About Pomona not being ready for the fountain, I was being polite to its former owner. I don't know how to respond to your last paragraph because I don't understand your point. -- DA, also curious in Claremont]

  • http://www.goddessofpomona.blogspot.com Goddess of Pomona

    While I appreciate her sentiment, she lost me with the Mission Promenade being a “little oasis” and Starbucks being a neighbor to aspire to be next to. I get the feeling she would be happy to see a bunch of franchises. Not me, although I would love a Lee’s Sandwiches down there. Have you been there?

    Happy Holidays, DAvid.

    G of P

    [Lee's Sandwiches? Never heard of it. Where dat? -- DA]

  • Sandy Morgan

    It would be nice to see downtown Pomona revitalized. I lived there in the ’70s and grew up walking downtown to go Christmas shopping. It was so cool with its fountains and all those stores close by. It would be a worthy and profitable project for Pomona….any takers?