November 21st, 2016

A Time For Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving, Perhaps the Most Underappreciated Holiday of the Year

With the Thanksgiving holiday — my favorite and I think the most important one of all — just a few days away, it’s time to reflect on the many things we have to be grateful for over the past year. Most of us probably have a list, some shorter and some longer than others, depending on how we see the world around us. I suppose it all comes down to how you view the proverbial glass — either half full or half empty.

I  prefer the glass half full approach. Personally, I have plenty to be grateful for — not the least of which are good health, loving family, great friends and supportive colleagues — and I hope you do as well. On a not so personal level, I’ve decided to list just a few things I believe we can all be thankful for:

1. The election is over (hooray!)

Regardless of how you feel about the ultimate outcome of the U.S. presidential election, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the campaign is over. Now it’s wait and see as the uncertainty that immediately follows a hard-fought race — particularly this one — begins to dissipate.

Thankfully, we won’t be subjected to any more attack ads. And I’m particularly grateful that the panels of self anointed pundits assembled on CNN each night for the past few months are gone, for the most part. No doubt, it was a grueling election process and the most divisive in modern times.

2. Voters say no to Measure C 

img_9700On the local election front, voters wisely rejected the stadium initiative — Measure C. If you’re like me and most of the people in my circle of friends and associates, you really want the Chargers to remain in San Diego. The team has been an important part of our community fabric for five decades and we take great pride in being home to a National Football League franchise. But Measure C was simply a bad deal for the city, fraught with many uncertainties and with potentially disastrous outcomes for our region’s vibrant visitor industry.

Now that the dust has settled, we should hope that the Chargers, City of San Diego and all effected parties come together to refocus on the Mission Valley option with a publicly negotiated, voter-approved financing plan.

3. Vibrancy of downtown San Diego

img_3696As a downtown resident of nearly 30 years, I admit I am somewhat downtown-centric. While a native San Diegan and a byproduct of the suburb, I have always been drawn to the vibrant urban core. Though “density” may be a four-letter expletive in California, the critical mass and electricity generated by dense neighborhoods is, in my opinion, what makes city living exciting and desirable.

We should all be grateful and proud that our downtown continues to grow in popularity with locals and visitors alike. From the festivals and special events in Little Italy and along the waterfront, to the nightlife in the Gaslamp Quarter and the hip, eclectic scene in East Village, our urban core has so much to offer and enjoy — and all on foot!

As a testament to downtown’s popularity as a place to live, work and play, hundreds of downtown apartment units were recently approved by Civic San Diego, indicating that downtown’s housing boom will continue for several more years to come.

4. Street photography (now this one’s personal)

IMG_1717My new-found hobby of street photography, heavily reliant on the diverse mix of people and events found in the urban core, has provided me with a passion for capturing images of interesting people and telling their stories through visual narrative. I never imagined that portraiture in candid form and on the street — outside the highly controlled confines of a photo studio — could be so addicting.

I am thankful to the many who have nurtured me along the way — both knowingly and unknowingly — from Scott Schuman of the Sartorialist to the guys at Nelson Photo and the many Facebook friends and Twitter followers who “like” what they see and often comment with words of encouragement. For this, I am forever grateful.


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