Last week, in anarticle written by Record editor Mike Klocke’s, local residents were invited to write in with three things they liked about Stockton, along with one thing they’d like to improve.
Of course, I couldn’t resist chiming in on the subject. Sometimes I feel as Dawn and I are the only ones that actually love living here.
Some of my comments were published in today’s Record, so I thought I would share my entire piece here.
What do I like about Stockton?
I love the Asparagus Festival. I loved it when it was held at Oak Grove Regional Park and my parents used to perform country western dancing there. That was back when Sue Carson owned KFMR and country was cool. I love the festival even more now that it is downtown. Yan Can Cook. Enough said.
I love the restaurants. Sure, we used to be the restaurant killer. Not any more. Of course, I miss the Hatch Cover, Shannon's and Mallards. I also miss Cancun, the original one. There food never tasted the same after they moved a block away. Cibo di Vino is not only one of the best pizza places in town, it's one of the best restaurants. Paragary's (with all that goes with that) has promise. On Lock Sam, Dave Wong's, De Vega Brothers, Portifino, Yasoo Yani and Ciao Bella are some of my favorites.
I love that we have two malls, right across the street from one another, situated the furthest possible distance from any freeway. Call it quirky; I love that!
I love that the Blackwater started playing music again.
I love Victory Park. I love the Miracle Mile. I love the waterfront.
I love our Stockton Thunder and our beautiful Stockton Arena. Given the fiasco to build it, I truly am amazed at what it became. I remember thinking that hockey would fail and that soccer might have a small following. Soccer is all but defunct at the arena while the Thunder is breaking attendance records and hosting all-star games. If you lose hope in Stockton, go to a Thunder game. People from all walks of life, some (like me and my family) had no interest in hockey before, bond in a way that this city has needed for a long time. We're not itching for a hockey championship; we're itching for a sense of community.
I love our neighbors. We have great neighbors who help watch out for one another. They are respectful, courteous and all around lovely people.
One change I would like to see? Stockton's residents need to get more involved in the city. Sure, crime is rampant. I blame the people of Stockton, my fellow Stocktonians, more than I blame our police department and our leaders. We, especially as parents, need to take a more active role in the lives of our children. It is our responsibility to teach them to be contributing members of society, it is not the responsibility of our police department and our criminal justice system.
Stockton woes self-inflicted? Yes. There is a lot to be happy about in this great city. My wife and I take great resposibility in raising our family and are proud to do it in Stockton. It's our responsibility to ensure that our children get the best education possible to build up to their college years and on to their careers. Schools are not simply a place to drop kids.
Click here for our other blog posts about Stockton.
The picture up top is from 9-16-01 and is one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken at the Waterfront. Here are the rest of the pictures from that set.