While eating something-on-a-stick at the Thursday Street Market, I ran into Angelo Villagomez. As we sat and discussed how to save the world, the conversation came around to oldtown Garapan revitalization. Angelo espoused a couple of ideas that made a lot of sense to me and I will pass them on to you for your edification. (Notice how I deftly laid it off on Angelo in case you think the idea is wacky).
He believes that to make the place better, jobs, like government agencies, and other office type private job generating businesses need to move into the Garapan downtown area. Tourists would like to participate in a “real” local experience, not just a tourist sham experience put up for their benefit. Tourists want to meld into an already existing unique cultural enclave a la San Francisco.cable cars, rice-a-roni, wharf, Nob Hill, China Town etc. Tourists come to see the local ambiance in a location, not to create it.
Also needed are people to move their residences into this area, real working folks, living there full time. Angelo has already moved in there for whatever nefarious reasons (kidding) and would like to see others do the same. Real residents walking the streets (no, not street walkers), using the business facilities and adding foot traffic to a sometimes barren area will make it a pleasant and comfortable feeling place to go.
He has a good point on both counts, if you ask me. So MVA, find yourselves a new or now empty building somewhere in Garapan and move on in.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Quoted by Bruce Bateman
From the Saipan Tribune: