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 HUBFEST 2014

 

Saturday March 1 from 10 AM to 10 PM

350 Georgia St. in fabulous downtown Vallejo! 

 

 

The Hub Vallejo's official grand opening & annual fundraiser for The Hub and Odd Fellows San Pablo Lodge 43 (that's the one here in Vallejo - our benefactors). 

 

 

We will feature day-long activities. Events are free 10 AM to 4:30 PM., closing briefly from 5:30-6 PM to prepare for the evening's festivities! 

 

Check out the full program HERE 



 

Perspectives from a new Vallejo resident-to-be

 

Confessions of a Macroneurotic

 

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious -- Rumi



By Carol Pearlman

2/27/14  
 

Moving to Vallejo  --  Episode 3 --  A MILLION STORIES IN THE NAKED CITY...

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During my stay on Kentucky Street, I couldn’t help notice a lot of police cars and fire-engines racing through the streets, day and night. When I mentioned this to a friend, she said, “Good. Let them work. They’re paid more than enough, and when they retire they’ll be overpaid.”

I know my friend wasn’t glad about fires and crime in Vallejo, but her attitude reflects a discontent I hear from many people here, a backlash to the dire financial problems of the city, the subject of a story I saw on PBS recently, and a conundrum that must be solved. Cut pensions, or fix roads & improve schools? Is there really a choice? I also know for a fact that nobody gives up power or money voluntarily. Challenges await my arrival in Vallejo.

I called a friend of a friend, a retired academic who moved to Vallejo because of cheap real estate prices, to tell him I was planning to move here too, and maybe we could meet. “Are you crazy?” he asked. “Better you should move to Marin or Tiburon, where people don’t get robbed in their own homes, prostitutes don’t walk the streets, council members aren’t ultra-right tea-party types, and the city isn’t run by religious bigots and corrupt politicians.” I wanted to discuss this challenging situation with him, but he wasn’t done yet. “Vallejo has no culture,” he said. “My wife and I have lived here 13 years and haven’t met anyone to talk to; there are no intellectuals or cultured people here."

My month in Vallejo taught me otherwise; my networking efforts had brought intelligent, interesting, artistic and helpful people into my life. I suggested he become politically active, meet good, like-minded people, help make the city a better place. As it was Wednesday, I invited him and his wife to join me at the Empress Theatre for a jazz concert that night. He’d never heard of the Empress Theatre, and had no desire to go. He suddenly remembered a prior appointment and said he’d call me back later. Never heard from him again.

 

I met a poet, a real intellectual artist, originally from New York, who works as a school administrator in Vallejo. I asked how she liked living in this city. I know poets don’t need a lot of words to express emotions, but I didn’t expect such a succinct response. “Vallejo sucks,” she said. And, as if that wasn’t graphic enough, she added, “Vallejo is Staten Island,” an image she knew I would understand.

The auto mechanic who repaired my flat tire told me he’s been working at the same garage for 17 years. Recently, however, the owner sold his business and the new boss reduced everyone’s pay and told them if they wanted health insurance they’d have to get on their own. This mechanic grew up in Vallejo, went to school here, married and brought up his kids here. His whole family lives in Vallejo. Now he has a heart condition and has lost all his front teeth. He can’t afford to take care of his heart so he can get new teeth, and doesn’t know what he can do about it.

A blue-eyed blonde real estate agent, who grew up in Vallejo, told me she moved to Napa when she got re-married and blended families. Her second husband’s from South America and his daughter is black. The agent has a Mexican son-in-law and grandchildren of various colors. She said her family stood out like a sore thumb in Napa, which, in her opinion, is uptight and bigoted, so they moved back to Vallejo and feel much more comfortable here.

While I love living in an integrated city, and am ready to take on its challenges, I wish I was more democratic and tolerant when it comes to art and culture. After attending the book shop opening on Marin Street, I walked around the corner to watch the open-mike talent night at the HUB. While I was impressed with the general enthusiasm, I found some of the work amateurish, and complained to my companion.

He told me my attitude is off the mark: “It’s better than getting mugged on the street corner, or being accosted by junkies and prostitutes, which is what used to go on in this neighborhood.”

Wharf Rat is right, I’m too cosmopolitan. I’m going to work on that when I move to Vallejo.

Real Estate – Part 3.5

Not only did I find my dream house, I found two -- fixer-uppers with panoramic river views, rooms galore, and spacious grounds in the neighborhood of singing neighbors. With the first, I was going to knock down walls, transform windows into French doors, build decks, add bathrooms and a new roof, just for starters. I went nuts. Unfortunately, a bid was already in place and I couldn’t do anything about it. The second one required even more work, but I was at it again, tearing down walls and building new ones in my mind; I even designed a Zen garden with lines to hang laundry. But, before I had a chance to bid on the second one, I received a barrage of phone calls and emails from home-owner friends, warning me not to do it. “Enjoy your retirement, spend time with the grandkids, travel; don’t open that can of worms.”

They were right. As Wharf Rat correctly observed, I was getting too shi shi. I’d lost control and got carried away by my fantasies. I’d caught a bad case of Vallejo real-estate fever, like quite a number of people I know. My friends brought me back to reality. I am, after all, a woman of “a certain age,” and what I don’t need now is a junk-pile of renovation and upkeep troubles.

By the end of January I was doomed to return to L.A. without finding my home in Vallejo, but I had a realtor who understood me and would keep on looking. Two days before my departure, I got a call from one of my new Vallejo friends. She knew someone, who knew someone, whose neighbor had just moved out of a condo. I went to see it and recognized right away it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it was exactly what I needed: carefree living, with a view. I’ve put out my mojo to get it, and with the help of my agent I expect that will happen. As I’m a superstitious person and afraid to jinx my luck, I’ll write more about that later, when it’s mine.

There’s no doubt the waterfront is my favorite territory in Vallejo. I love to walk along the river from bridge to bridge, stop in at Panama Red’s, chat with the helpful young woman who works at the info desk in the Ferry Building, sit on a bench near the daffodils, and watch the ferries come and go. Best of all, I love Vic’s Wheelhouse, what I consider the primo spot in Vallejo for afternoon tea, or a hand-made Bloody Mary, or a good glass of local white with a cool plate of fresh oysters on the half shell, while watching the sun set behind the cranes on Mare Island. I’d rather see music videos than the football matches on their TV screen, but I doubt the regulars at the bar would agree with me. I look forward to warmer weather when I can sit outside on their floating patio, and, the inevitable day when someone starts a concession of paddle boats to rent by the hour, I’ll bring my grandkids here.