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November 12, 2004


I'm enjoying your blog and your satirical voice. Linked from Dad Talk through The Zero Boss. May I ask: To what tune is the "Underwear Song" sung? ;~)

Bonnie: Y'know, I sing it differently every time. I'm not much of a musician. Any tune that works for you is fine with me! Thanks for stopping by.

This is a typical example of the main and big problem with us here in the Inland Empire, we are not ready for these types of change. Don't you know that Victoria Gardens also can reflect to others that we are not the scumbags of Southern California!, be happy (or better yet- don't be jealous) Victoria Gardens like the Famous Inland Empire Economist said "it will make the others realize that they have underestimated the Inland Empire"

Oh, we're ready for these changes, any changes. But based on other places we've lived and experienced, Victoria Gardens is an just an improvement, not a garden of eden.

For example, why not go all the way in authenticity and build apartments above the stores? Wouldn't it be great to make it a living downtown with actual people living there? Without people living there, the place is still just another cold mall.

Maybe the place will evolve to have museums and art galleries and non-chain stores and restaurants. But for the time being, this is a marginal improvement for the Inland Empire but not a reason to move here.

Actually, that's a valid point, Rancho Resident, and thanks for commenting. The mall is indeed beautiful, but the fakeness really struck me. Imagine how cool it'd be if there were real apartments or lofts on the upper floors, and Victoria Gardens turned into a real downtown? Or if the neighborhoods were better integrated into the whole development? That's really what I'm driving at -- creating a new, city-like feel, but infinitely cleaner and prettier than existing cities. Why didn't Rancho go the whole distance?

Nonetheless, I predict the mall will be a huge success. And, as you say, it will make other Southern Californians realize there's life out here.

Yikes, honey, we must've posted our comments at exactly the same time. Scary.

Married minds think alike.

...or is that a lot?

If you are talking about the likes of Paseo Colorado, I hope you understand that prices for those "apartments" are so ridiculous that LA Times once had an article about how suprisingly vacant those spaces were. Houses here in the IE is still way affordable and why would you settle for an apartment if you can buy a house just close by. I don't know if you knew that the surrounding areas where Victoria Gardens is at are booming with housing development - would you not call it "living." I think it was a better idea to not closely incorporate "living" spaces within Victoria Gardens because it would just be too crowded, and I bet safety would be an issue as well. And for your information, some of the second floor areas are being leased as offices. The developers tried to assume that the whole thing was done overtime, lets give them some credit, I believe they succeeded! About the fakeness - Victoria Gardens definitely would not have that character of authenticity as other old downtown has but at least they tried and I don't have to drive all the way to Old Town Pasadena or even Promenade (which is also fake) in Santa Monica. I'm not convincing anybody to move to Rancho but I think Rancho is the most sought after place in IE and Victoria Gardens just proved it!

Well sure, Paseo Colorado is overpriced, but that's the developer's fault. I would argue that in IE housing is getting beyond the means of many of our younger population and more affordable housing would not hurt, especially if it's more than the crappy apartments that dot Upland and Rancho. Heck, I'm in my 40s and can't afford to move out of our way-too-small house.

I'm glad that Rancho did more than just build another mall, but I don't consider it a substitute for Pasadena's far richer downtown. Chain restaurants simply do not compare to the homegrown variety in Pasadena and Santa Monica. By the way, I'm no fan of the Promenade, but at least there is a walkable middle. And good restaurants are a short distance from the Promenade.

Other things: Yes, I knew about the office space above the stores, but to me housing would have made more sense. Or a mix of them both.

Yes, I know housing surrounds Victoria Gardens. How can anyone miss the house on house on house?

Rancho, Upland and Claremont are definitely some of the better towns on our side of the Inland Empire, but the air sucks and the commute to downtown sucks more.

Irony of ironies: A developer wants to tear down the mall at the end of the Santa Monica Promenade and build housing and offices, with a rooftop park included.

Don't laugh, but downtown Riverside is really taking off. And they are going to build exactly what you want. Condos and apartment over shops in the new developments and unlike Rancho Cucamonga the area actually does have some history in the buildings. It is worth checking out.

We considered moving to Riverside. It has a cute downtown and at least at the time, it was relatively affordable. The biggest reason we chose not to move there is I commute into downtown Los Angeles, and Riverside would add another 20 minutes to an already horrendous commute.

I just wanted to give my two cents for all its worth. My family and I really enjoy shopping at Victoria Gardens. The atmosphere was really nice and the stores are just great! We ate at Johnny Rockets on Friday night, it was delicious!

I personally like the "Disney Main st." effect they are giving. I like a little change here and there, and this is a great place to come and enjoy a night out without the same old boring atmosphere......

Many thanks, Local, for your input and for keeping it civil. Enjoy the mall ... I like Johnny Rockets too (but, alas, my waistline doesn't). Cheers.

In an attempt to recycle everything ever written, this blog post has been used as source material for a bad short piece of fiction.

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