Joe Tarica’s April 28 column on the tale of two downtowns (Atascadero and SLO) was — as is usual for him — exactly on target. One of the reasons why I moved to SLO five years ago was its vibrant urban space. So far, the area always lives up to expectations. The restaurants offer tasty, mostly affordable food. Bars are generally patronized by interesting, engaged people. The music scene is diverse and of high quality. Shops are fun and varied. Shopkeepers and their customers are welcoming and friendly. It’s easy to get there and get around. Farmers market is a world-class weekly happening. Art After Dark seldom disappoints.
Sometimes it seems that the only things wrong with downtown SLO are those who ardently wish it was something it isn’t, thereby casting the area in a negative light. For example, it isn’t (yet) a Temperance Alley. It isn’t devoid of singles younger than 40. It doesn’t have an antiseptic environment or overly strict rules. I say think tolerance. Focus on the positives. Downtown SLO has many great attributes to build upon.