Is anyone else as fed up with the construction around town as I am? Following a winter break that can only be described as too short, I return to our beloved party ghetto of a college town only to find the giant fucking eyesore the city calls an improvement-in-the-making still unfinished. Although the current construction scenery is quite an upgrade from the one prior to the break, which resembled a battle scene from the set of Transformers (minus Megan Fox), the fact that there are more tractors in Isla Vista than STDs still gives me a nervous twitch. Not only has this construction served to mangle my (and everyone else’s) main route to coffee, food, and class, our infamous Sam’s to Go has lost its trademark atmosphere.
I sink into blissful reminiscence when I remember the good old days, drinking pitchers in the front, listening to shitty Top 40 tunes and watching bike crashes all afternoon. There was something superfluous yet shameless about wasting away a day there. Phrases like “Check her out!” or “That guy ate shit!” have been replaced by “Construction dude has a gnarly mustache/plumber crack,” or “He must work out.” An establishment once championed for its location and uniqueness has now lost much of its substance, and the Sampson that was Sam’s has had its locks cut off by the City of Goleta and is left vulnerable and weak. I am legitimately saddened by the removal of the benches, and only hope that such a neutering of our town’s outlet for debauchery is a temporary one.
However my frustration does meet a wall, and I in no way mean to classify myself among the “Fight the Master Plan” crowd, which seemed to get completely bent out of shape simply for the sake of having something to get bent out of shape about. I can laugh with everyone else at how said movement came and vanished just as quickly as Afroman’s career (although “Colt 45” remains one sick ass track). But to be honest, in many ways I support this change, and firmly believe that much of what is being redone will most likely be an improvement. What currently seems like a cubist interpretation of a map will turn into a plaza with newly paved roads and sidewalks, hopefully providing a new and more enjoyable place to live. My only hope is that this change takes place before we seniors leave for good.
In closing, I feel all we can really do at this point is face the temporary reality of our lot: that it sucks. But at least we can fill the time in between with jokes about how ugly the transition looks, how we hate taking detours, and of course, more drinking at Sam’s. More importantly, later on in life we will be able to mention with an old, crusty, sailor swagger in our voices, “Remember the days when this place used to look like this? And none of this was here and over there was this, and kids used to ride bikes here, and you used to be able to drive through here and this place has changed so damn much blah blah blah get me another beer.”