Four years ago, some pundits were saying that downtown Costa Mesa was a washout when it came to night life.
Also missing were things like a Nike Town, a Virgin Megastore and space for free concerts.
Then Triangle Square, a massive entertainment complex, erupted where Harbor Boulevard, 19th Street and Newport Boulevard meet. Now as many as 16,000 people hang out on that corner every week. Typical of most weekends, Saturday brought folks together for a free concert by local band Over-Reactors. Blasting sounds from the top of the three-tiered structure, the group attracted youthful dancers, hand-holding newlyweds and dawdling moviegoers adjusting their eyes to the sunlight. Not far from all the action were book browsers who spent hours paging through magazines and novels inside Barnes & Noble, and caffeine fans who downed cappuccinos at street-side cafes.
Hubs of conversation formed just about everywhere, adding to the friendly ambience.