After over a year of the passageway between the Orange Street garage and Brand Boulevard being closed to the public it has finally reopened. It appears the city has again given over public land to another commercial enterprise.
When it opened, the Chess Park park was touted as being award-winning. It was also part of the Glendale Fresh Air Initiative. Those signs have been taken down. There was little public open space downtown as it was. Now there is even less.
I fear that people who wish to patronize businesses on Brand Boulevard, including the Alex Theatre, now will have to face the gauntlet of tobacco smoke emanating from the outside dining area that has taken over three-quarters or more of what was Chess Park.
This is very shortsighted of our city. More pollution rather than less. People have no option but to walk around the block if they wish to avoid a cloud of tobacco smoke emanating from a commercial business.
In the morning when I walk to work down Brand I can count 100 cigarette butts on the sidewalk and in the gutter in front of a bar/billiards hall that has two pole-mounted ash trays outside. This establishment has a bouncer who sits on a stool out front. It would be nice if he were given a broom and a bucket for him to police the area, a courtesy this business could contribute to the cleanliness of the city.
This establishment is directly across the street from the former Chess Park that has been reduced in size to a mere passageway. Hence, the two steps backwards.
In the years I’ve lived in Glendale many diverse cultures have been commemorated or otherwise publicly observed, including Armenian Remembrance and Korean Comfort Women.
With so many LGBTQ families opting for Glendale as their home, I look forward to the City Council including this community into their public embrace and comments as part of this city’s continued narrative.
As June 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, this is a good year for that to begin.
While we wait for City Council to catch up, be sure to follow the many Gay Pride events scheduled at ace/121 Art Gallery in DTGlendale (Facebook, Instagram) — including an intergenerational panel that will discuss what it’s been like living queer in Glendale over the years.