I drove to Riverside this evening to drop off a piece of equipment. Riverside is an interesting city. It’s totally a product of the automotive era. Without cars and freeways (and air conditioning) Riverside would still be dusty scrubland. It’s a valley made for smog!
In 1960 84,000 people lived in Riverside. It’s over 310,000 now. The area is dominated by Hispanic families, many of whom moved here to own a first home.
Riverside is built out, not up. It sprawls out as the capitol of the “Inland Empire.”
I’m sure there’s some special Riverside charm, but it is hidden under a deluge of national chains. There’s nothing in Riverside you can’t also find in Des Moines or Salt Lake City or Albany.
We have been transformed. More and more we are losing our individual identity. It’s the price we pay for our more efficient economy. Local businesses struggle to compete.
I parked between Trader Joe’s and Regal Cinema with a Bank America and Rite Aid across the driveway. Build more homes, get more Michaels or Ikea.
I didn’t stay long.