Walter Mencken 4:15 p.m., Dec. 12
Having worked downtown now for the last 4 and 1/2 years, I have become familiar with the area surrounding my office at the corner of 6th Ave and C St. Parking at our building is limited so myself and several of my co-workers park at a lot on the corner of 9th Ave and Broadway and make the 5 minute walk into and from work everyday. On this walk, I have passed by the run down block of vacated businesses on the 800 block of Broadway. For the longest time I could not figure out why these businesses had all closed up and moved down the street, or just closed up for good. The Downtown homeless would gather here in the evenings and sleep under the awning to keep dry. The stink of urination and defecation often made for an unpleasant walk up this block. When at all possible, I would walk up C St and down 9th Ave to avoid that block however C St was also host to several run down businesses. You have the now defunct Jade Restaurant on the corner of 7th and C, and in the same building an empty space where a design school used to be. Crossing 8th and C you will see another restaurant called Al Bustan that has been renamed 4 times in the last 4 years. I have not seen it open in the past few weeks and it looks like it is in trouble. Next to that are several small take out restaurants that seem out of place. On the corner of 9th and C is the ancient looking Churchill Hotel with its peeling paint and iron bars on the windows. In the past couple of months however, I have noticed some changes. A construction company fenced off the half block area on the 800 block of Broadway and finally tore down the old vacant building leaving nothing but a dirt lot. I imagine we'll see some new shiny highrise or office building there in the near future. On the corner of 9th and C, the Churchill Hotel appears to be shutting down also. I walked past the other day and saw mounds of old furniture piled up in the lobby and chains on the door. Good riddance. That place is a major eyesore. It looks like this part of Downtown is finally shaping up to look like a hospitable place again.