OPINION: La Jolla a community of contrasts

By Joe LaCava

President, La Jolla Community Planning Association

Careful reading of the Light highlights the contrasts that characterize our community:
  • The grace and beauty of the soaring iconic bell towers versus the voter-imposed 30-foot height limit.
  • Retaining historic homes versus an advertisement for a 1905 tear down, expansive versus modest beach homes
  • New (and bigger) versus charming (and smaller)
  • A proposal for an independent city versus inability to navigate government processes
  • Dedicated volunteers like Egon who “just do it” versus those that can’t seem to take the first step
  • A monthly cleaning crew led by Esther and the Light highlights “polishing the jewel” versus those that do little to maintain their property and street front.
  • Different people with different values.

But in the end we are all La Jollans. Choices we make, situations we tolerate, solutions that we leave to others, all affect our quality of life. The current crop of volunteers and community leaders can only do so much. Whether you are a resident or a merchant, how will you participate?
Speaking of contrasts, be on the look out for new public art. We have always enjoyed installations in front of larger buildings, private galleries, and the Museum. More recently we saw art adorn containers in the Village. A couple of years back the cows rolled in - whether you loved them or hated them they drew folks into the Village and created a buzz.

This is what we need for our merchants and the vitality of the village. An initiative will reportedly take it to a new level. We are fortunate that patrons are willing to share their love of the arts in a very public way.

But good intentions can quickly be ruined if copycats use “art” as a cover for commercialization. Some will recall the battles of appropriate versus inappropriate and debate over where to draw the line. Is this an area where we can put aside commercialism and our differences to do something special for La Jolla - the “art colony”? For all our sakes, I hope so.