Claremont Insider: Claremont Is: Nuttiness You Can Savor

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Claremont Is: Nuttiness You Can Savor

David Allen has a column today talking about last week's grand opening for the year-old Claremont Village Expansion.

If the timing seems strange, you're not alone. Allen shares your confusion:

PEOPLE CALL it the mall, or the Village Expansion, or Village West.

And now a new name has surfaced for Claremont's expanded downtown: Village Square.

That name was promoted last Friday at the formal opening of the development, which is bordered by Indian Hill Boulevard, Oberlin Avenue and First and Second streets and has a small hotel, restaurants, shops and a movie theater.

If the timing seems puzzling, that's because the first businesses opened in summer 2007. And yet no ribbon-cutting ceremony had taken place. How did we stand the suspense?

And so we gathered in the civic square near the Laemmle theater and Le Pain Quotidien for speeches, a stilt walker and free food.

This is the fourth ceremony I've attended related to the Expansion, my favorite being the one where they unveiled the sidewalks. As I've said before, Claremont will celebrate the opening of an envelope.

This sort of silliness is exactly what Claremont loves to do. Don't forget that we had two centennial celebrations twenty years apart, one in 1987 and another in 2007, so that Judy Wright could preside over her own town 100th birthday back when she was still mayor.

All you have to do to see the absurdity of this self-important town government is go over to the northeast corner of First St. and Oberlin and take a look at the commemorative plaque from September, 2003, that marks the "Village Expansion Infrastructure".

Yes, only in Claremont would officials erect a bronze monument to sewers and underground utilities. The plaque lists the two main architects of this Claremontian nuttiness:

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