By J. Daniel Geddis, President, Mission Hills Business Improvement District REALTOR, Team D&B at One Mission Realty
Freedom comes in many forms. It can be something we may even forget we have until it is taken or altered in some way. Wearing a mask, the limitations placed on businesses, and altering our daily lives, can feel like an assault on our freedom. I am very much aware I am at my desk finishing the column, on Juneteenth, and am compelled to share the Black Lives Matter movement inspires me to do more and to be a more vocal advocate and proponent. When I catch myself feeling burdened with adhering to COVID-19 guidelines I know I should be ashamed to complain.
COVID-19 is here. Masks are an essential part of our wardrobe and a requirement for entering a business establishment. We are becoming more enlightened. It is indeed a new-normal.
Mission Hills retail stores, restaurants, and salons have been given the all-clear and most all of them have re-opened. To welcome everyone back to the neighborhood the Mission Hills BID teamed with local business owners on new banners to create a bright and welcoming sense of place for visitors, workers and residents. Please look up to see familiar faces of local business owners on banners installed on lamp posts throughout Mission Hills. If you have an extra minute, take a photo of your favorite business owner’s banner and post it to your social media sharing why they are your favorite business, and remember to tag the business owner, and tag the BID too! We love re-sharing content on our social platforms.
The Mayor suspended parking meter enforcement from mid-March through the end of June. Share with everyone you know, on July 1 parking meter enforcement will resume. Similarly, business license renewals were granted a time extension without penalty. With re-openings, we are hopeful businesses will begin paying their business license fees.
And as you make plans for the 4th of July weekend, keep in mind everything you need for a festive event can be found in Mission Hills. However you celebrate, please make the most of this day that marks the historical event when the United States of America declared its independence from the rule of Great Britain. Though annual parades and fireworks will not occur this year because of COVID-19, the re-opening of our neighborhood businesses provides much to celebrate.
During these consecutive months of unprecedented pandemic, adapting to our current realities can still be challenging, frustrating, and even disheartening. With both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day occurring during stay-at-home orders, as well as so many birthdays, it is clear we have taken the ease of in-person meetings for granted. And, let’s face it, a mask is not the most fun accessory to wear. It can feel like our liberties have been taken, due to the pandemic. Yet, with all of us doing our part, we have seen our lives re-opening. These incremental steps, with more businesses re-opening, and more activities to enjoy, are all opportunities to celebrate. The timing of this year’s 4th of July seems perfect.
After the many weeks of pandemic confinement, my partner and I decided to embrace our new-found freedom and be tourists in our own town. We admired the newly re-opened beaches and ran in the sand with our pup. The next day, after grabbing a refreshment on Goldfinch, we all hiked up the Bandini Street hill where the streets were empty. Once we reached the top, the views over Old Town toward downtown San Diego and onto Point Loma were stunning. We finished the day with a short break in Pioneer Park, where many couples and families were enjoying take-out from nearby restaurants and the perfect weather. We were grateful for the freedom to enjoy the outdoors and to support local business.
Our local businesses have done well adapting to the new-normal by offering online, take-out and delivery options. As businesses continue to re-open for indoor and in-person service, please remember there are many ways we can support them. If you cannot imagine our neighborhood without your favorite restaurant, bar or retail store, support it to help ensure it survives.
Thanks for reading this monthly column. Please share it with a friend. For questions, comments, and suggestions please contact Susan McNeil Schreyer, executive director, at MissionHillsBID@gmail.com.