Several months ago, before Jessica Lipsky left the San Ramon Express for another writing job in San Francisco, she told me that Lou Dagen would be writing a blog for the Express.
Lou is a Certified Financial Planner with Raymond James. He wrote a financial advice blog for the San Ramon Patch which was published in over a dozen other Patches in the region until the Patches' parent company, AOL, pulled the plug on most of our local Patches.
Lou was very helpful to me after my accident. He drove me to the Police station to pick up the accident report and to my Doctor after I got out of the hospital. I was looking forward to him writing for the Express, but weeks went by and his blog didn't appear.
I phoned to ask him when he would be writing for the Express. He was away on business and returned this week. So we set up a time to meet for lunch at Pasta Primavera. The last time we met for lunch, I wrote a blog about it. The only problem was our last lunch wasn't at Pasta Primavera, it was at Pasta Pomodoro.
Because I got the names of the restaurants mixed up, I went to Pasta Pomodoro at 11:30 am yesterday, but Lou was at Pasta Primavera. I realized I was at the wrong place and phoned the right restaurant for directions on how to get there.
The owner was almost as confused as I was about where I was coming from. I asked to put Lou on the phone and he told me Pasta Primavera is in the shopping center off Camino Ramon where the Lucky used to be.
Huh! The Lucky "used to be?" What happened to the Lucky? I drove up to the former Lucky shopping center to find a Grand Opening of a Sprouts. I haven't been to that shopping center at the corner of Crow Canyon Road and Camino Ramon in, gosh, over a year, and everything has changed there. Many stores have closed with not as many taking their places.
I found the Pasta Primavera and met Lou for lunch. Lou looked trim and healthy. He said he was cutting carbs and losing weight. He ordered the grilled vegetables. I ordered the Seafood Dijon Salad.
I asked Lou if he was going write a financial blog for the Express. He said after Jessica and Glenn Wohltmann left, he didn't know anyone at the Express and hardly anyone in San Ramon reads the Express. I said it isn't just in San Ramon but Danville and Pleasanton too.
Lou asked what I thought about the new plans for the City Center design. I said I thought it was ugly, and I liked the original plans better. Lou is on the Economic Development Advisory Committee and worked on the planning for the City Center.
Sunset Development scoped down the project because they couldn't get big name anchor stores, and there's too much competition from Pleasanton and Walnut Creek for shopping dollars. They needed something unique and different to draw people in.
Lou said the firm hired to plan the City Center, Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW), is internationally acclaimed for innovative and unusual designs. The building they designed for one of the older sections of Paris has become a tourist attraction. This was all in the presentation last week.
I didn't go to the presentation because I get lost in Dougherty Valley and I don't like driving there at night. Lou seemed annoyed. "You're the Community Blogger," he said, "You should be writing about what's happening in the community."
I asked if the presentation is online. Lou thought it would be too soon for it to be posted. I checked the City's website and found a Press Release about the design firm and some sketches, but not the presentation.
I expect this new design to go through more changes before construction is started. I have been following City Center plans for over ten years and they are definitely a moving target.