Looking Back to the Future

I’ve been chasing someone else’s disposable income my whole life. Before slinging drinks on the front lines of the service industry for twenty years I helped run a health club/spa/gym, and after bartending I hustled tequila on an industrial scale. Also, there were a couple of long-running gigs giving tours to tourists. I still give tours to tourists.

One of the things I learned is that consumers are fickle. Remember Beanie Babies? Fidget spinners were hip for about fifteen minutes. Things change, and things change faster these days.

“Trendy” is not a durable epithet.

The City is spending millions of dollars on projects that may not be popular in a year, or ten years. Of course, in ten or twenty or thirty years we’ll still be paying for those glitzy baubles.

What’s worse, the potential disruptor for water parks and driving ranges is already here. How long till a Virtual Reality headset and Wii-style golf club put TopGolf out of business? I’m not saying it’s a given but it’s certainly a possibility. All the cool kids will be playing golf on their pool deck while their mom makes them lemonade and grilled cheese sandwiches. All those decrepitating TopGolfs will be like drive-in movie theaters, quaint relics of a not-so-distant past.

We can either try to catch up with the curve, or stick with what’s timeless and authentic. You know, things like honesty and values. Our architectural patrimony, and our culture. Hard work and open spaces.

Timeless and authentic is cheaper and it has a better chance of success. You’d think the developers running City Council would understand that.

If you keep playing catch up, you never catch up.


  1. I used to have a collection of beanie babies that it placed on my desk at work staged in the various positions of the Kama Sutra. It was the best of times and the worst of times.

  2. Rich, you’re going to have to stop applying logic to situations that defy it. Today’s world just doesn’t seem to have room for such reasoning as you continue to present. By the way, thanks for remaining a voice of sanity in the midst of all the crazy.

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