One of my favorite things to do, to watch, to experience...
is bonfires at the beach.
Back in the day, I remember loading up a pick-up with wooden pallets, and burn baby burn.
The beach has concrete squares right on the sand (they used to be circular, hence the term "fire rings").
In 1993, San Diego had 454 fire rings, now only 186 remain.
Bonfires are a right of passage here--an integral part of the beach lifestyle.
You've gotta grow up toasting marshmallows on coat hangers...
There's a certain special joy in sitting beside the fire for warmth and conversation, or to dance and laugh.
I like this post in San Diego Magazine by my favorite deejay, Chris Cantore*, about how much this city is tied to beach culture and its symbolism.
Our city, however, is facing a budget crunch.
It's a long-winded story about inflated pensions and salaries for the City Government, poor decisions about city projects, and overall mismanagement.
The city figures it can whittle $173,000 off its $43 million budget deficit, by removing the fire rings, thereby eliminating the need for two full-time maintenance workers.
When times are tough, what people need most are simple pleasures--like libraries (several of those are facing possible closure too, or at the minimum they face reduced hours), and things like beach activities that can bring families and friends together, for fun, at little above the price of a package of marshmallows or hotdogs.
They already took away our long-standing ability to drink alcohol at the beach, but that's another story...
Not our fire rings too.
Some things just need to remain sacred.
*note to 91X: you screwed up hardcore.
Labels: san diego