This issue of the Lakewood Observer is one of my favorites. We get to lead off with yet
another article about the accolades being bestowed on Lakewood, Lakewood Businesses,
Residents, and Lifestyle. And move into a story of Kosta and Kelli Almiroudis, a couple from
New York, who decided after looking all over the country and all over the region, that
Lakewood had the most to offer them. So they cashed out and moved here, buying an
apartment and a series of row houses tucked away on the east side of the city. There they
fixed them up, worked hard and put them up for rent, throwing a party for the residents
and businesses in the neighborhood and the city.
By the end of the day, 38 units rented! Only 2 left open. Councilwoman and friend Mary
Louise Madigan gave me the call about the party so I went down and spent a couple hours
with this very unique couple, and their tenants. All I can say is damn I love this town, and
the potential we have as a community.
In my humble opinion this is our future.
But what made me smile even more was going through the list of stories, submissions for
this issue that covered the entirety of members of this project from Kenneth Warren,
Gordon Brumm, Gary Rice and Bret Callentine to the middle guard of Margaret Brinich,
Betsy Voinovich, Mel Page, Thealexa Becker, into the new guard like Rob Masek, Frances
Killea, and Christopher Bindel, and now the wee ones, who are submitting story after
image to the new ever-growing kids page, which is the dream of Betsy, and LOCAL
(Lakewood Observer Community Advisory League). Which is making this project more and
more secure with each day.
And then there are the new businesses, and advertisers that have seen real dividends
partnering with the residents and fellow businesses of Lakewood to cover the city and get
the news out together, as a community should, and does here.
Those that know me, know I have been lucky with a life full of wonderful cool jobs and
opportunities. Nothing, nothing compares to how wonderful this project is. All I (we) do is
give the community blank pages and unlimited electrons to field questions and post
answers. To find, uncover and put forward the good deeds and stories of what has become
the hottest suburb in the area, and very possibly the country. The founders of this project
knew this; we knew if we could get others to see what we see and feel, maybe those that
feel the desperate need to make this city drastically different would realize the very thing
we all should realize and say every day: "There is no place like home, no place like home,
no place like home."
Lakewood is already a great place for living, and has been for a long time. Lakewood is
home. Is it perfect? No, but what we need is a little spit and polish and a real kick in the
ass on our self-esteem.
I was speaking with a friend from San Francisco who put it all in perspective for me. He
said, "Yeah, self-esteem is a weird issue. Here, I need to wear a down coat in July, it's
rainy more often than not, I have to park 6 blocks from where I live, and I always wonder
if my car will be there in the morning. A good house starts at $600,000 and I never stop
working to afford the cost of living, and payments. But if you ask anyone from the city,
even a homeless person, they will tell you, "San Francisco is the best city in the world."
We all could learn something from San Francisco, and maybe, just maybe we should let
them know they could get it all here for 25% of the price, and park in their own driveways too.
Normally I would list all of the stories here, but pick up a copy of the Observer or read it online.
Sit back and be as thankful for your life as I am for mine.
To my friends, coworkers, advertisers, contributors, and detractors: Thank you for the
thoughts and the time. I know we all care.
That is why I love you all.