No Subway in Mill Valley: Revenge of the Yuppies

Mill Valley's closet conservative offers thoughts on Subway's rejection.

How do we “preserve” our small town character of Mill Valley?

That was one of the questions raised at the in which the City Council deliberated over an appeal by a a location of the deli chain downtown. (The council .)

This event took place to the great delight of the large crowd that packed the council chambers. While there is a part of me that agrees with the ultimate decision, I also shake my head in disgust at the pompous, NIMBY, insincere, irrational, and knee jerk attitudes of far too many citizens of Mill Valley.  

Small-town character? I’ve lived in Mill Valley for more than 40 years. This town only slightly remembers the town I grew up in during the 1970s. Through the Mill Valley Historical Society, I’ve met dozens of “old timers” who lived here in the 40s and 50s. Not only does the town I grew up in not resemble their "old town,” but the current Mill Valley is like a different planet to them.

Sure, it’s the money. Yet, just because Mill Valley is loaded, with most families making six-figure (or more) incomes, it does not explain entirely why and how Mill Valley has changed. Those reasons are complex and deserve another story to be written. My point is more that it seems laughable that citizens of today claim they want to “maintain the Mill Valley character.” Many who claim this are imports from other counties or states. What do they know about our town's history and small-town charm it has long since lost?

Hats off to councilman Ken Wachtel, who was quoted as saying he went into the meeting undecided. That gives me solace that at least one of our councilmembers can maintain an open mind and not be a simple rubber-stamper for the mob-like, anti-chain mentality of our populous.

While I do in fact support the from Mill Valley, I’d like to acknowledge that if the decision were reversed, I would not have picked up my marbles and gone home. Quite frankly, downtown can use a few more options for eating that won’t break the bank. Thank goodness we have for a reasonably priced burger and the deli for a moderately priced sandwich. 

Perhaps these two would have suffered from the competition, but is that a reason to turn down a proposed business? Opponents listed a number of criticisms of the proposed Subway, including traffic, trash and poor quality food. Oh please! Hold the insincerity and snobbish attitude. (Now, THAT is something I truly miss about old Mill Valley – I promise you, there were far fewer snobs in the 1970s and I suspect even less in the 1940s).

Traffic and trash? How would it be any different from what was there before () or any other local deli that might take its place? Quality of food?  This sounds like the same rubbish I hear from those who’d turn down an In-n-Out Burger. (Oh, we had that battle already!)

News flash to the whining yuppies of Mill Valley… the small town character was lost the day you arrived in your BMW and Land Cruisers.

In conclusion: I want my Baskin-Robbins back!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Paul Colnett June 21, 2012 at 04:51 AM
I grew up in Mill Valley. Went to Tam High and graduated in 1976. I miss it. Some things I do not miss! You can never go back however and that is the way it has always been.
Nick Castro June 30, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Wow, I actually agree, for the most part, with the 'closet conservative' (though I do take issue with you reappropriating queer-identity political terms, like 'out' and 'closet,' to seem like a persecuted minority, pretty poor taste on your part). The only parts of this article that are a bummer are the selective idealization of the past, and the opposition to what you call 'outsiders,' especially since you look to the past, but only up to a point. Because if you go back any farther you would see white people are the outsiders and the 'charm' of the area had a pre-white history as well. As for the idealization part, let's not forget the general levels of racism and bigotry inherent in white society, especially of yesteryear. I hear you on the lack of affordable food though. Two Whole Foods (or as I like to call it, Whole Paycheck)? Really Mill Valley? Two? In case one runs out of organic flax seed? Ayayay. Ironically, I moved to the über-rich Marin because SF was getting too expensive, which is like saying you moved to Beverly Hills because Hollywood was getting too expensive. Huh? It is strangely strange, yet oddly normal these days. Good article (I am from LA, so have regional pride about In N Out, right on).
Nick Castro June 30, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Listening to friends who grew up here, it seems pretty unanimous that Mill Valley was WAAAAYYYYY better in the 70s. I have often heard it referred to as the "grooviest place on Earth." And I think there is ample evidence to back that up. David Crosby, Mimi Fariña, the original Sweetwater, etc...unless of course if one prefers the yuppie plastic covered and white washed mini-mall it now is, then one may disagree.
Nick Castro June 30, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Prius, BMW; six of one, half a dozen of the other. I can barely believe I am defending the persecuted conservative in two places on this post, but for the sake of accuracy, he did say 'counties,' not 'countries.' 'Countries' would have been too overtly racist, 'counties' is much more subtle and ambiguous. And yeah, I know my 'defense' reeks of accusatory sarcasm. Maybe I am defending accuracy more than Amyx.
Anne Tique July 10, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Back in those long-gone groovy days, a child's modest pocket money was enough for a purchase. There were hardware stores and five-and-dimes for actual necessities. Now, unless you're in the market for a latte or an expensive nicety, chances are it's not for sale in Mill Valley. Patch published the transcript of the council meeting where the decision on the Subway question was finalized, and, to my horror, unchallenged was the argument that a Subway would encourage teenagers to hang out downtown, echoing the sentiments my teens encountered as they grew up in the same - yet entirely different - town I did. Mill Valley is still a wonderful place compared with so many. But compared with its past, the present pales.


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