Cranky then, thankful now for all that Gilroy has to offer

After the crankiness of my last column, I decided it was
appropriate to combat my own bad self with a little sunshine and
light. So here without any further ado are things in Gilroy to be
thankful for.
After the crankiness of my last column, I decided it was appropriate to combat my own bad self with a little sunshine and light. So here without any further ado are things in Gilroy to be thankful for.

AN ENERGIZED COUNCIL: Elections are over. The two relieved, re-elected incumbents and excited first-timer Leroe-Munoz can join the Council in jumpstarting progress for Gilroy. Let’s see some good stuff, guys! Ramp up your energy and focus on a new plan for downtown.

THUNDERSTORMS: I got a charge (ha!) out of the lightning that made my windows bright as day, and the thunder that shook the whole house. We face the mountains, so sound reverberated off the sides and made our house feel like it was made of cards. I did think of the homeless people down by the creek, and hoped that their makeshift shelters provided enough shelter from the storm.

MANY TREE FARMS TO PICK FROM: It’s maybe not so big a deal, but in the three years we’ve lived here, we’ve obtained a tree from three different places. In the past, living in Oakland, we had to buy already-cut trees from right outside the drugstore. It’s nice to wander around a pseudo-forest, select a tree, and cut it down.

A COLORFUL MI PUEBLO: Glad that incredibly lame tempest in a teapot is over. Still can’t believe that people seriously thought they could/should control the colors of a new business in town. There’s enough boring uniformity here in Gilroy; witness the street upon street of cookie-cutter homes. Unless we can come up with an architecturally-interesting game plan for all businesses to adhere to (like, hm, a Haussmannized downtown akin to Paris’s), vive la difference!

BUDGET’S NOT SO, SO BAD: Yeah, we’ve got a shortfall. But nothing like what cities like Oakland and San Francisco are up against. We can travel our roads without falling into abysmal (“resembling an abyss in depth” says an online dictionary, and there’s your word root for the day) potholes.

Our schools are intact. Stoplights work. We’ve got all the cityish amenities like police officers and fire fighters.

We could use more of all of those, but a stranger could pull into Gilroy and say, “This place seems largely functional.”

TWO NEW RESTAURANTS: We hit Empire Buffet and Sushi Omakase in the last few weeks, and ate happily at both. The former is a Las Vegas-style buffet with about seven long tables filled with food that seemed pretty fresh and tasty. There’s also a sushi area and a fill-your-bowl-and-hand-it-over barbecue station, but we didn’t try those and therefore can’t report.

The best part was when the check came (yes, somehow we entered without ascertaining the price. We live dangerously!) and we had a moment of “Are you kidding?” This place is very affordable for all that it offers. We did go at lunch, which cuts the price significantly, but it’s a good deal.

Sushi Omakase delivered us some great, Japanese food love. I had a Bento box and thought everything in it was delicious. The salad contained huge leaves of bright arugula, as opposed to the typical iceberg drowned in the carrot sauce. My husband loved his sushi, and our edamame had some sort of nice flavoring to it. The ambiance was very hip, with a loud, hummable soundtrack and nice lighting throughout. We’ll be back!

THE GARLIC: I admit the other morning I walked outside and became immediately angry at the noxious odor hanging like a stifling kite in the air. When it’s bad, it’s bad. But not too many other cities have something specific like that to be proud of – the garlic, I mean, not the stench.

My family has a little joke, that rather than Gilroy Gardens we should head down to the road to Morgan Hill Meadows. Ha! It doesn’t exist. Morgan Hill’s got nothing. And … Morgan Hill smells bad, too. Theirs is a particular creek-like, mushroomy, fatally fetid reek. At least our smell sometimes, but not always, can be a little pleasant.

And we’ve got something solid to put on our city flag, on our coat of arms, on our T-shirts (ok, only the last one exists in real life). Take that, San Jose! In your face, Fremont! Whatchew got? Are you identified with a particular, charming foodstuff? No, oh too baaaaad.

Erika Mailman did not work on a John Madden style Turducken over the

holiday, because it’s an aberration of nature. She does, however, teach writing online at, and has published a very worthwhile novel entitled The Witch’s Trinity.

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