Daily news from Monterey County Weekly

ETC. Photo of the day by Parker Seibold. A crowded day at Lovers Point. Now that summer is here, scenes like this one are becoming more regular. Submit your best horizontal photos. (Please include the location where the photo was taken in the caption.)

Tourist season is here.

Good morning. 

If you’ve been out and about lately, you’ve noticed the sudden influx of cars, foot traffic and tourists. Summer is here, and Monterey County is still a tourist destination despite the absolute economic beating we took during 2020 (and still today). The other day, I heard what presumably was a local bemoaning the onset of tourists. “Oh, it’s tourist season again.”

I grinned a little because it’s the caveat of living here. We get to have the whole range—$12,000-per-ticket (invite-only, please) TED Talks; global musical concerts like the Monterey Jazz Festival; the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium; a history of writers who made their marks from Salinas to Big Sur; stunning parks and beaches; and award-winning vineyards in South County—all converging in one county. While locals might like to think we have this all to ourselves, visitors comprise the second-biggest sector of Monterey County’s economy.

Here’s the bright side I’ve come to live with: I can play tourist, too. It’s a simple mindset shift. I recently realized I hadn’t had a beach day in months, or sat in a fancy cafe to people watch (where I overheard that conversation, at Alta Bakery). I stopped to read some historical plaques, even though I’ve passed them countless times for years. 

Remembering to literally stop and smell the roses, and pretend just for a bit—without cynicism and with plenty of appreciation—that we can all just be tourists in our own backyards for a bit, is a good place to be mentally.

-Marielle Argueza, staff writer, marielle@mcweekly.com

STORIES TO READ TODAY

Editor’s note: The staff of the Monterey County Weekly is out of office today in observance of the Fourth of July. As such, we’re sharing a handful of our favorite stories about Independence Day, American patriotism and more from years past. -Tajha Chappellet-Lanier

Monterey’s first official Fourth of July celebration was a bilingual occasion. In early 1850, California was on the brink of statehood. As Fourth of July approached, some prominent townspeople thought it was fitting for Monterey to celebrate the American holiday for the first time.

The Declaration of Independence set out principles of freedom for some, but not for all. Various groups of disenfranchised people—women, Black and Indigenous groups—later used the Declaration of Independence as their own template to call for a full recognition of their rights and freedoms. Here are some excerpts from some of those documents.

It's fireworks season, and Squid hears neighbor gripes get even louder than the booms. The Seaside vs. Monterey fireworks saga.

A concert of Fourth of July music may inspire complex varieties of patriotism. A Fourth of July concert can speak to American equality, prosperity and liberty—and diversity.

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