So far, the idea seems to be going over well, especially among people who own cafes/restaurants. Like us, they've been wondering why they haven't been able to do it. More tables, of course, means more business and more business makes business owners happy. Still yet to be heard are the Forces of NIMBY ("oh, it'll clutter the streets!" "What about the disabled?") but we're sure we'll hear from them soon enough. Or maybe even they think it's a great idea.

We love this idea-- love, love, love it. With capital letters and smiley faces and rainbows. We can't wait to be able to sit outside with friends underneath the stars and encased in fog, fending off homeless people who wander by every thirty seconds asking for spare change, and eat and talk. We've done enough traveling throughout the world to know that that certain kind of je nai sais quoi that you find in European cities, that cool, sociable, let's hang out and talk vibe just ain't here. Oh, we try and be European and we're more European than, say, Omaha Nebraska, but we're still not quite there yet. And part of it is because we don't have more outdoor places to sit and eat. In weather like this, hanging out in outdoor cafes is the perfect place to hang out.

Of course, we also think this city is totally lacking one of those closed off street blocks where everyone can shop and wander and talk and eat and drink (cough Market Street, cough) without there being any cars, but one thing at a time.