South Grand seems to be ringing in 2007 with a much higher profile, and I, for one, am ecstatic. This afternoon, on my way home from lunch at Mangia, I saw a red and black jacket ahead of me on the sidewalk. "South Grand Guides". I ran to catch up with the poor guy because I was so excited.
Apparently this week marked the beginning of the South Grand Guides, which will be patrolling the South Grand area as an offshoot of the CID Guides downtown. These friendly folks are there to answer questions, give recommendations, act as secondary public safety officers ( escorting S. Grand patrons and workers, reporting problems, etc.). The man I spoke with today is also a CID Guide downtown, so he's used to the drill, and even better, he himself lives on S. Grand.
I don't know of any other neighborhoods that have rolled out these guides, but again, if S. Grand just got them, perhaps this is part of a larger city initiative. One way or the other, in my eyes, those red and black jackets make S. Grand officially a destination for people who don't live around here, and they sure as heck make it a little safer and more pleasant for those of us who do.
If you see one (and you will), stop and say hi. They like to talk and like to help. I am pretty damn excited.