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I read with sadness that Beaded Nomad and Roost in downtown Napa will soon close permanently ("As downtown Napa changes, Roost and Beaded Nomad to close," Aug. 9).

My daughter and I moved to Napa from Fairfield in 2001. When we arrived, Napa was a nice small town with a welcoming downtown shopping area that included Beaded Nomad, McCallou's, Mervyns, and an interesting mix of small businesses. There was an artisan glass shop on Main, there was a cool French-themed shop as well on Main that sold fabulous hot chocolate as well as interesting French jewelry and fragrances. There was a shop that sold inexpensive but good-looking shoes in the Town Center mall as well as a shop that sold moderately priced but unique women's fashions and jewelry in the same mall.

Fast forward to now. Downtown has become a hell of tall concrete buildings pressed against the concrete sidewalks. There is no shade anywhere and the blocks are too hot. No trees. No lawn. There is nowhere to sit.

My daughter visited me a few days ago, we went downtown, and we left as soon as she couldn't find the single item she wanted at Lush. Downtown Napa is currently absolutely miserable.

As a local, I don't need to go to a tasting room, although I did notice that on a Saturday afternoon most tasting rooms were mostly empty. I spoke with Roost's owner a couple of weeks ago and she told me no one goes downtown anymore.

I am not surprised. The current downtown Napa presents a cold, harsh, unwelcoming face to locals and visitors alike. I hope the folks that rule downtown rethink their strategy. The track they are on won't succeed.

Cynthia M. Ruff