"The real estate offices were deserted; the hotels had more waiters than guests; empty stores and vacant houses became numerous on all sides." This is Mr. Van Dykes' observation after the 1873 financial crash, but it sounds eerily similar to our country's recent experiences.
National City's population dropped to a couple dozen people and San Diego's, to 2,500.
Mr. Van Dyke eloquently follows the above sentence with the following observations: "Day after day and year after year the bright sun shone upon quiet streets and store-keepers staring out of the door at an almost unbroken vacancy. Many a man in San Diego during those long years that followed sat and looked at nothing long enough to have made a fine lawyer, doctor, engineer, or a fine literary scholar if he had only substituted a book for the empty door-way."
From The City and County of San Diego by T.S. Van Dyke, 1888