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California Dreaming

I don’t know if it was a sign of some sort that shortly after arriving in Southern California, I was hit with a crazy bout of allergies. I never get allergies, much less have to take medication for them. 

I am not insinuating that I am allergic to SoCal, but there was definitely something in the air. 

It had been at least three years since I was last there and I had truly forgotten how laid back the lifestyle is. 

It’s like you step on a plane at JFK and are transported to a totally different world at LAX. The change of pace is immediately evident. No one is in a mad rush to get anywhere or get everything done right away like in New York. That was actually quite refreshing, I must admit.

Something else that was refreshing was the weather. Can you say warm all year round with low humidity? 

Talk about perfect. In New York, when there’s a really nice day, there’s always that temptation to blow off work or call in sick and just enjoy it. Given that everyday is like that in Southern California, I honestly have no idea how people actually manage to get anything done, I would be walking around daydreaming all day. Well, actually I do have an idea, no one really works there, they’re all “actors.”  

On this particular trip I spent most my time in Orange County, the real OC. As with the rest of California, everyone there seems to be obsessed with Mexican food. It seems that whenever there was a decision to be made about where to eat, Mexican food was always the preferred default. 

Problem is, I have never been a fan of Mexican food. You can imagine the shock and horror on people’s faces when I made that known. People would look at me like I was some kind of freak. Apparently no one in Orange County has ever met a person that doesn’t like Mexican food. 

The irony here is that Orange County is about as Mexican as Poland, in terms of cultural diversity. While I didn’t get a chance to do an actual headcount on the number of Mexicans in the OC, I did manage to get a count of the number of black people. There was a grand total of four…actually, let’s say three and a half, cause that one guy, not really sure what he was. 

In the end, even though I was there for work, it actually turned out to be a really relaxing trip and a nice little escape from the hustle and bustle of The City. It seems like that has always kind of been my view of Southern California though, I see it as a land of fantasy and escape. 

The entire landscape is pretty much like Heidi Montag, an augmented reality. I need that realness, that gritty, urban New York energy to keep me going and there’s nothing that does that for me when I‘m on the left coast. Trying to find a framework of reality in an economy whose currency is fantasy is like trying to find Disneyland in New York. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love visiting for periods of time but I just don’t know if I could ever see myself living there. I mean c’mon, they take jaywalking seriously out there. 

How on earth could I ever live in a place that takes jay walking seriously? 

Featured Image by Tom Collins on Flickr
Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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1 Comment

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    Shelly Cone

    October 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I love NYC too, but I’m a Cali girl at heart. I love the laid back vibe here that seems to softly ebb and flow like the tides. Glad you enjoyed your visit!

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