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Zeke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Long Beach CA, the sewer by the sea.
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Why do people stay in California?

Seahawk's mention in another thread, "California, in the early 70's, was just a different place than it is today" got me to thinking why am I still here? If I went looking for high school and jr college buddies nowadays I would find hardly any, if even a single one.

Either jobs or retirement has given all of them reason to leave. I wonder if some still think of CA as the place where they grew up. Surf city, hot rods and woodies (not restored — in real use), early Disneyland, Sunset strip and Laurel Canyon (birth of many rock and roll groups and stars), damn good and cheap skiing close by, great rivers up and down the state along with enough lakes and outdoor recreation for nearly all.

And the weather, which for the most part is actually the same. Hot in a lot of places in the summer and chilly on the coast to 7 foot depths of snow in the mountains in winter. Lots of open space even still, but always crowded now on weekends. It was a wonderful place to be with boredom never a factor.

There were drive-in dairy stores and drive-in movies 12 months a year. Car shows consisted of cruising Whittier Blvd, Sunset Blvd, and the main drag in almost every town. (Listen to Randy Newman's "I love LA" and watch American Graffiti and you get the absolute essence captured in a song and a movie.)

Is the magic gone? I think so. Ask tabs, he was here in SoCal for his youth and many of his years before leaving for Vegas. (If you went to the LV suburb of Henderson, NV and asked how many are originally from CA, I think a big majority would raise their hands.

Small coastal towns on the Central Coast are still charming if not touristy. Prices for a modest house are out of the reach for 99%. Especially for those that need a job with a salary in the low 6 figures to maintain such a place and pay the taxes.

So, to any of you CA expats (Red Beard, etc.), is the magic gone? Does it live only in the minds of us diehard remaining natives (3rd generation here)?

Do all the palm trees keep us from seeing the trees instead of the forest? (Less the 3.7 million acres burned in the last 2 months, well mostly last 5 weeks.)

I find myself isolated in more ways than the COVID shut down. I find my kind exist only as seniors who were there when it all went down. I think of the lyric in "American Pie," a repeated line, "The day the music died."

Now that song was not written about CA and the day the music died has been interpreted as a reference to Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens (a native CA'n) deaths in 1959. But the overall gist of the work is how America was heading towards a downward spiral that may have begun with the Viet Nam war.

Nevertheless, some CA institutions still forage on. You can still get a date shake on the way to Palm Springs, and the surf's up, baby. The cable cars run in SF and Route 66 is still marked in many places ending in Santa Monica. There are 9 National Parks, more than any other state and they don't change much. There's 840 miles of coastline, 3rd behind AK and FL.

But that's all physical stuff. It's the people shift that has drastically changed. Did they not notice the magic? Well, it is after all, magic and sometimes things seem to disappear, only to reappear.

Maybe for only some, though. The reality is the place is dirty and rude. That didn't used to be but I know we are not alone with that.

I do wonder what CA expats think. There is a saying here that if you leave you can't get back.

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Old 10-03-2020, 11:07 AM
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Not really an expat, per se, but did live in NorCal in the late 90's during the first dot.com boom. It was pretty great. SF was comparatively clean as long as you avoided the Tenderloin district. Spent weekends in Napa, Tahoe and Yosemite. Though for a boy who grew up mostly in the Midwest, the housing prices seemed very effed up to me.

Been gone almost 20 years now. Probably been back 20 times to visit. I like being a visitor now and not a resident.
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Old 10-03-2020, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
[B]

I do wonder what CA expats think. There is a saying here that if you leave you can't get back.
I don't think they want to "get back", and are happy they left....unless they buy into the Liberal Left Utopian society thought process.
Old 10-03-2020, 11:15 AM
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Spent almost ten years in SF. The bureaucrat nonsense "left my heart there" as Sinatra sang about once.

Getting passed by completely empty or completely packed bus drivers never on time and usually MIA. City Tow breaking into peoples fenced in yards to steal their cars. The city bus mechanics working on personal cars of politicians. The warped smog rules and blatant ripoffs to jump through all the regulation hoops, while the next guy over knows a guy he paid off for a signature. Everything was identity politics and everyone was trying to get into some government grant or program or scam. There were only a few people I spent time with (older chinese guys coincidentally) who did things because it was the right thing to do and not because there was some advantage to be gained or something to be taken advantage of. The rest could be tossed in the dumpster. There was rarely any love there, at least in my circles.
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Old 10-03-2020, 11:34 AM
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I love California. Is it perfect? Hell no. As a life long resident I can tell you that it has changed but what area doesn’t?
Old 10-03-2020, 11:49 AM
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"My family and my company are leaving California.
It's heartbreaking.
My parents moved to California four decades ago. I grew up here. For 33 of the 36 years, I've spent on this planet, I've lived here.
I was born at St. Joseph's in Burbank; I attended elementary school at Edison Elementary; I went to college at UCLA.
I co-founded a major media company here, with 75 employees in Los Angeles. I met my wife here; all three of my kids are native Californians.
This is the most beautiful state in the country. The climate is incredible. The scenery is amazing. The people are generally warm and there's an enormous amount to do.
And we're leaving.
We're leaving because all the benefits of California have steadily eroded -- and then suddenly collapsed.
Meanwhile, all the costs of California have steadily increased -- and then suddenly skyrocketed.
It can be difficult to spot the incremental encroachment of a terrible disease, but once the final ravages set in, it becomes obvious that the illness is fatal.
So, too, with California, where bad governance has turned a would-be paradise into a burgeoning dystopia.
When my family moved to North Hollywood, I was 11. We lived in a safe, clean suburb. Yes, Los Angeles had serious crime and homelessness problems, but those were problems relegated to pockets of the city -- problems that, with good governance, we thought could eventually be healed. Instead, the government allowed those problems to metastasize.
As of 2011, Los Angeles County counted less than 40,000 homeless; as of 2020, that number had skyrocketed to 66,000. Suburban areas have become the sites of homeless encampments.
Nearly every city underpass hosts a tent city; the city, in its kindness, has put out port-a-potties to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 spread.
Police are forbidden in most cases from either moving transients or even moving their garbage. Nearly every public space in Los Angeles has become a repository for open waste, needles, and trash.
The most beautiful areas of Los Angeles, from Santa Monica beach to my suburb, have become wrecks.
My children have personally witnessed drug use, public urination, and public nudity.
Looters were allowed free reign in the middle of the city during the Black Lives Matter riots; Rodeo Drive was closed at 1 p.m., and citizens were curfewed at 6 p.m.
To combat these trends, local and state governments have gamed the statistics, reclassifying offenses, and letting prisoners go free.
Meanwhile, the police have become targets for public ire. In July, the city of Los Angeles slashed police funding, cutting the force to its lowest levels in over a decade.
At the same time, taxes have risen. California's top marginal income tax rate is now 13.3%; legislators want to raise it to 16.8%. California is also home to a 7.25% sales tax, a 50-cent gas tax, and a bevy of other taxes that drain the wallet and burden business.
California has the worst regulatory climate in America, according to CEO magazine's survey of 650 CEOs. The public-sector unions essentially make public policy, running up the debt while providing fewer and fewer actual services.
California's public education system is a massive failure, and even its once-great colleges are now burdened by the stupidities of political correctness, including an unwillingness to use standardized testing.
And still, the state legislature is dominated by Democrats. California is not on a trajectory toward recovery; it is on a trajectory toward oblivion.
Taxpayers are moving out -- now including my family and my company. In 2019, before the pandemic and the widespread rioting and looting, outmigration jumped 38%, rising for the seventh straight year. That number will increase again this year.
I want my kids to grow up safe. I want them to grow up in a community with a future, with more freedom and safety than I grew up with. California makes that impossible. So, goodbye, Golden State. Thanks for the memories."
Ben Shapiro
ps, the sales tax in Santa Clara County (where San Jose is located) is almost 10%. Yes, almost TEN PERCENT. So if you buy a $25,000 car, expect to pay around $2500 for sales tax alone.
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:00 PM
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Reelin' In The Years
 
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Maryland
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Zeke.

In elementary school, my bus stop was on 101, mid and late 60's.

All the little ranch roads converged to a point on 101. The bus would pull over in the dirt to pick us up. Easy day.

Want to go north on 101: You drove over to the median, a dirt median. This was Highway 101, looked right, and got on it. Imagine that. Two lanes both ways.

It was different, it was better. Westlake wasn't there. Jungle Land was.

Sorry.

The weather is still good; the rest is, frankly, now someone from somewhere else extolling the virtues of the thing they destroyed by moving in.
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:04 PM
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I've lived here since 1978, born in San Diego in 1965, stints in Colorado. I guess I had the 'white privilege' of growing up in Goleta, back then a suburb and redneck area of Santa Barbara. Dad worked in the Aerospace industry and we lived in a modest 3/2 house, which now sells for 1.1M. That area is more or less unobtainable for the average person. Out or control housing growth has taken over. Downtown Santa Barbara is largely vacant, big brand anchor stores gone, homeless living in doorways, alcoves, and alleys. Stench of urine everywhere. Yet the liberal mayors do nothing about it. I've lived in Ventura, Newbury Park, and now Channel Islands harbor/Hollywood Beach. I still love it here, but this area too is eroding away, and just had a murder last weekend in the harbor parking lot. Many homeless camps on the dunes, under bridges, along the riverbed. Taxes are out of control, food and rent out of control. Nothing is changing. I signed today to recall Newsome, but little good that will do. Parts of this area are basically a 3rd world country. I'm on a 8-10 year plan at the most, then bye bye. No way my kids will be able to live here. Sad.
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:30 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Houston, TX
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California (the whole left coast really) has a lot going for it, weather, it's beautiful, etc....

That's probably the problem. No one wants to leave because of all of the good things. It also has some bad stuff, silly politics, costs, traffic.

For me, who's been there a few times over the years, mostly on various company dimes, it's been a great place to visit. I can't see living there though unless I had enough money to be able to insulate myself against some of the bad stuff.
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:35 PM
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I was born at St. Jo's in Burbank and raised in Sherman Oaks. Went to UCLA and then did three years elsewhere for uncle Sam. I remember cruising Van Nuys Blvd and watching the guys race on Mulholland at night. I stayed in the valley after I retired but things changed so drastically within the last 15 years I just couldn't find a reason to stay. Road conditions became hazardous to nice cars and the nasty attitudes of other drivers became dangerous. Store clerks seemed to all have a chip on their shoulder as if the store was doing me a favor by selling to me.

I still love California but couldn't take it anymore. I sold my house and moved to Summerlin NV and while its not paradise it is a whole lot better. People are friendly to a fault and the weather while not valley nice is not bad ( I'm about 800 feet higher than Las Vegas ). Would I move back to Cal ? Not unless things changed dramatically.
Old 10-03-2020, 01:23 PM
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Cars and Cappuccino
 
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@craigster59 - where are you going to?
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1987 Cherryrot G50 Coupe - FOR SALE
1985 Prussian Blau M491 Targa - 1 of 65 in the US
1977 Mexico Blue flared, 3.2, back date, sunroof-delete Coupe - under refinement.
1972 Black T coupe to Longhood Turbo R5 tribute car (someday)
Old 10-03-2020, 01:46 PM
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Reelin' In The Years
 
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BTW, the bulk of my extended family, multi-generational Californians, still live there, all in Northern California, in and north of the Bay Area.

They are not going anywhere.

There is a soul of the place: As a white water rafter in the 70's running up and down the western slope you just had to be there.
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:47 PM
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The pay?

Waitstaff get $15 here +tips. In Texas I think they get much less.
I could be wrong.

There is a lot of work here. Easy to get a job.

Plus the wildfires are exhilarating!
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:49 PM
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^^^ plus earthquakes are free! We (in the midwest) have to pay to experience them. (amusement parks)
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipergrün View Post
I've lived here since 1978, born in San Diego in 1965, stints in Colorado. I guess I had the 'white privilege' of growing up in Goleta, back then a suburb and redneck area of Santa Barbara. Dad worked in the Aerospace industry and we lived in a modest 3/2 house, which now sells for 1.1M. That area is more or less unobtainable for the average person.
Hummm, what part of Goleta? I grew up off of Patterson, La Ramada Dr. I had friends North and South, few in SB proper. Small world.
Old 10-03-2020, 02:02 PM
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I grew up in the Valley and then moved to the OC in 1971. Moved to Florida in 2016. I’ve been back a couple times, always more traffic, especially on surface streets. Going to SoCal for Thanksgiving. I am expecting more traffic than ever.
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Old 10-03-2020, 02:11 PM
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Left CA after the 2009 crash. There was literally NO work to be had. None. It was scary as hell - lost the house, depleted all savings and had a new baby at the time. I sent out over 200 resumes, got two interviews which were both “geez we love your credentials and ability and really want to hire you but we just let a bunch of people go ourselves, so...” (so why the fk call me in for an interview then? But they did...). So I got a job offer back on the east coast after 10 months out of work and bolted.

Anyway, I watched from afar while the anemic “recovery” sputtered for nearly a decade under Prez. Zero and his America apologizing, business-hating policies. I really wanted to get back to the west coast but just couldn’t justify it. There wasn’t enough work, there was not enough of a “recovery” for several years despite a few leads and possibilities - too risky. So I dealt with living in the northeast for a few years... aside from being closer to a few family members who live back there I really didn’t like it at all. Just not my thing - I can’t stand cold and there’s simply not a lot of tolerance for “outsiders” there. In 2017 I got the chance to come to HI for some defense work and never looked back. It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’m busy as heck, working my butt off and while there are certainly problems here and I’m far from relatives I don’t regret doing it one bit. I do keep getting offers for work back in CA now but no thanks. We do a lot of work for agencies and clients back there too but the current arrangement suits me fine and I like being based here even with it being expensive and kind of isolated at times. Pre-COVID I was flying out to CA every couple of months but haven’t since January (Ige’s quarantine policy kebashed all travel...) Word is that trips MAY be coming back by the end of the year. I’m curious to see what’s happened in CA first hand and if it’s as bad as I hear...

CA will always have a special place in my heart - Yosemite, King’s Canyon, Sequoia, San Diego, Avalon / Catalina, Joshua Tree... Absolutely amazing places. When it was good it was amazing - lots of energy and innovation and creativity. When I left it was just decimated. It seems to have bounced back a lot but it sure took its sweet time doing so and probably won’t ever be like it was in the 1990s / 2000s. C’est la vie. Wouldn’t mind taking a trip down to Baja like in the good old days either at some point...

I think if I went back to the mainland I’d consider TX first but wouldn’t be too likely to do CA unless it was an offer I couldn’t refuse... I’m not optimistic about the state’s direction or future growth opportunities but for now there’s still stuff going on there (gov. work anyway...)
Old 10-03-2020, 02:16 PM
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I was born and raised in SoCal - I loved it! Born in '67 and left for good in '95.

My grandparents built a house up in the hills above the Rose Bowl and later moved north. They then lived in Capitola and we'd go visit SF for the day as kids, that town was almost magical (in my childhood memories) I later lived in the bay area in '90-'91.

California is a beautiful state but for all the reasons stated it's ruined. I may return for a visit but I'll never choose to live there again.
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Last edited by KNS; 10-03-2020 at 02:24 PM..
Old 10-03-2020, 02:16 PM
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The Mighty Pieholio
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw28210 View Post
@craigster59 - where are you going to?
His entire post or most of it is stated by Ben Shapiro who is moving his company out of CA to another location.
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Old 10-03-2020, 02:38 PM
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I'm on a 5 year plan to be out of here. Born and raised in LA, but it has become so crowded that it's not worth it (to me) to live here anymore.

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Old 10-03-2020, 02:42 PM
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