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Old 03-09-2013, 11:51 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,587,339 times
Reputation: 5919

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Somewhere I once recall reading that what unites Californians is a shared belief in the "perfectibility of life". And it's not difficult to see the evidence... being the western-most end of migration in the country and all that implies, with suburban tracts designed to attract some ''ideal'' demographic, the history of ''get rich quick'' boom-and-bust cycles (including the Gold Rush), a certain "anal-retentive" quality to the state bureaucracy, the relentless quest to ''find yourself'' here, etc..

Does the quest for "perfection" and the lure of some "ideal" really underly much of life in California?
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:54 AM
 
6,805 posts, read 5,023,342 times
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No. People are free to define and pursue their own dream.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:58 AM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,584 posts, read 33,762,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mateo45 View Post

Does the quest for "perfection" and the lure of some "ideal" really underly much of life in California?
I dunno.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:12 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,587,339 times
Reputation: 5919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senno View Post
No. People are free to define and pursue their own dream.
Yes, that seems to be part of the state's identity, but isn't that an ''ideal'' in itself...? For example I doubt that non-mormon folks moved to Utah, or black folks moved to say, Arkansas, for those reasons.

Of course if this topic gets too boring, there are always plenty of good ''Find me the perfect place in Cali'' threads!
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:15 PM
 
6,805 posts, read 5,023,342 times
Reputation: 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by mateo45 View Post
Yes, that seems to be part of the state's identity, but isn't that an ''ideal'' in itself...? For example I don't think that non-mormon folks moved to Utah, or black folks moved to say, Arkansas, for those reasons.
Well, my parents moved here to CA when my Dad was promoted here.

My great-grandpa came straight here in the Dust Bowl for opportunity and found it in Tulare.

My grandpa on my moms side eventually arrived here before going up to Idaho and pretty much stayed there except for a stint in ww2 when he went to Nevada to mine. It was either that or the infantry I guess.

My grandpa on my dads side went to Idaho and found opportunity there. His brother took his place in the draft and died on a beach.

Not much idealism going on, just living life best as they could and providing for their families.

That's the American Dream I just defined for ya though. Do what you want, how you want to do it and where you want to do it.

I shall enliven the topic with a little music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN3GbF9Bx6E

Last edited by Senno; 03-09-2013 at 12:28 PM..
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:41 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,587,339 times
Reputation: 5919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senno View Post
Well, my parents moved here to CA when my Dad was promoted here.

My great-grandpa came straight here in the Dust Bowl for opportunity and found it in Tulare.

My grandpa on my moms side eventually arrived here before going up to Idaho and pretty much stayed there except for a stint in ww2 when he went to Nevada to mine. It was either that or the infantry I guess.

My grandpa on my dads side went to Idaho and found opportunity there. His brother took his place in the draft and died on a beach.

Not much idealism going on, just living life best as they could and providing for their families.
Agreed that folks often move for a better opportunity, to provide for their family, etc., but you also might simply take your family's ''mobility'' more for granted than most. IMO not everyone is cut out for picking up their whole family, severing their connections and totally relocating lock, stock and barrel several hundreds of miles away, simply for a ''better job''. Or like the Okies who set out west for California after the Dust Bowl, with nuthin' waiting for them here but a dream.

Folks certainly move for lotsa practical considerations, but it's safe to say there's usually some strong emotional reasons and ''hope'' underlying all that effort. And heck even today, there's no shortage of threads started by people who still wanna relocate out here, yet often have no job waiting and have never even set foot in the state! So something must be luring them (and it's obviously powerful)!
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:44 PM
 
6,805 posts, read 5,023,342 times
Reputation: 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1982 View Post
Gone are the days where 'normal' people came here for opportunity.
Good lord...

Back to Americanism 101 with ya...


The Great American Melting Pot - YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvOZs3g3qIo

Now define "normal" for me.

I find the immigrants coming to CA from South America and elsewhere are "normal" btw...
----------------------------
In my dust bowl ancestors cases it was "survival" actually. They were farmers who found themselves without topsoil...
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
1,598 posts, read 4,134,943 times
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Having been born & raised in California (lived there from birth til my early 30s), I do think there's some of this, and there's this mythology in California that it's better than anywhere else. So many people that move there, move there because they think it's better than anywhere else, and those who are born there are indoctrinated in this mythology as well (I know I was!)

For some people, this illusion is stronger than others. For some, maybe it's even arguably true. Others I've met, especially in middle age or older, come to get disillusioned. They couldn't afford the beach life they envisioned, or they never became an actor, or whatnot.

People often ask me if I miss California. There are things I miss about California, but I don't miss California as a whole. I live in North Alabama now and I am often amazed by how many people I mean who are enchanted by California visions of perfect. Even the lauded perfect California weather is not perfect everywhere. By the time I bought a house I could afford in California, it was far enough inland where frankly I don't consider the weather where I lived to be much better than where I am here in Northern Alabama. Maybe marginally better here and there, but with a lot more expense and piles of more traffic and pollution. I miss being close to the mountains and fun attractions water parks and Disneyland. That's about it! Those things I can get by taking a vacation here and there, where as the things I didn't like about California were entrenched in my daily life.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
25,274 posts, read 15,364,655 times
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zenjenn, interesting . I was also born and raised here, but seriously considering moving. I don't see much of a future in L.A , you need a lot of money not to party like a rockstar...but to afford a modest house in a decent area..which is sad.

I agree there is the mythology that California is the best place. I think there are many things that make it a great place, but there are also a lot that make it not so great a place. Some of the bad thing are traffic, crazy real estate prices and incompetent/corrupt politicians.

Now i'm going to look into Northern Alabama...even though I never considered it. I like researching different cities and areas.

I feel there are so many places in this big country and everyone just focuses on CA and NY and mostly L.A and NYC .
I'd rather live somewhere decent where you can have an affordable cost of living .
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
1,598 posts, read 4,134,943 times
Reputation: 1412
Jm, I was in the Los Angeles area too. Born and raised in Orange County, and most of my adult life up until I moved in Los Angeles/LA County. I think you are wise to consider your options. Now, for some people, California is worth the crowds and expense and I won't argue with them. California does have its charms, but the charms come with a price. The question becomes - are you willing to pay it?

For my husband and I, what we realized was, while we acknowledged that there was a lot there.. it wasn't worth it to us. The beach is nice but.. how often did we really find it worth it to schlep down there through the traffic, find a parking spot, etc etc. The truth was.. maybe once a year.. more out of obligation than desire. The mountains we liked more, and Mt. Baldy was close enough for a day hike, but even that, how often did we do that? I enjoy live entertainment but I found the schlep into the active parts of Los Angeles stiffling and daunting. If we went to a show, we more often than not picked something at a local community theater - kind of defeats the purpose of living in the greater LA area I guess?

We live in Huntsville now, and couldn't be happier. There are a few negatives (that's true anywhere), but on balance we prefer the closeness of nature, the dynamic of a mid-sized city, slower pace of life, more affordable cost of living - all still in a mild climate. But that fits our personalities. I've met Californians that moved here and are just driven to distraction that that the area lacks Rodeo Drive shopping, that the closest beach is six hours away, that everyone wants to chit-chat, and that there are a few months a year when freezing temps are possible. None of those things bother us in the slightest. I like that I can drive 10 minutes and take my family camping without a reservation, and that if my husband lost a job, pretty much any new one he'd get would be no more than a 30 minute drive away even during "rush hour". We like that we can live in a spacious new home that we could have never in a million years afforded in California, even if I worked (and here, we can afford it and I still stay home with our children.) In short, our goals and desires are just more achievable here.

What we did is start with looking in cities that had a strong job market for the husband's employment industry of choice, made a short list of cities, and started researching from there.
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