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Old 01-19-2016, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,700 posts, read 26,586,092 times
Reputation: 37676

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The other day I just felt like going for a drive, so my dog and I drove from Crescent City to Arcata to look around and then to Eureka to look around, and then came back. I hadn't been to either town since 1974.

Arcata hasn't grown at all from what I remember of it in 1974. It just looks moldier. And I've never seen a town with so many people walking large dogs - mainly pit bulls.

I stopped to get something to eat in a convenience store and started chatting with the clerk. I thought I'd check out those towns to see if I might want to move there. Asked how he likes living in Arcata, etc., and I mentioned it looks very dog-friendly. He loves living in Arcata and was very proud of the fact that there are no fast food options there (I was looking for quick, cheap food and he didn't even have any in his little convenience store). He said it's dog friendly, for sure, but most of the dogs are pit bulls, so I might want to be careful with my 22 pound rat terrier.

I knew Arcata was very crunchy, but it's over-the-top crunchy. Even the houses look like they're owned by people too stoned to paint them or fix them up. The people I spoke to there (a girl in a deli on the plaza and some folk who put out a newspaper) all love Arcata. And I was a pot smoking young hippy back in the 1970's, but Arcata is like an old hippy that never grew up. I just didn't find anything charming about it, other than the main plaza, and the university grounds were nice and clean and freshly painted. But, I'd never want to live there now.

Eureka was very charming with lots of Victorians and seems to have grown a lot. The traffic was bad around the main Hwy 101 corridor with lots of fast food joints and businesses - not charming in that regard. And one thing that bothered me was that I couldn't see the ocean while driving around town. In that direction (towards the ocean), all I could see was industrial type buildings. And there were homeless zombies everywhere. It's true about the homeless problem there. They're very visible.

The homeless weren't quite as obvious in Arcata, but they were definitely present there, too.

But, back to the topic title - I thought it was really weird for crunchy college students and professors who all look like bohemian tie-dyed pot smokers - to own so many pit bulls. I thought that was a weird combination.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Sylmar, a part of Los Angeles
5,663 posts, read 3,530,725 times
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One block over from me every house has a Pit Bull.
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:13 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 12,801,752 times
Reputation: 12437
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Arcata hasn't grown at all from what I remember of it in 1974. Eureka seems to have grown a lot.
Actually, just the opposite population-wise, but it's just a rearrangement of people, because the whole of Humboldt County has had only anemic growth, an increase of merely 30,000 people in 50 years!

Humboldt County 1960: about 105,000---2010: about 135,000
Arcata 1960: 5,000-----2010: 17,000
Eureka 1960 :28,000---2010: 27,000

I knew it well in the early 1970's and although Eureka was shabbier and the now-gentrified waterfront was then quite rough-and-tumble, Arcata was charming and tidy. I've been up there a number of times since, most recently a few years ago and it is very disheartening. Frankly, I would venture a guess that the revenue from the marijuana industry, being only partly "legal" has people hiding their assets (like painting the exterior of their houses), but I've heard that some of those very houses have treasure trove interiors.

Then again, there are the lost souls who have always been attracted to the remoteness of the area. Guess you missed seeing 'The Devil's Playground' permanent homeless encampment in Eureka:
(PHOTOS) Puppies and Pancakes, Trash and Transition: A Day in Eureka's Palco Marsh and Devil's Playground | Lost Coast Outpost | Humboldt County
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:48 AM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,376 posts, read 14,220,741 times
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Arcata has traditionally been a breeding ground for French poodles. Local breeders are trying to emulate an Orange County tradition of interbreeding the French poodle with only the most aggressive pit bulls. The result is the infamous "Pit Poodle".
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Old 01-20-2016, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
1,723 posts, read 1,316,321 times
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I used to shave my legs AND wear birkenstocks and smoke cigarettes and run at least 5 miles every day!

I'm hoping that those "crunchy" people that you're referring to are dog lovers who live in an area where, for obvious reasons, there are lots of pit bulls and who had a desire to adopt and give love to a breed who is often used, abused and has been (for good reasons but it's not fair to the dog) demonized.

I do not trust pit bulls. My dog was almost killed by two of them some years ago and i've had a few other scary experiences with them. No matter what their person thinks or says about them (oh mine wouldn't ..... and he's so loving .... ) they were bred to kill and a pit bull is fine until it isn't. And when it isn't, it's unlike other breeds and they have the potential to be very dangerous. Seeing, as i did, your sweet dog be almost killed leaves an impression and i avoid pit bulls and will always avoid them. But i feel bad for them. It's not their fault. Stupid friggin humans and their tendency to exploit nature!
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Old 01-20-2016, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,700 posts, read 26,586,092 times
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I asked the locals about the homeless problem, and they said it's worst by the Eureka mall around some car dealership. I wanted to drive by the mall, but my GPS was being cantankerous and it was time to turn back. But, I saw enough of them walking around and huddling in groups to believe there's a large camp or two.

There was an article I read about a planned police raid to remove 100 homeless campers from some lot around downtown, and the homeless advocates stopped it. So, I knew there was at least one really large camp.

It's sad, because it's a really pretty town with all of the Victorians. It's funny that Eureka takes care of theirs, while Arcata doesn't. But, there aren't really any interesting buildings that I saw in Arcata other than right on the plaza. The rest look like really cheaply built ranch houses from the 1970's, that haven't been maintained.

It would make sense they're hiding their assets. But, the town just looked pathetic to me.

And like you say, it would be scary to try to walk my dog or take her to a park or beach if all of the other dogs around were pit bulls. I don't dislike all pit bulls, but my rat terrier isn't going to kill anybody's dog if she loses her temper. A pit bull, on the other hand...
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:19 AM
 
Location: On the water.
17,585 posts, read 10,038,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
but my rat terrier isn't going to kill anybody's dog if she loses her temper.
No, but she might kill somebody's pet rat.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Loleta, CA
1,310 posts, read 1,123,146 times
Reputation: 1863
You couldn't pay me to live in Arcata - I do NOT like that town. That said, the surrounding environs like Bayside are actually quite nice. Eureka is...well, Eureka. The most visible parts of Eureka seem to be the worst, but get into the eastern bits and it's really nice. The more hidden areas like the Elk River valley, Humboldt Hill, etc. are way nicer than Eureka proper. Sunnier too, if that's what you're after.

I do find it interesting that you think Arcata was a bit more run down than Eureka, as I tend to think it's the opposite. Both cities have good and bad areas though so whatever lol
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
9,508 posts, read 12,543,101 times
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Pit bulls are the most popular breed, period. They don't show up in the AKC stats because they're not a recognized breed. Most of my neighbors have either pit bulls, labs or a mix like mine. Arcata lodging tends to run more expensive than Eureka because of the university .
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,700 posts, read 26,586,092 times
Reputation: 37676
Someone told me today that there are a ton of pit bulls abandoned in Arcata all the time by students who can't find housing with them, they move away, etc. So, it may not be the generous gesture as far as rescuing them, as someone said.

Yes, I found Arcata to be a wreck. I drove around the plaza and the neighboring streets. They just looked like cheap 1970's tract homes that had never been taken care of, and were cheap to begin with. I was really surprised. People I talked to who lived there loved it. They were proud there were no fast food restaurants, for instance. But, I think they're looking at their town through a fog of pot. In my opinion, it's a rundown mess.

Maybe there are neighborhoods outside that area that look great. I just didn't see them.

Eureka at least had a lot of lovely Victorian buildings all around the old town area that were well kept up and very attractive. I only saw the 101 corridor and downtown. My main issue was that the ocean didn't seem to be visible or very accessible, the ocean area seemed to be all industrial, and the homeless population were very front and center.

I'm on another road trip today, and I have to say that Willits looked really nice. Very clean, good shopping, and no homeless to be seen. I stopped at the Grocery Outlet there and there were a lot of white hairs, so I'm wondering if there are senior apartments there. Anyway, I was really struck by how attractive and clean Willits looked, and it's always been known for the cool old western-style buildings, but they also seem to have managed growth in a very attractive way.
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