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Old 01-24-2014, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Buena Park, Orange County, California
1,426 posts, read 1,873,198 times
Reputation: 1492

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Let's not hijack this thread to one about Detroit vs. Long Beach, as I'm sure there is plenty of ignorance/misinformation about both.

Long Beach has plenty of great schools. Yes, overall the city is rather average (although still a better option than the LAUSD - not sure that says much), but there are quite a few gems. Just the same, living in Orange County itself won't guarantee that their children will be going to University High School in Irvine, Oxford Academy in Cypress or Troy High School in Fullerton - which are the best of the best, and not just in O.C. The high schools in Long Beach are average, not bad, but their magnet programs within those schools are top of the line. Then again if the O.P. does not consider their children smart enough to get into such magnet programs, or qualify for schools like Oxford where you have to test in, then yeah I would just choose an all around good school and not just one with great magnet programs.

Also, yes, Long Beach has social problems which I am acutely aware of as I've worked as a community organizer in the area. Nonetheless, they are clustered into concentrated pockets (pretty much the west side, downtown, and North Long Beach.) My family used to live in North Long Beach, and I wouldn't recommend living there to anyone unless you can't afford any other neighborhood. North Long Beach is worlds away from the east side, Naples, Belmont, university park estates...etc - all great neighborhoods, which feel like an extension of Orange County, really. Having said this, you wouldn't tell someone not to live in Newport because Santa Ana is 10 mins up the freeway. Yet, people do this swooping characterization of the city (LBC) all the time. "Oh, no no no, don't move to Long Beach, a few minutes in the wrong direction and you're in the bad neighborhood." Well, a few minutes in the wrong direction in Huntington Beach and you end up on Beach Blvd with hookers and drug dealers.

OP, if you choose to live in O.C., I would, for the most part, give up on the idea that a city or a neighborhood = a community. Orange County is the definition of an edge city - we are not your grandparent's suburbia. If you're not sure what I mean, read up on Joel Garreau's Edge City: Life on the New Frontier. There is a chapter in there called 'community' and it actually focuses on Orange County. As you can tell by the previous posts, there is actually quite a bit of vegan/vegetarian dining and eco-consciousness in O.C. From Mothers Markets (which are all over O.C., even in Santa Ana) with their entirely vegan (and delicious!) whole foods style buffets, to the Veggie Grill - a vegan fast food chain that has its origins in O.C. and now has spread throughout the west coast. Then there is the endless supply of Vietnamese/Asian vegan restaurants clustered in central O.C. (Westminster, F.V., Garden Grove).

Orange County also has a rich history of conservation, and we all get to enjoy the fruits of that labor with natural treasures like the Newport Dunes, Laguna Coast and Aliso Viejo Wilderness Parks, Santiago Oak Regional Park, Peters Canyon and the great expanse that is the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. So, if I were you, I wouldn't think about your move to O.C. in terms of 'who is my neighbor', but rather what you want to have access to. Great schools, you will find through out the county, from the older communities of Cypress and Fullerton to the newer ones in the south. If you want access to the natural resources, central (Tustin/Orange) and south (Laguna/Aliso/Lake Forest) is the way to go. If you want culture, diversity and proximity to a great variety of restaurants - stay in the dense core near Newport/Irvine/Costa Mesa/Santa Ana/Orange, and avoid far off communities like San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. If you want to be isolated, small town status, then ignore my last sentence and head right down to those sleepy, beachside, family oriented communities. If you want WEIRD and rural, try Silverado.

Now, if you want to be surrounded by bleeding heart liberals with the same ethics as yours...well, it's called the internet. A quick search on MeetUp.com brought me groups such as : Orange County Active & Vegan For Life; Orange County Vegan Drinks; the Orange County Veggie MeetUp group; the Greater Orange County Animal Rights Roundtable (http://www.meetup.com/gocart/); the Animal Protection and Rescue League - Costa Mesa based (Animal Protection & Rescue League (Costa Mesa, CA) - Meetup) ; Orange County People for Animals (http://www.meetup.com/orangecountypeople4animals/); The Left Bank of Orange County (The Left Bank of Orange County (Fullerton, CA) - Meetup) - progressives/liberals galore . My point with all these, is that Orange County is a metropolitan area of 3 million + people, which is more than greater Portland, and you can't stereotype 3 million people as tea baggers. Yes, we are home to the Richard Nixon library and lean right of center, but we are also a thriving multicultural, multilingual, cosmopolitan urban entity with our own unique identity within Southern California.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
950 posts, read 2,221,784 times
Reputation: 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacific2 View Post
OT, but have you ever tried Mother's Kitchen on Paseo de Valencia in Laguna Woods? They have good vegetarian take-out and sit-down meals. The only thing I don't like about them is that they don't vary the menu much. It seems like they rotate a few items and that's it.

Also, if you want to try even more vegetarian food, stop by Native Foods in Aliso Viejo at Town Center (a few doors away from the movie theater). They offer much more variety and the food is good. Here are a few sample items form their menu:

Chicken Run Ranch Burger
Crispy battered Native Chicken, ranch dressing, romaine, carrots, and onions. What everyone would eat if chickens ran the ranch.

Soul Bowl
Southern fried Native Chicken with hearty red beans and brown rice, steamed veggies and kale dressed with ranch and BBQ sauce and served with homemade cornbread.

Portobello and Sausage Burger
Juicy grilled portobellos, our homemade Native Sausage Seitan, caramelized onions, pomodoro, sweet roasted garlic, creamy pumpkin seed pesto and mayo.
We LOVE Native Foods. Where we live now, there aren't any vegan restaurants nearby. We have to drive 45 minutes and none of them compare to Native Foods. Everyone always thinks that the Bay Area is this mecca of healthy living, but in fact, we have always found SoCal to be more health conscious and certainly has more vegan restaurants. My guess is that these places can't afford to do business in the Bay Area. We rarely go out to eat here because there just isn't any place to go.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
950 posts, read 2,221,784 times
Reputation: 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado xxxxx View Post
Laguna Canyon, a great area.
Can you please tell me more about it? I have a search saved in RedFin for Laguna Canyon, but I don't know anything about it. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
950 posts, read 2,221,784 times
Reputation: 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by RudyOD View Post
Let's not hijack this thread to one about Detroit vs. Long Beach, as I'm sure there is plenty of ignorance/misinformation about both.

Long Beach has plenty of great schools. Yes, overall the city is rather average (although still a better option than the LAUSD - not sure that says much), but there are quite a few gems. Just the same, living in Orange County itself won't guarantee that their children will be going to University High School in Irvine, Oxford Academy in Cypress or Troy High School in Fullerton - which are the best of the best, and not just in O.C. The high schools in Long Beach are average, not bad, but their magnet programs within those schools are top of the line. Then again if the O.P. does not consider their children smart enough to get into such magnet programs, or qualify for schools like Oxford where you have to test in, then yeah I would just choose an all around good school and not just one with great magnet programs.

Also, yes, Long Beach has social problems which I am acutely aware of as I've worked as a community organizer in the area. Nonetheless, they are clustered into concentrated pockets (pretty much the west side, downtown, and North Long Beach.) My family used to live in North Long Beach, and I wouldn't recommend living there to anyone unless you can't afford any other neighborhood. North Long Beach is worlds away from the east side, Naples, Belmont, university park estates...etc - all great neighborhoods, which feel like an extension of Orange County, really. Having said this, you wouldn't tell someone not to live in Newport because Santa Ana is 10 mins up the freeway. Yet, people do this swooping characterization of the city (LBC) all the time. "Oh, no no no, don't move to Long Beach, a few minutes in the wrong direction and you're in the bad neighborhood." Well, a few minutes in the wrong direction in Huntington Beach and you end up on Beach Blvd with hookers and drug dealers.

OP, if you choose to live in O.C., I would, for the most part, give up on the idea that a city or a neighborhood = a community. Orange County is the definition of an edge city - we are not your grandparent's suburbia. If you're not sure what I mean, read up on Joel Garreau's Edge City: Life on the New Frontier. There is a chapter in there called 'community' and it actually focuses on Orange County. As you can tell by the previous posts, there is actually quite a bit of vegan/vegetarian dining and eco-consciousness in O.C. From Mothers Markets (which are all over O.C., even in Santa Ana) with their entirely vegan (and delicious!) whole foods style buffets, to the Veggie Grill - a vegan fast food chain that has its origins in O.C. and now has spread throughout the west coast. Then there is the endless supply of Vietnamese/Asian vegan restaurants clustered in central O.C. (Westminster, F.V., Garden Grove).

Orange County also has a rich history of conservation, and we all get to enjoy the fruits of that labor with natural treasures like the Newport Dunes, Laguna Coast and Aliso Viejo Wilderness Parks, Santiago Oak Regional Park, Peters Canyon and the great expanse that is the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. So, if I were you, I wouldn't think about your move to O.C. in terms of 'who is my neighbor', but rather what you want to have access to. Great schools, you will find through out the county, from the older communities of Cypress and Fullerton to the newer ones in the south. If you want access to the natural resources, central (Tustin/Orange) and south (Laguna/Aliso/Lake Forest) is the way to go. If you want culture, diversity and proximity to a great variety of restaurants - stay in the dense core near Newport/Irvine/Costa Mesa/Santa Ana/Orange, and avoid far off communities like San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. If you want to be isolated, small town status, then ignore my last sentence and head right down to those sleepy, beachside, family oriented communities. If you want WEIRD and rural, try Silverado.

Now, if you want to be surrounded by bleeding heart liberals with the same ethics as yours...well, it's called the internet. A quick search on MeetUp.com brought me groups such as : Orange County Active & Vegan For Life; Orange County Vegan Drinks; the Orange County Veggie MeetUp group; the Greater Orange County Animal Rights Roundtable (http://www.meetup.com/gocart/); the Animal Protection and Rescue League - Costa Mesa based (Animal Protection & Rescue League (Costa Mesa, CA) - Meetup) ; Orange County People for Animals (http://www.meetup.com/orangecountypeople4animals/); The Left Bank of Orange County (The Left Bank of Orange County (Fullerton, CA) - Meetup) - progressives/liberals galore . My point with all these, is that Orange County is a metropolitan area of 3 million + people, which is more than greater Portland, and you can't stereotype 3 million people as tea baggers. Yes, we are home to the Richard Nixon library and lean right of center, but we are also a thriving multicultural, multilingual, cosmopolitan urban entity with our own unique identity within Southern California.
Thank you so much for this post. A ton of great information and points being made, many of which I agree with. This is why I post questions on city data, for well thought out answers such as this.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:04 PM
Status: "Stand with Hong Kong" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Laguna Niguel, Orange County CA
9,753 posts, read 7,636,858 times
Reputation: 7752
Rudy is right about LBC. It is not a bad place and in some ways gets a bum rap. It has a lot going for it. But it is gritty in spots and if one can't deal with that, I'd say OC might be better for those persons with kids. I guess it depends on what you can find. That said, I dont have kids and I moved from an urban environment and wanted tranquility since I am older. Ten years ago, if you had told me I would be living in snooze-ville Laguna Niguel and not in LBC, notwithstanding the fact that LN is very gorgeous and tranquil, I would have said you were crazy. But people change and their needs change. We opted for quiet.

I just remembered I used to pretty frequently drive out to this vegetarian restaurant in NOVA (Falls Church) when I lived in DC. It is very good for vegetarian Asian.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:08 PM
Status: "Stand with Hong Kong" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Laguna Niguel, Orange County CA
9,753 posts, read 7,636,858 times
Reputation: 7752
Pacific, you are spot on about Detroit. It has many magnificent homes. It is very tragic what happened in that city. We lost all of our manufacturing base and Detroit suffered perhaps the worst over the course of decades. Not to go OT, but it begs the question about so-called free trade and sends chilling messages about our competitiveness in the world.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:52 PM
Status: "Stand with Hong Kong" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Laguna Niguel, Orange County CA
9,753 posts, read 7,636,858 times
Reputation: 7752
Hey Pacific,

Speaking of tree hugging liberals, another friend mentioned this place in Aliso Viejo for organic produce.
I am heading there this weekend! I had been going to Sprouts since Whole Foods in LN is generally too expensive and we need to save in our 401Ks.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
4,941 posts, read 6,331,448 times
Reputation: 4064
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvSouthOC View Post
Hey Pacific,

Speaking of tree hugging liberals, another friend mentioned this place in Aliso Viejo for organic produce.
I am heading there this weekend! I had been going to Sprouts since Whole Foods in LN is generally too expensive and we need to save in our 401Ks.
Growers Direct is one of my favorites and you can't beat the prices. I think I just stood there with my mouth open the first time I checked out at the register and saw how little I had paid. I thought they had made a mistake.

It's worth a visit.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
950 posts, read 2,221,784 times
Reputation: 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvSouthOC View Post
Rudy is right about LBC. It is not a bad place and in some ways gets a bum rap. It has a lot going for it. But it is gritty in spots and if one can't deal with that, I'd say OC might be better for those persons with kids.
You are right LuvSouthOC, our tolerance for grittiness is extremely low now that we have children so that rules out many areas for us, but the air quality in those gritty areas is usually bad as well, in addition to poor schools. I know that there can be some gems in a troubled district, but even if it is a gem, it will constantly be struggling under the weight of the district and that is difficult to overcome, especially since the majority of the funding will always be allocated to the schools which are struggling the most.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
950 posts, read 2,221,784 times
Reputation: 198
It sounds like the conclusion is that if there is a place for us in OC, it is Laguna Beach. Housing inventory is extremely low right now which makes it difficult to get a clear picture. How likely is it that we would be able to find a modest SFH, in Laguna Beach for under $750K once inventory increases in the spring?
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