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Old 01-10-2008, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,913,617 times
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Not all of Downtown caters to hispanics. The area near the Federal courthouse does not. Original Mikes restaurant does not. The artists village does not. Much of the rest does cater to Latinos, but it can be really fun. It is like going to T.J. without the drive.

The Farmers market on fourth street (at about French Street) is not Hispaic oriented. (I think that it is every other Wednesday, or something like that). That is(was?) a great place to buy balsamic vinegar and olive oils, honey, home made breads, cut flowers, and seasonal veggies.

Hove you ever gone to one of the nice Hispanic oriented markets? I used to love to walk down to Northgate market. It is a different experience, shopping is a social event in some cultures and Northgate on the weekends demonstrates that well. It is a decent place to pick up basic supplies and very clean. You do have to watch the dates stamped on milk and meat products.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,913,617 times
Reputation: 39459
Orange is wonderful. We lived there for five years before moving to Santa Ana. We came to love Santa Ana too, but we never let go of Orange.
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,164 posts, read 27,259,950 times
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I love the city of Orange, and I'd say it's a gem in central OC. The Citrus Grill, Felix's, and other restaurants downtown are great. It's almost like walking through Mayberry!

I didn't mean to imply that the businesses in downtown Santa Ana were bad or anything - they cater to the majority of residents in the area. When I was on jury duty a couple years ago, I walked over to 4th St. for lunch, and I was the only white guy in the restaurant. Lucky I speak Spanish! I also like that mall over in Little Saigon - it's like a day trip to Vietnam. You can find some interesting things there too. I forgot the name of ot though- in Garden Grove or Westminster.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,913,617 times
Reputation: 39459
Some businesses on Fourth street are not very friendly to non-Hispanics, but only a few. One place asked me to leave ("No Gringos"), I do not remember which one. I was more amused than offended. Fourth Street East of Main is a miniature TJ. Fourth street West of Main is more typically American. Shelly's Bistro, and Boardwalk (now closed, but supposedly temporarily cosed), the coffee shop at the round building with the fountain in front of it and well. . . subway. All serve traditional US cuisine. (Shelly's is cajun) All of them have good food except maybe Subway. There is also a Starbucks that serves pastries with their coffee. Quiznos is across the street from the old courthouse. Original Mikes is decent food too, but a bit of a walk for jurors. We were boycotting it because we did not want to support Mike Harrah in any way, but I heard that he sold the place. The cafeteria at the Federal Courthouse is also reasonably good at times. Some of their specials are very good and very affordable.

I rarely visited Little Siagon. I did not avoid it, just never had a reason to go there. I would like to look around that mall. Maybe I will go look around next weekend since I will be near there.
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:56 AM
 
566 posts, read 1,941,478 times
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Coldjensens:

OCHSA is not a regular school. I wish it was because we would have sent our kids there when we lived in Santa Ana. Each student must join a conservatory (music, art, dance, etc) and spend a great deal of time perfecting their skill in that discipline. Classes run until 4:40pm so that the kids have time to practice in their conservatory. Some families will like this. But the average family looking for a good school will not be interested in spending so much time on art. The average family wants a school with an athletic program and the time to do after school activities. OCHSA conducts its classes in a multi-story office building in a downtown area. Not a big turnoff for me, but surely not a regular high school. Its a shame becasue they do have a good academic program.

What Orange County really lacks are charter schools. There are no charter high schools in OC that I know of (and which you can get in to) OCHSA being the exception. There rest of the school system in OC is dismal including the public schools in nicer, south OC areas. Before you argue look at the SCAR scores and the lousy proficiency rates among high schoolers in all schools in OC (except those with large Asian populations). Take some time and show me some facts before you write more.

As for whether Santa Ana is a nice place to live I will leave it to anyone who wants to go there and take a look for themselves. Drive to Santa Ana from any direction (try the 17th Street offramp from the 5). You'll think you are in another country. And the closer you get to the center of Santa Ana the worse it gets. Better yet get out of your car and take a walk at night.
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Irvine, CA to Keller, TX
4,829 posts, read 6,938,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobmw View Post
Coldjensens:

OCHSA is not a regular school. I wish it was because we would have sent our kids there when we lived in Santa Ana. Each student must join a conservatory (music, art, dance, etc) and spend a great deal of time perfecting their skill in that discipline. Classes run until 4:40pm so that the kids have time to practice in their conservatory. Some families will like this. But the average family looking for a good school will not be interested in spending so much time on art. The average family wants a school with an athletic program and the time to do after school activities. OCHSA conducts its classes in a multi-story office building in a downtown area. Not a big turnoff for me, but surely not a regular high school. Its a shame becasue they do have a good academic program.

What Orange County really lacks are charter schools. There are no charter high schools in OC that I know of (and which you can get in to) OCHSA being the exception. There rest of the school system in OC is dismal including the public schools in nicer, south OC areas. Before you argue look at the SCAR scores and the lousy proficiency rates among high schoolers in all schools in OC (except those with large Asian populations). Take some time and show me some facts before you write more.

As for whether Santa Ana is a nice place to live I will leave it to anyone who wants to go there and take a look for themselves. Drive to Santa Ana from any direction (try the 17th Street offramp from the 5). You'll think you are in another country. And the closer you get to the center of Santa Ana the worse it gets. Better yet get out of your car and take a walk at night.
Santa Ana has some real cool areas downtown and is fun just to walk around and people watch. The food is good and it makes for a fun for a couple of hours.

OCHSA is a great school if your child is in the arts. My daughter went there from 7th to 11th all the way until November 2006 when we moved to Texas. She loved it there. She is for the first time at the old age of 17 in a HS where there are boys/men. She is like a kid in a candy store. As her father I am not too excited about that.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,913,617 times
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I had children attending OCHSA, I am familiar with it. (My kids walked to OCHSA). You are correct that they do not have athletics (other than dance and judo). However they do fully prepare children for college and give them an excellent opportunity to get into colleges. They teach the same academic curriculum as any other school, they just seem to do it better than most and they add the arts programs into a longer school day.

There are two other excellent public schools in central OC. I do not remember if they are charter schools or not. One is in Fullerton, one is in Anaheim. One is called Oxford something (Academy?). I cannot remember the name of the other. I do not think that either one is athletically oriented.

These two schools, along with OCHSA, and a school in Irvine consistently ranked in the OC top 10 (often top 5) on test scores, college admissions and similar criteria. the other top ten schools were all in sourthern OC.


I am also very familiar with Santa Ana having lived downtown for 9 years (1996 -2005). There are a lot of nice very walkable areas. In fact, I often walked or rode my bicycle with my children right past the exit you are referring to on our way to McDonalds on 17th street. I walked from my house to my office in downtown Santa Ana almost every day, I walked home in the dark almost every night. When I had to work in LA, I walked to the train station and took the train/subway. When I got back, I walked home late at night in a suit carrying a $2000 laptop and no one ever bothered me at all.

You do have to know what you are doing, i.e. on Washington from the 17th street exit, go southwest into French Park and it is nice. Do not go North into French Court. It is awful there. Due south into the Logan neighborhood used to be really bad too, but they are working at improving it. However if you go to 17th street and go North, you go into Park Santiago, an excellent neighborhood. From the train station exit (Grand/Santa Ana blvd.) you must go either West or Northwest. South and Southwest is bad and there is nothing to the East (except the 5 freeway).

If you want a really charming walk/drive or bike ride, go up into Floral Park. You will not find houses like that anywhere else in OC. The same is true of French Park, Henniger Park, Wilshire Square and several other neighborhoods, but there are more ugly apartments mixed in with these neighborhoods. Still nice areas, with beautiful craftsman or Victorian homes, just not as consistently nice as Floral Park.

Even the bad areas are mostly just run down and poor. I did not like walking in French Court at any time, but from Santa Ana Blvd. to 4th and on West into Downtown was not bad, just run down. (sometimes late at night hookers would proposition you along the way, but it was rare and they were harmless).

Soccersupporter, Your daughter found no boys at OCHSA? that is odd, we know some boys who went there. They were even boy who like girls.
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,164 posts, read 27,259,950 times
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Is that 30 story skyscraper still going to be built downtown, or did neighbors finally kill it?
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,913,617 times
Reputation: 39459
I was told that the permits were issued recently even though he has apparently not met the agreed requirements in the development agreement.

Who knows if it will ever be built. The developer is .. . . umm. . . . less than perfect. (just my opinion)
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:52 PM
 
364 posts, read 612,058 times
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The other school that you mentioned in Anaheim is Oxford Academy. Their kids do incredibly well on state tests. If only the rest of the CA school system had even a vague resemblance to Oxford it would be the envy of the US. But Oxford is another special situation school. Admitance to Oxford is through scholastic competition only. They take the top 15 kids from each Anaheim middle school. Outsiders can only get into Oxford by competing (on tests) for an additional 15 total spots held for those outside Anaheim. Oxford is mostly Asian kids as you would expect. Asian kids take their studies seriously and form 75% of the Oxford student body. A family reading this forum from out of the area would have almost no chance of getting their kids into Oxford. There is another similar school in Cerritos with them same sort of enrty requirements.

The OC public school system produces very low quality graduates (same true for most of CA). The only exceptions (like University High in Irvine) are those with high Asian populations.

By the way I lived in Floral Park for 35 years and still keep a house there. My pulse goes up and a look around constantly every time I go out to the drive way at night. We've had some scary things going on over the years in Floral Park - especially recently.
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