Goodbye California — Hello Florida

When people ask me where I’m from, I usually say, “California,” as I have lived in that state more than any other and by choice, three times (twice as an adult and once as a runaway).

However, all that said, much of California turned out to be a disappointment.

For starters, I lived way too many years in the San Francisco Bay Area before discovering that Los Angeles is so much more to my liking in terms of the people, climate, sensibility, and space. Whereas San Francisco could be considered one big parking fine trap unless one takes the mythical “Number One in America” transit system (number one in delays? mechanical malfunctions? microbes? I’m at a loss). Between Progressives, the homeless, anorexics, diabetic amputees, LGBT etceteras, metrosexuals, indifferent landlords, academics, swingers, and assaulters, I can’t say who I miss more. Of course there’s also the city weather which is apparently perfect for cockroaches, Boston Ivy, and not much else. I’ve also lived in the suburbs which were irredeemable except for their weather.

When I moved back to The Bay Area from Los Angeles with my now ex-husband it was under the pretense that it would be different this time and better because I was a) married and b) well-off.

So I went back to work in The Silicon Valley and more than doubled my Los Angeles salary in the space of two years. Four years later we sold our home in The Berkeley Hills at the peak of the market and moved to Venezuela.

When I came back to the U.S. and found love, the only place left in the U.S. that seemed like home to me was Los Angeles and so we moved there.

However, after my thirteen years of being essentially in isolation or abroad, everything had changed. The biggest changes were probably a result of the smoking ban, feminism, and September 11 taken to their logical sociological conclusions. There was now nowhere to go in order to have conversations with a variety of people without being pulled into spouting the party line on health and nutrition advice. Rather, groups would tend to go out together in order to socialize with each other. Non-smokers aren’t terribly outgoing or risk-accepting when it comes to talking to strangers except at the bus stop. Men and women are now justifiably terrified of each other.

Bars are populated with nonsmokers whose only drugs left are alcohol and “hook-ups” which, as a latecomer to disco, hippie, and free love culture who made up for lost time, I can’t condemn them but, count me out, please.

I can’t believe that Los Angeles went from Richard Riordan to Gil Garcetti’s son as mayor while I’ve been gone. While I was in Los Angeles the first time around, the following events occurred:

The Rodney King Riots

The Northridge Earthquake

The O.J. Simpson trials

The Menedez Brothers trial

Circumstances have arisen wherein my Dominant and I are moving to Florida. Already there are a number of metrics that I find to be more to my liking than California; however, since I’m not in the real estate business, I don’t feel any particular compunction to elaborate except to say that cigar culture is a notable improvement. It’s also nicer to be a tad closer to Europe. If I play my cards right, I could be resuming my annual trip there one day. My passport is still good (it’s one of those older ones without the chip).

The area where we’ll be living reminds me a bit of Hawaii but without the scummy sections. At my age it cannot hurt to live a bit safer than I’ve been.

The other day I saw a rally in support of police officers. If people were to do something like that in Los Angeles they could be arrested.

5 thoughts on “Goodbye California — Hello Florida

  1. Which Florida? S. Florida – where NYC meets Cuba? NE Florida, where Jax is home to so many corporations and a Southern Baptist church rules politics, and some say controls the city? Tampa Bay, home to Fetishcon? Orlando, land of The Mouse and The Woodshed? Or Tallahassee, wherein dwells Governor Skeletor, and a culture more in tune with Alabama than the rest of Florida? Florida is huge – there is not One Florida.

  2. About your move away from CA to FLA. I was born in San Francisco, have lived and traveled throughout the state. I love its hills and mountains , the great bay, and the cliffs along highway 1. But…

    … it has been ruined. No need to give endless detail here.

    Part of my disappointment in what the people have done to the State of California comes from my experience of living eight winters, over two periods, in Alaska. Much of Alaska remains un-ruined by man–it’s so vast and the population small.

    I visited the east coast of Florida on a business trip in the mid-1970s and didn’t like it: a flat sand spit, just waiting to get washed away. This was the Miami and Miami Beach area. Much later I visited the west coast, Tampa Bay and the area north of it, and I liked it. I especially liked Tarpon Springs where the Greeks who settled there as sponge fishermen a few centuries ago (?) still maintain an ethnic presence. A friend of mine, whom I met in California before I moved to Sweden, just relocated to that general area, much to my surprise. He had established himself well in the Bayarrhea (as my high school buddy Fred has dubbed it). But I gather he met a woman who has a condo and, well, I have had a similar experience. He likes it there and is glad to be away from the madness of Silicon Valley. He calls them smug, and it fits for me. The cost of living is much lower in FLA and the people seem (according to my friend) more relaxed about accepting people of different persuasions–not as PC as CA.

    So, I congratulate you for your move and I shed a tear for what California used to be.

    PS: I have several friend here in Sweden who have eyes for Florida–one American with a Swedish husband has permanently relocated there. If I were to relocate to the USA, I’d choose Anchorage, Alaska. I have family there and I like the relative rawness of the people and environment.

    Wishing you well in your new circumstance.

    Ron Pavellas Haiku as an Approximation of Reality

    On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 7:11 AM, Ronald Pavellas wrote:

    > I’ve got some things to say, but will wait til next week when I’m back > from my ‘retreat’. > >

  3. Pingback: About Caprizchka | caprizchka

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