Orange County – The FONZ of California…

Once in a while, in my search for some Orange County-centric topic to write about, I’ll come across some article that paints us in a light I would never have imagined. Sometimes, it’s just ludicrous enough for me to write about.

Such a thing happened this morning. I came across an (admittedly older) article by Eric Torkells in BudgetTravelOnline, titled “I was from Orange County back when the O.C. wasn’t cool.” It includes the absolutely perfect aphorism for Orange Countian, “You know you’ve really grown up when you start coveting real estate.” Oh my god. He really is from Orange County.

But wait a minute, hold on to your land lust for just a sec. A county? Cool?

IF I was going to buy into the theory that land masses can be cool – and this is an IF now – I might say that New Zealand is cool. Hell, even Manhattan might be cool. But Orange County isn’t even a land mass, it’s a political construct, a territorial demarcation – it’s imaginary lines that have been placed here for the purposes of taxation and representation… if you believe in such things.


When I was a kid, we used to walk down to the Valley High School swimming pool in the heat of the summer, frying our feet on the concrete, to swim for a dime. We used to hang out at South Coast Plaza, shoplifting from the Woolworth’s (or was it Woolco?) and the Treasury. We used to take the bus to the beach, smoke and body-surf – but it was never, ever, NERVER cool! It was just a place. It was our home.

But maybe it’s just me. Maybe I can’t wrap my brain around it. What do you think?

Is Orange County cool? And, if it is, why? (For the love of the old City shopping center… WHY???)

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