Let me just quickly queue up “Come Clean” by Hillary Duff. For anyone who missed out on those few superb seasons of the Laguna based reality show back in the early 00’s, please catch up.
I have a lot to say on this subject so I think the best way to tackle it is to talk to you like you’ve never been here and you know nothing about LB, OC, SC, ODB, LBC, Snoop D.O.G.G. But first, BRB, ROFL. JK.
Another good precursor to understanding life here is to check a previous post all about the Sawdust Festival for some background info.
Now that I got that out of the way, this is for sure an artist’s town. And this is also for sure one of the most expensive places to live on the west coast (probably the country). Those two things don’t go together well. It is not easy to be a normal person living in Laguna, or even all of Orange County. The Laguna median price of sold homes in the past year is $1,548,588. How does anyone with normal jobs—considered good paying jobs anywhere else in the country—afford to stay here? Don’t get me started.
What makes this an artist town?I dunno. What makes your mom your mom? She just is, okay? Laguna is different from all the surrounding towns that make up this big orange county. For one, there is not one plaza located here. Or at least a plaza as you might visualize: Whole Foods, Michael’s, TJ Maxx, Staples, CVS. You know, those. We do have a Whole Foods, but it is jammed in the middle of downtown and about a quarter of the size of a normal one. I prefer it this way so I don’t walk out with a $200 bill when I went in for an avocado.
Wait, is there a plaza? Uhmmmmmmmm thinking, thinking. AH! There is one WITH a CVS! THEY GOT ME! It’s across from the Montage and has a Gelson’s market and La Sirena Grill, YUM. And I can’t think of anything else.
Anyhow, when I picture us moving somewhere else I get nervous. Will Christian be inspired enough to continue creating designs and blasting the world with instagram posts? DANK NUGG! SOMEONE’S GOTTA BRING HOME THE BACON! Hey, I do work. I’m just messing around. And let me take this time to apologize for going MIA for one month while I started a new job. But we don’t need to discuss my boring professional life. ←plug. Christian’s is way more exciting.
Picture living in say Irvine or Aliso Viejo. They’re lit-rully next door to us and take 10 extra minutes to get to downtown Laguna. (that’s very generous of me, let’s be honest, depending where you are in these cities it will take 35 minutes and i’ll tell you why in a second). These cities and most of the surrounding areas are, according to me, cement slabs full of tract homes and plazas.YOU WILL NEVER RUN OUT OF MASON JARS FROM MICHAEL’S or OVERPRICED WHOLE FOODS NUTS. You can’t go more than ⅛ mile without a stoplight, and this is why it takes 5x longer to do anything. How does one get inspired living like that? It’s still warm and if you’re close to a trail then you can view the surrounding concrete jungle from the top and the ocean or mountains in the distance. But, well, it’s just not for me. Or Christian.
BUT WHAT MAKES LAGUNA COOL? I still haven’t told you!
Laguna's western border is protected Pacific waters for 5.88 miles and 1.21 miles of state conservation land. If you’re not overlooking the water, you’re up in the canyon REALLY overlooking the water. And if you’re still not there, you’re down the one other access road into Laguna where we live IN the canyon. And that area is just a big eclectic pot of crazy. It’s not your typical town and nobody but me has a typical job. Lies again, but it feels that way. Let me tell you, if you ever did NOT want job stability, this is the place to be. Working 9-5 is so overrated and these people prove it. Our neighbors are glass blowers, jewelry makers, woodworkers, auto restorationists (is that a word?), landscapers, ceramists, ETCCCCCCCCCCCCCC. And then maybe a few other “occupations” I will not mention on the world wide web. WINK WINK.
Now let’s go back downtown. It’s just a funky vibe and that’s all I can say. It’s a fairly small population. And it’s also sunny 98% of the time. WAIT, NOT TRUE. There is often a morning mist that I love. Downtown is empty with the marine layer and you can roam about the streets pretty easily. You can be anywhere on PCH and have the ability to access the beach by… ohhh I dunno a ¼ mile walk? Maybe a half mile in some areas that I don’t frequent. How many beaches are in Laguna? After 10 seconds of research, turns out there are 37 beaches. I dunno what do you think? Is that enough? I guess that’s what is really nice and calming about being here. From any point, if you just GO WEST you will inevitably end up at the ocean with plentiful negative ions.
BUT HOW DO YOU AFFORD TO LIVE HERE!?
GOOD QUESTION!? You just gotta hustle. So again, back to the boring job thing. Just being here and being surrounded by 24/7 hustlers of all backgrounds makes you wanna do the same. Since living here I’ve revisited my 10 year old painting series idea, “Still Life with Hot Dog”. I’ve also come up with a pencil drawing series with watercolor, greeting cards, postcards, Tshirt designs, PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER (kidding), 7 different podcasts (but one is actually based on physical therapy, this could actually be real), and a non-alcoholic brewery. Just to name a few. SO HELP ME GOD IF YOU TRY AND STEAL MY IDEAS. They’re all patented, so just try me.
It’s not impossible to live here. It’s impossible to own a normal size home here. You have to be willing to sacrifice some things but it’s a tubular place to live. There are no downsides besides those pesky tourists clogging up the beaches in the summer. Nope, I lied again. It’s not even the tourists, it’s everyone else from all the surrounding areas who drive in and clog up the beaches. You just accept that it’s gonna be slower traffic. Listen, I’ve lived in New England. I have driven through blizzards and tripled my arrival time. It once took me three hours to get home from work because snow was accumulating so fast, I was driving behind a row of STATIES controlling the traffic at 20 MPH. And after that I went to my boyf’s house and got my car towed since it was in the way of the plow. So when my fellow SoCal’ers ask me how do I put up with the traffic in the canyon... HA. You’re funny. I live in vacationland. I’ll be okay, but thank you for your concern. Now let me get back to my side hustle dreams and making sure Christian’s still inspired.