06 July 2005

Ready to Leave

My husband and I are starting to give serious thought to the idea of leaving L.A. After 42 years, minus the college years spent out of state and a half a year in Holland, I have had just about enough of this place. The dilemma we're facing now is that I'm afraid to stay here and my husband is afraid to leave (thinking a move to an unknown place—and he's a native Los Angeleno too—could leave us as dissatisfied as we are now). The only good thing I can say about this place is that I like being able to be at the beach within 20 minutes. That's it. The schools suck. The race relations suck. The quality of life sucks. Mean people suck. The crowds everywhere you look suck! The fact that I can't find a decent job sucks! But where would we go? It's not like we can pick up and move to another city or town without giving it serious thought. We have a child, a brown skinned child. I don't want him to be the only anything anywhere. I've lived that life (at times) and it's not much fun. So, for now, I think about moving to a place with decent places to surf, good schools, and a good amount of diversity. Snow is out. We're from L.A. Drastic climate changes aren't going to cut it. The South is out . . . because it's the South and it seems like a foreign country to black folks raised on the West Coast. What's left?

Okay, there's a contest at a local break on Saturday. Somehow, CYT talked me into doing it. So, today's session was all about getting to know this break. I've never surfed there before. She learned to surf there. I remember running in the sand from my home break during the winters, stopping at this one to watch the surfing, and then running back. I always thought I'd never be good enough to surf there. It's summer now, thus the waves are relatively tame, nothing like they are during the winter. The session was good. I spent quite a bit of time watching the waves, trying to get a feel for how this place breaks and how surfers approach the waves there. Then I started surfing. The one thing I realize now is that the fear of going to the nose is gone. I went there several times today, but couldn't quite pull the rides off. My best attempt on the nose was while going backside. I think that's harder to do because it's harder to watch the wave with your back turned. I couldn't quite watch my foot and watch the wave at the same time and in I went. Nonetheless, it was a good session. I'm not worried or nervous about the contest. I think I'm more excited by the idea of getting a surf contest t-shirt.

12 Comments:

At 7/6/05, 5:20 PM, Anonymous Tony said...

The contest will be fun. I am 47 and started surfing at 40. It sounds like we are at a similar skill level. I surfed in the Blackies Classic in Newport a couple of months ago and had a blast. There were some incredible surfers but I was suprised how many were just like me or worse. And the t shirt was the best part. The rest of your post is sad. I hope you find a good place for your family with water nearby.

 
At 7/6/05, 10:43 PM, Blogger Pamela said...

You can never have enough of the surf contest shirts!

Wishing you good waves and a great summer,

One Wahine in Portland (old CA native)

 
At 7/7/05, 8:17 AM, Blogger RuggerJay said...

Hey Sis - I hear ya; San Diego is rapdily on its way to becoming the next L.A. We were looking at Virginia Beach and even coastal North Carolina; from what I've been told by people I know who've lived there, great places to live. At the risk of angering Pamela, Chum, and the rest of Oregon, the Oregon coast looks really nice. They're not too fond of Californians moving up there and driving up the housing costs...

 
At 7/7/05, 3:34 PM, Blogger Chum said...

Hey,

Between you guys and me, we don't mind a little company in Oregon sometimes. Only if you're nice, which it sounds like you are. The only times crowds are a problem is in the summer when the waves get small and everyone piles onto the same beach. But when school starts back up, the waves start pumping and the rain starts pouring, we sometimes don't even mind having a couple people on the outside with us. Gets kinda creepy all alone! This of course is never the case with Seaside - a spot that I probably will never surf because of inbred locals.

-Chum

 
At 7/7/05, 3:38 PM, Blogger Chum said...

oh yeah, and there aren't many jobs up here either.

 
At 7/7/05, 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't leave because everybody will miss your ever entertaining blog way too much!

On the other hand, I can feel your pain. L.A. can be a very frustrating place to live. The crowds, traffic and cost of housing are ridiculous.

I have been living in LA since 1973 and have seen a fair number of changes I think that are for the better. While there certainly are tensions between Latino and African-American students in high schools in South LA and in the surrounding community there, I think that overall, people get along alot better than say back around 1992 prior to the LA Riots. Oh and as a side note, I'm a person of South Asian descent who has always attended public schools and universities in Los Angeles so I think my view is kind of balanced on this type of thing.

While the cost of housing is ridiculous, there are many more places that are desirable to live compared with twenty years ago. Twenty years ago, you'd seriously think twice about living in parts of Venice, Culver City or even Santa Monica due to random gang violence.

So you appear to be in kind of a bind because if you want to live somewhere which is diverse, has good weather and waves, good schools and is affordable ... that place probably doesn't exist.

I think the closest thing to what you are looking for might be found on one of the outer islands in Hawaii ... probably the Big Island. The question is would both you and your husband be able to find suitable employment there.

-R

 
At 7/7/05, 6:26 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Anon, the cost of housing is the least of my worries here. I live in the same neighborhood I grew up in. We got our place for a steal because the previous owner had known me since I was a little kid. The place has already doubled in value. I, too, went to public schools here and also got two of my degrees from schools here. I'm also a product of voluntary busing. And I remember well the L.A. before the riots. However, I don't forsee this place changing for the better, but I will keep my chin up (at least for my child's sake since I want to be a good role model for him).

Chum, I got one of my degrees from a school in the Pacific Northwest. I am somewhat familiar with what's up there. I'm well aware that the folks up there are sick of Californians who are now moving up there in droves. I'd be sick of us too.

 
At 7/7/05, 8:29 PM, Blogger Whiffleboy said...

Don't even consider the southeast. Stick with the northwest. Racism is still rampant in the South. It's only masked by a new term called "tolerance". The thoughts are there...they just don't speak them.

16 years ago I moved from there to the multi-cultural environment of L.A. and I still struggle with shaking some of the repulsive crap drilled in to my head from my youth.

 
At 7/8/05, 12:08 PM, Blogger crustyripper said...

Did you see the article about surfing in New York City in Surfing last month? Awesome waves off Coney Island. Except, cost of housing is riduclous, and those fabulous waves were in JANUARY with snow on the beach in a 5 MIL!

 
At 7/8/05, 2:06 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

I can't live in NYC. My mom was born there. I love the city, but it literally wears me out. I need open space. And, yeah, it's way too cold for me there.

Whiff, I wouldn't even think about the South. Never. Nope. Just can't do it.

 
At 7/8/05, 8:09 PM, Blogger puttzle said...

Hey surfsister! One drawback to the Big Island, and most of the Hawaiian islands with the exception of Oahu, would be the schools. Although, if you can afford it, there are some private ones that are quite good. Other than that, come on over! Unemployment here is the lowest in the nation, hovering around 3%, so there are jobs to be had...Aloha.

 
At 7/17/05, 9:32 AM, Anonymous Glennbo said...

You should consider moving up to our area. I live in Santa Cruz and you can find deals on homes, plenty of open space, the schools are fantastic and the community is one of the most open minded you will ever find. Drive 2 miles north of town and you are in farm lands with point breaks
Ohh... and we have quality waves 300+ days a year.

 

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