Advice about moving to California (Orange County) - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Insert BS here A place to discuss anything you want

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-17-2011, 12:06 AM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (7)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Overland Park, KS
Posts: 395
Total Cats: 6
Default Advice about moving to California (Orange County)

I am considering pursuing an opportunity to relocate to Orange County, CA. I want the down low down on living in California from MT.net. (Joe, Y8s, Savington I am looking at you.)

Wife and I are both MBA types in our early 30s. We had our first child this year might have another in the next couple years. We have both always wanted to live in So Cal even if it's just for a few years. It is a culturally unique place and the weather is phenomenal.

Currently living in Overland Park, KS. It is a wealthy, educated enclave in the midwest with top billing from CNN/ Money magazine, ranking in the top 10 places in the US to live for a couple decades now. I feel stupid to consider leaving, but my career is stuck in neutral and the weather here is awful. We have two seasons, hot and cold, with a brief period of extreme winds separating them. Its either 105 or -5.

So what pearls of wisdom do you guys have to share?
MazDilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 01:17 AM   #2
Elite Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,510
Total Cats: 142
Default

Having grown up in NorCal, but having a daughter in school in Irvine for several years now, I can honestly say that I find Orange county feels somewhat cold, pretentious, and superficial. A surrealistic contrivance of purely engineered artifice. I fear for your sensibilities coming from your midwest origin. Love the weather, the nice roads, the cleanliness, the low crime all you want, but you will find SoCal people to be very different! I always feel a bit like I'm watching the Stepford Wives meet Disneyland.

.02

(and for all those that live there, sorry . . . just sayin!)
good2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 01:37 AM   #3
Boost Pope
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago (Over two miles from Wrigley Field. Fuck the Cubs. Fuck them in their smarmy goat-hole.)
Posts: 26,315
Total Cats: 1,913
Default

I'm a bit south of OC and don't really spend much time up there, so I can't speak to the neighborhoods specifically, but SoCal in general is just a fantastic place to live. I have been all around the country, and this is without a doubt the nicest area I have ever been. Even with the high housing costs and the CARB bullshit, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

While it does rain occasionally, the climate is about as nice as you can imagine. It can get warm in the summertime if you're located a significant distance from the coast (temps in the 90s not unusual in the inland areas), what you've heard people say about it being a "dry heat" is absolutely true. I didn't believe it myself until I happened to be out at the emissions testing range we use in Riverside one summer day, and happened to look up at the thermometer on the side of the bunker. It was close to 100 degrees, but with low humidity and a light breeze, I'd have guessed it was 20 degrees cooler. Nearer to the coast, temperatures drop significantly, with summertime highs typically in the 80s. During the winter it remains temperate, getting quite chilly at night (40s are common) but typically seeing no lower than the mid 60s for daytime highs.

In terms of landscape, it's quite different from what you're probably used to. This is, after all, the edge of the Mojave and Sonoran desert regions. There's not nearly as much green as you're probably accustomed to, and at first, that was a bit shocking. But the place has a beauty all its own. There's really no place you can go where you can't look out and see the mountains.


OC is probably not as culturally unique as you'd expect, especially if you're going to be somewhere like Irvine. While we do have certain little enclaves of hippies and surfer dudes and marijuana connoisseurs, the vast majority of this area is little different culturally from any other suburban area near any kind of large military / high-tech industrial / research base. Target is a lot more popular out here than Wal-Mart, and there's an In-n-Out Burger on every corner, but that's about as radical as it gets. Lots of cookie-cutter neighborhoods, lots of strip malls, lots of the sort of stuff you'd find pretty much anywhere else. It's just all done in faux Mission Revival style architecture here.

One suggestion I would make is that if you have the option, choose to live near where you work. Freeway commuting is a major drag out here. Some folks don't seem to mind, but I gladly pay an extra few hundred bucks a month in rent to live in a place where my daily commute both avoids the freeways and avoids the bulk of local traffic headed onto and off of the freeways. That last part is more important than you might think; as a personal example, at 5pm every day, traffic on eastbound San Marcos Blvd is backed up 3-4 miles heading towards hwy 78. Fortunately, I'm headed westbound at that time.

949 Racing is located in Lake Forest, which is in southern OC, so you might also want to talk with Emilio, as he lives in that area and can better advise you than I on specific neighborhoods.


Of course, you will need to have a plan of action for your car. I can't recall off the top of my head what under-hood mods you've done, but they do take that sort of thing pretty seriously here. It's no problem bringing in a 49-state car that's unmodified, but they won't cut you any slack come registration time if you have a non CARB-approved turbo system installed just because you're not from around here and didn't know any better.
Joe Perez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 02:53 AM   #4
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (7)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Overland Park, KS
Posts: 395
Total Cats: 6
Default

nice first post good2go!

The office would be in coastal town (Huntington Beach)

Joe, you are not kidding about wet vs dry heat. Anything above 85 here and its like being suffocated with a steamy wet blanket.

I would probably sell the Miata rather than convert it back to a CARB compliant state. I would sell my daily too as it is getting long in the tooth and simplify down to one car, keeping the wife's newer civic. I wouldn't mind doing the electric bike commute.
MazDilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 05:27 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 219
Total Cats: 3
Default

I tend to agree that the OC, especially around Irvine, feels superficial and fake. However, if you're interested in mountain biking, it's a great place to be.

CARB can be an issue around here, if you modify your car you'll either need CARB exemption or other connections; however, there are plenty of nice drives to take in the area (PCH, ortega freeway, etc) that may make it worth it to keep a miata or fun driver around. You honestly don't want to go anywhere in irvine without a car- everything is simply too far apart.
crono36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 06:12 AM   #6
Elite Member
iTrader: (6)
 
TorqueZombie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Lebanon, TN
Posts: 1,668
Total Cats: 63
Default

I've basically done your opposite with a a few detours in the middle. I grew up in L.A. and San Diego. More specifically upper teen years were Temecula for those who know the area. I'm now in Tennessee after being all over the place and Europe. The one thing I miss is the mountain/twisty roads and the weather in Cali. Swear this humid south heat will kill me. What they've all said is true. +1 for the living near work. What people here in the south so far call traffic is a joke compared to Cali. I have literally had a bbq in the bed of my truck in traffic in 91 freeway traffic. So Cal people can be cool. However, most are self absorbed and pretentious. The area around Huntington isn't too bad crime wise if I remember. Oddly though every area has a "bad" spot and some more than others. Compton for example just avoid, been there. (Was the only white kid in the neighborhood) It's been a few years since I've lived in Cali('04), and someone can correct me, but for the most part the farther you go inland from the coast the higher percentage of the town is crime/****. Also there is NO gap in between cities. I still freaks me out here after 6months. For example: If you leave Nashville and go east the city stops, there is a small space of trees then "oh" here's another town. Then that town goes buy, gap of nothing but green then bam another city. You can drive for hours around L.A. through the different areas and never know it. Unless you see the sign "Thanks for visiting XXXX" and your not from there you never know your in a new area. Like Huntington to Long Beach to Redondo. It's a concrete jungle. If I ever went back I'd take San Diego over L.A. any day. But I lived there during the riots so I'm a little scarred.

CARB is an evil mistress and nightmare inducing bitch.
The greatest thing about living out here is NO smog at all unless you live in the major cities
TorqueZombie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 11:54 AM   #7
y8s
2 Props,3 Dildos,& 1 Cat
iTrader: (8)
 
y8s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Fake Virginia
Posts: 19,038
Total Cats: 406
Default

I can't give much advice about southern california since I grew up in the sf bay area.

It tends to be more conservative than the rest of california, comparatively.

Joe's right about traffic. the drive from santa ana to, say, riverside could take 3 hours even though it's under 40 miles. at 9pm.

I'll actually be down that way for the holidays... not OC so much but Riverside and Lake Elsinore. Last time we spent xmas down there, we sat outside by a fire pit without jackets.

the big irony for a car guy moving to california is this:

California caters to car guys. it's hard to drive around southern california without seeing modded cars. It's also pretty hard to get away with engine mods because of the smog laws. That said, I'd almost rather drive a stock power miata all year round than a turbo miata for 5 months of the year when it's not too hot and not too cold.
y8s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 02:19 PM   #8
Boost Pope
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago (Over two miles from Wrigley Field. Fuck the Cubs. Fuck them in their smarmy goat-hole.)
Posts: 26,315
Total Cats: 1,913
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorqueZombie View Post
It's been a few years since I've lived in Cali('04), and someone can correct me, but for the most part the farther you go inland from the coast the higher percentage of the town is crime/****.
This is still true of the suburban areas in north SD county, though there are exceptions.

I live in Carlsbad, which is right on the coast, and it's a very posh area. Nothing under a million dollars, home-wise, and this is reflected in the quality of the schools, the quality of road maintenance, the quality of the libraries, and the general prettiness of the area. As you move inland a few miles into Vista and San Marcos, prices get a tad more reasonable and the uniformness starts to degrade, though it's definitely compartmentalized. Take Vista, for instance. It's mostly a lot of trailer parks and auto repair shops, but then right in the middle of it there's Shadowridge, which is a country club-style neighborhood complete with private golf course. Moving further inland towards I-15 you hit Escondido, where the predominant language becomes a mixture of Mexican Spanish / Vietnamese and you start seeing washing machines in front lawns, although it's hardly what I'd call a ghetto neighborhood, and while the rate of property crime goes up, we still don't really have anything that would be considered gang violence.

But then you start finding weird exceptions. If you start at the coast and go directly north, for instance, you wind up in Oceanside, which has some neighborhoods that are just downright scary.



Quote:
Also there is NO gap in between cities. I still freaks me out here after 6months. For example: If you leave Nashville and go east the city stops, there is a small space of trees then "oh" here's another town.
True that. If you were to start at the southwest edge of MCB Camp Pendleton (the northernmost coastal point in civilian SD county) and drive all the way to the Mexico border (about 50 miles) you would see one continuous stretch of condos, office buildings and strip malls. There's not a single gap where you'd consider yourself to have left one city and entered another until almost the very end (when you hit Chula Vista, you feel as though you've left one country and entered another, even though the border is still a few miles away.)

I don't consider this an inherently bad thing, it's just different.



Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
the big irony for a car guy moving to california is this:

California caters to car guys. it's hard to drive around southern california without seeing modded cars. It's also pretty hard to get away with engine mods because of the smog laws.
Yeah, it's kind of ironic. We probably have more hot-rod shops and more modified cars per square mile here than any other area on earth. And on the other hand, we have the most draconian smog laws imaginable.

Honestly, CARB isn't a show-stopper. It's just an inefficient bureaucratic system that has rules, and you have to learn to interpret the rules.

As an example, the rules say that you can't install a single part under the hood that doesn't have a CARB EO sticker on it, and our smog inspection (which is only every other year, BTW) incorporates a visual test where the tech is supposed to verify this.

Now, the days of slipping the technician a $200 bill and having him clean-pipe your car are long gone, but enforcement at this level is still quite variable. Avoid the nice-looking multi-bay shops with lots of employees, and seek out a small, ratty-looking one-bay shop in a seedy neighborhood. The guy I used to take my turbo car to was an owner / operator who had a dozen motorcycles parked in the back of his shop. No bribery ever occurred, and my car always ran the rollers, but so long as I had something resembling a CARB sticker slapped to the underside of the hood, and a manilla folder of something that resembled a CARB EO document and associated paperwork, I never seemed to have any trouble with the visual portion of the test.

The one that used to give me nightmares was the idea of being stopped by the police and issued a "referee ticket", where you have to take your car to an actual state-run inspection shop where they don't **** around. You hear stories of this happening, but they usually involve the CHP and some boy-racer in a riced-out Honda doing 120 MPH on I5.

The closest I ever came was several years ago on a club run, driving in a "spirited" manner up the technical side of Palomar Mountain with about a dozen other cars. We did wind up getting pulled over (as a group) by the police, and nearly every single car in the group had a quasi-legal turbo system under the hood. In the end, I think the guy just wanted to make sure that we weren't a bunch of ******** re-enacting a scene from Cannonball Run, because we were let go with nothing more than a verbal warning about not having front license plates. (He also escorted us down the mountain and back out to the major road, which was kind of a buzz-kill.)

Long story short, don't think you have to give up having a fun car to live here. You just have to be a little more careful about how you do it.
Joe Perez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 02:41 PM   #9
Senior Member
iTrader: (18)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Big Bear Ca
Posts: 990
Total Cats: 8
Default

When I was younger, I loved the OC. Plenty of rich, beautiful people, driving nice cars, always going someplace fun. Plenty of everything you'd ever want. And the weather is about as perfect as you can get.

Now that I'm older, early forties, I'm not to fond of it. As the other guys have said it's pretentious, and shallow. Most neighborhoods you are not allowed to have you garage door open unless you are pulling in or out of it. No working on cars, not even changing your own oil, unless you do it inside with the door shut. If your trash cans are not pulled in by 6pm, your fined. In Irvine, the cops WILL pull you over if you drive a shitty car, and give you the once over.

The result is a safe, sanitized, beautiful area with absolutely no soul.
dstn2bdoa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
Elite Member
iTrader: (6)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: CA
Posts: 1,990
Total Cats: 9
Default

I went to college at UC Irvine from 97-2002. I loved it and plan on moving back to Newport Beach or Irvine once I finish residency.

It's super conservative, but with my old age (32), it's more fitting for me than say San Francisco or West LA - I don't care to see homeless people and liquor stores at every street corner.

Also, Irvine public schools are great, super safe, and weather can't be beat.

Also, check out Costa Mesa, Tustin, or Lake Forest.

I reread your post and you mentioned "culturally unique". You might want to live in LA if this is a priority.

Last edited by kenzo42; 12-17-2011 at 05:25 PM.
kenzo42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 05:17 PM   #11
Elite Member
iTrader: (6)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: CA
Posts: 1,990
Total Cats: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dstn2bdoa View Post
When I was younger, I loved the OC. Plenty of rich, beautiful people, driving nice cars, always going someplace fun. Plenty of everything you'd ever want. And the weather is about as perfect as you can get.

Now that I'm older, early forties, I'm not to fond of it. As the other guys have said it's pretentious, and shallow. Most neighborhoods you are not allowed to have you garage door open unless you are pulling in or out of it. No working on cars, not even changing your own oil, unless you do it inside with the door shut. If your trash cans are not pulled in by 6pm, your fined. In Irvine, the cops WILL pull you over if you drive a shitty car, and give you the once over.

The result is a safe, sanitized, beautiful area with absolutely no soul.
I always heard about not being allowed to have basketball hoops and garage door open, but not sure if that applies to ALL or even most neighborhoods of OC.. There are some pretty shitty places there too eg Anaheim aka Anaslime aka Anacrime, Garden Grove, Westminister, etc. I'd check up on that.
kenzo42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 08:52 PM   #12
Senior Member
iTrader: (18)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Big Bear Ca
Posts: 990
Total Cats: 8
Default

True, I was thinking of places were the OP and his wife would likely like to live.

If I had to move there, I'd be ok. I can think of about a 1000 worse places to live.
dstn2bdoa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2011, 08:53 PM   #13
I'm a terrible person
iTrader: (19)
 
FRT_Fun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 7,293
Total Cats: 180
Default

No real advice other than I hated the year I lived in Cali... Well I hated Cali that year.. life was good.
FRT_Fun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2011, 10:01 PM   #14
Junior Member
iTrader: (9)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Socal
Posts: 169
Total Cats: 5
Default

Just throwing this in there, I live in Irvine and go all over the place here, Santa ana,
Anaheim, Costa Mesa ect. I have a pretty good idea of what its like compared to places like Arizona and Wisconsin (have family there) and have spent time away from the bubble (thats what we call irvine). It all depends on where your going to move. Theres places in huntington beach that can look like garbage dumps and there's communities in irvine where associations can ticket you for having a car that looks bad. It jsut all depends. Mostly its like this: If you are polite to other people and say hi to people walking by and such, no problem. If you're an ******* and sit in your driveway revving up your straight piped car then people will get pissed and eventually someone will do something about it.
Its not so bad though. If you have any questions, just ask me all try to give the most honest answer possible.
Also you can get whatever the hell you want in like a 20 mile radius. specialized car shops, used stuff, custom stuff, drugs, high class hookers (if there is such a thing), whatever you can think of, chances are you wont have to drive more then 30 mins to find it.
Jpopsbronco is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1994 Spec Miata Race Car SM/SM2/SSM For Sale Quinn Cars for sale/trade 6 10-23-2016 08:58 AM
1991 special edition with hard top full part out JC, NJ russian Miata parts for sale/trade 6 10-08-2015 04:01 PM
Back to Stock Part Out!! Turbo Parts, MS2 Enhanced 01-05, Suspension, and MOAR! StratoBlue1109 Miata parts for sale/trade 16 10-02-2015 10:39 AM
01-05 Fab9 PNP COPs (used) FrankB Miata parts for sale/trade 6 09-30-2015 12:48 PM
1991 Turbo Miata partout tottestad Miata parts for sale/trade 18 09-14-2015 08:52 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:25 PM.