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A New York Times Writer Does Laguna Beach, Minus the Cliches

The former resident parachutes into town to find what's changed, and what hasn't.

New York Times writer Jeff Gordinier dropped by Laguna Beach over the summer to pen this travel piece, which ran on Friday. Gordinier used to spend summers in town, he says, and even lived here for a bit back in the '80s, so his angle is partially to capture old memories.

He finds some, plus a few new ones, with nary a contempory Laguna Beach cliche in sight—there's only a veiled reference to the "vapid gleam of pop culture" (and we all know exactly what he means).

Gordinier gets most of it right. He sucks down wheatgrass at the Stand, visits Main Beach, Sound Spectrum, Casa Laguna, Las Brisas and the downtown La Sirena Grill, and chats with artist Ken Auster.

Some of his commentary can be biting ("If you’re fond of paintings of whales and dolphins flying through outer space, this is the town for you"), but when he calls Laguna Beach "the artists’ colony whose relationship to conservative Orange County might be compared to the relationship between Austin and the state of Texas," well ... it's not every day we get compared to the live music capital of the world, but we'll take it.

Click the story up at the link above ...

Barbara McMurray October 25, 2012 at 01:37 PM
I completely agree, Rich. I cringed when I saw the headline, assuming there would be the same old jabs - but it was refreshingly close to reality. Really a well-done, thoughtful, clear-eyed piece.

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