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I suppose those of us who left to "get away" have stayed away, lacking the desire or skill to revive what made home "home".

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I finally figured it out one day in downtown Santa Cruz.

They've posted signs throughout the city center listing the things that you can't do (photo above): No dogs? You can't walk a dog down the street in downtown Santa Cruz.

Downtown Santa Cruz isn't especially crowded either. Because they all moved there to enjoy the land, the climate, to take a job.

They did not move there in order to become part of a community.

In fact, they might very well hate all the people around them but still choose to live in California. If Californians did not have myriads of carefully set forth rules, they would simply kill each other.

This does not happen in northern Michigan or central Massachusetts. My friends in California mostly have contempt for their fellow citizens.

I ask them "today you're going to run into a person on the street that you've never met before.

I'm not going to tell you anything about this person.

The person could be of any age, sex, or economic class. " The response is always "I think the person will have the wrong political beliefs" or "the person will probably be a smoker" or "I bet the person won't be a vegetarian, so I can't talk to him" or "I doubt that this person will be educated or intelligent." Very astute.

762 Comments

  1. I suppose those of us who left to "get away" have stayed away, lacking the desire or skill to revive what made home "home".

  2. It is unsettling to feel vaguely threatened most of the time.

  3. Strangers aren't overtly rude - they are inconsiderate and unapologetic, never acknowledging one another with an "excuse me", "thank you", or stiff nod.

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