@ Doren Damico

Started by Private User on Monday, September 13, 2010

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Private User
9/13/2010 at 12:56 PM

I moved from Sonoma County to Los Angeles County at age 8. I went from a school where I was the only "visible minority" and I was teased for my name and appearance and food at lunch (jicama, etc) to a place where all my friends were Korean or Salvadoran or Armenian or anything you can think of and my teachers correctly pronounced my name and I could eat jicama and my friends would eat kimchi and pupusas and falafel. It had a profound impact on me. I'm Californian, and I love Northern California (where I was born) and Southern California (where I've grown up and still live) but I prefer Southern California for it's diversity. Diversity of people, ideas, music, food, landscape, cityscape, options, architecture, etc. I love jacarandas and chaparral and Mediterranean Cypress and Mexican fan palms, and loncheras and raspados and skacore and psychobilly and Morrissey conventions and cultural events without pretentious snobs/smug poseurs who pat themselves on the back/etc that seem to be drawn to the Bay Area like flies to feces. The same can be said about certain parts of LA but those kind of people can be avoided whereas in San Francisco there's no escape.

Having said that, I still love the redwoods, the storm-blasted coast, the smells of lavender and oils and incense; I still love Sonoma's scenic highways and historic town center and the micro-breweries and ale-houses and the memories of composting and recycling before the prevalence of recycling programs, and the dirty old hippies with their acid-burnt brains and chasing seagulls on San Franciscan beaches with my grandpa or going to the SF MOMA's opening in 1995 with my grandma or the sun-setting over the Golden Gate. I can't claim allegiance to one part or the other, simply to all of California and its worlds within worlds. Having no connection to the East Coast Hegemony or any sub-regions of the USA, having been born and raised all of my life in California and exploring her each and every curve, and also the knowledge that I was born not but a few miles from where California briefly became it's own independent country (I still consider it to be a nation under occupation), I can loudly proclaim that my allegiance lies with California first, and the USA second (if at all) similar to the European Union's member-states, I see the USA as a union of nations with a shared currency/laws/traditions/and open borders, but beyond that, my country is California.

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