The Californians

R.B. Winters
R.B. Winters
All, New York, Opinion, People, Puerto Rico Leave a Comment

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If you’ve been to New York, or know someone from New York, and California has ever come up in conversation, it is very likely your New Yorker has bitched about the state or the people of the state. We are one of those longstanding and wonderful opposites do not attract stories. Not the North versus South kind of opposites, as we can all agree the South is a disaster.

Now, I’ve met enough people from California to know not everyone is a Kardashian or a bleach-blonde embarrassment to humanity. Every now and again, like last night, I meet someone who is exactly the stereotype I have in mind of a California gay, only made more of a stereotype by hailing from San Francisco.

Let’s rewind just a tad for the sake of clarity. The gentleman who is renting my room via AirB&B invited me out for drinks with his new friends. I decided to not be myself and actually leave the apartment. We’re having drinks and I’m chatting with the couple, learning they have recently relocated to Puerto Rico.

Fast forward a few hours and one half of the couple, the half from California, is literally talking to me with “like, um” statements which better belong in the mouth of a teenager, while twirling his finger around a long strand of blonde hair. This would be easy enough to ignore, but then it was followed by one-up’ing. What he shared after learning a few details about my life:

  • They live on the “west side” of Old San Juan because it’s the “best side”
  • There’s no other livable area on the island
  • Old San Juan is the only real city
  • And so on…

If you’ve ever been to Old San Juan, which is beautiful and architecturally interesting, it is not big enough to be broken into West over East. You can walk five minutes and pretty much cross from one side to the other and not break a sweat. The only thing special about living there is you will pay New York rent prices for older apartments with limited space and resources. Not that this is the worst thing, I lived this way in New York for years, but isn’t the point of being down here to get some space?

We won’t dissect or get into the other comments. It mainly gets me worked up, though I shouldn’t care, because the thing I have enjoyed most about living here is being away from all the bullshit coming with these types of people. Who cares what neighborhood you or I live in, or where we get groceries, or if one of us doesn’t drive, and so on. All of that shit belongs on the mainland.

Hopefully this isn’t a trend. It’s sort of like when my neighborhood in Brooklyn gentrified. Yes, the graffiti was gone and things were visibility nicer, but the area lost its charm and those of us there at the time faded away with a lost reality. If the Californians must come, perhaps we sanction them off to an area where they can smugly compete with their own kind.