I stumbled across an episode of that MTV show set in Laguna Beach. It made me sad. I remember Laguna from ages ago, a pretentiously artsy over-sized village with an annual tourist event. The pricey houses near the beach were not much bigger than today's average tract house. A block or so inland, it was little more than an ordinary town with a few nautical and arty decorations here and there. Even when I was kid it was probably Orange County's gay neighborhood, but I didn't know that then. I just knew it was a pleasant little beach town, with a few blocks of houses that were moderately expensive for the time. And, of course, one of the most stunning settings on the Southern California coast.
So I'm watching this place in the TV show, and I'm wondering where these incredibly costly houses came from. What happened to the little ranchy houses with the shake roofs and the tiny, shrub-filled front yards? Is that stuff still there, but they just don't show it on the show? Or has it all been torn down to make way for this town full of designer crap inhabited by designer kids who've never had a zit in their lives? Laguna used to be one of those places I'd just want to go sometimes. I'd be very unhappy to think it was entirely gone. The setting is still stunning, but the buildings begin to overwhelm it. I begin to think I've almost outlived my time. Can't go home again, I knew, but didn't want to see the proof on television.