But it can't be disputed that the OC coast comes off as one big Mediterranean-styled resort filled with beautiful people living in new mansions, wearing designer clothes and driving flashy cars. It's a place where the sun always shines, cell phones are a necessary accessory and shopping is a respected pastime.Canada phone cards
Many people I know have cried foul, that our town is not all monied-up, that the country will get the wrong impression of us.
The thing is, they're wrong; the show has us pretty much pegged. We're a spot that in the past few decades has gone from BBQs on the beach to toddies on the terrace, and more times than not those terraces embrace Mediterranean architecture. And new resort/spas like Laguna Beach's Montage, Monarch Beach's St. Regis, Huntington Beach's Hyatt Regency and the soon-to-be developed Pelican Hill Inn, have inspired state tourism officials to market us as the "new Riviera." Consider the fact that the nation's average home price is just over $200,000; the average Newport Beach home price is over $1 million. Like it or not, we are not a beach town any longer, we are a cosmopolitan destination that turns the rest of the country money-green with envy.
It's not a crime. It's just a matter of perspective. If you're rich enough to call your home a villa, your terrace a loggia and stock a private wine cellar, you call the last decade a Renaissance of fine dining, high culture and upscale shopping. If you're still working a paycheck, you call it an invasion of skin-toned stucco, and wax nostalgic for the days when you could get parking at the beach and afford to eat out. But come on, who wouldn't take the big house with the entertainment center? Or even the guest house, for that matter?
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