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I Survived Malibu

I've started to put it all together after six months. I figured out Calabasas wasn’t in Mexico, you pump your own gasoline here, and the 405 is to be avoided at all costs.

My friends can’t believe I survived six months in Malibu. They were sure I’d get bored with the same tedious weather, and that my abrasive, pushy, loud New York ways would make me feel so uncomfortable in laid back Southern California, I would have no choice but to return to the old country with my tail between my legs.     

Au contraire! I have not only survived the monotonous weather here, but might be able to bear it for let’s say another three decades, which would be just about right. I have endured the decent, caring and welcoming behavior of the people I’ve met, and I might just be willing to put up with their kindness a bit longer.   

Of course, the adjustment at first was strange to say the least. I remember attending a candidates’ forum in Point Dume and not recognizing a single individual in the crowd of almost 200 people. But as time went on, faces became more familiar. I recall how thrilled I was when I realized the somebody I had seen at the Malibu Gym was the same person I bumped into at Pavilions. It is a small world indeed.      

Over time the few brain cells I have left started to put it all together. I figured out Calabasas wasn’t in Mexico, you pump your own gasoline here, and the 405 is to be avoided at all costs. I also learned a jacket and tie are not needed at a good restaurant or anywhere else for that matter, bringing lemons to a friend is like bringing coal to Newcastle, the Dodgers don’t play in Ebbets Field anymore even if Vin Scully still announces their games, rattlesnakes and coyotes really do exist, surfing is a religion, and you might not want to be anywhere near the PCH late Friday afternoon in the summer.      

I got a driver’s license, registered to vote, got my teeth cleaned and planted a garden. To be perfectly honest, Manuel planted the garden. In any case, I have cast my lot with the West Coast.     

And so tomorrow is my six month anniversary. If I were a betting man, I’d bet I’m going to stay right where I am in Malibu. I’ve seen the promised land.

Hans Laetz July 17, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Burt, just think of the 405 as the LIE and you will get accustomed to its patterns. Heck, they are only one digit apart (I-495). If you can master PCH you will be just fine on the SD Fwy. Thanks for the funny stuff.
Max July 18, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Oh no! The flood gates are now open for mass migration of cultured and educated Eastern types to the shores of our sparsely populated, awesome haven called Malibu. At the unfathomable immigration rate of two per six months, preliminary projections indicate the our little town will balloon by an astonishing 120 people in only 30 years hence --- and, I naively assumed that all Yorkies and Jerseyans only migrated South, not West! Talk about a population bomb (with all due respect to Stanford's Professor Ehrlich)! Of course, our multi-dimensional, complex computer simulation assumes that all migrating NY and NJ females are post menopausal, and, furthermore, that their mates are Viagra-free; and, lastly, that the Jersey/NY lifespan is infinite. Again, this is a rather crude approximation to the realities of population dynamics, so, hopefully, the predicted influx is a gross overestimation. Maybe, we'll all be saved by a Higgs Boson.
Ted Vaill July 18, 2012 at 04:30 PM
As an immigrant from New England to Malibu over 40 years ago, I have forgotten what it was like "back there", but Burt brings back the memories. Next, he will be looking for a White Castle for their awful burgers (now called sliders?).
Jeffrey Goldstein July 18, 2012 at 06:47 PM
As a self described "back east guy" any kind of consistent weather makes no sense to me. Plus, it's warmer in Massachusetts than here at the beach. But, I must admit that there is a real small town feel to Malibu which surprises me. I'm sure the world thinks of Malibu as "The Colony" but I'm struck by the number of dilapidated properties I pass. And Topanga Cyn, especially Old Topanga Road, is rife with really run down homes seemingly perfect for housing some outlaw family or as the location for a high octane horror movie. I find it fascinating. Even in Malibu there's all kinds of folks living through the best of times and the worst of times. The question is who's happier, the ones in the outlaw homes or the ones on the beach behind the gate.
Max July 18, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I'm going back to Revere Beach, where one has the unique combination of the ocean and the dilapidated properties coexisting! And, the rusted gate at Revere Beach says "Do not pass Police Line."

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