Opinion: 50 Ways to (Never) Leave Laguna


With all due respect to Paul Simon, dont slip out the back (of City Council), Jack, dont make a new (Downtown Specific) plan, Stan, you dont need to be coy (on social media), Roy, just get yourself free (ride on Laguna Transit). Then hop on the (did I mention free) bus, Gus, dont need to discuss (the ballot Initiative) much, just drop off the key (to the city), Lee, and get yourself free. OK I know Im a cheese ball, but its the holidays, folks. And Im filled with good cheer. So heres 50 reasons in the past year alone not to leave your loverLaguna.

1. This amazing slice of topography where our 25,000 acres of protected green belt cascades into our peerless protected blue belt to create one mashup of medicated goo.

2. Our dazzling, resilient Mother Ocean and everything she gives us on every physical, emotional and psychic level, despite our continued efforts to defile and destroy her.

3. Father Sun- who continues to warm us with his perpetual Vitamin D solar Laguna love fest.

4. Our one-of-a-kind beaches—where postcards were born.

5. Our summer of perfectly cool weather that never required air conditioning while the rest of the world sweltered.

6. Late fall rainfalls. Keep this up and well have survivable water tables again, not to mention epic wildflowers in 2022.

7. Heavenly daily donation-based yoga in Heisler and Treasure Island parks—the most epic backdrops in the history of yoga.

8. The pedestrian-only Promenade at Forest Avenue—our literal town center.

9. The Hive—The Honarkarsawesome lipstick on that pig, the former Festival Marketplace.

10. The re-opening of Hotel Laguna—looks great, but too loud. Soften those hard edges and the locals will come.

11. Bicycling in Laguna—a healthy and fun alternative to cars has taken root.

12. Somehow, miraculously, no wildfires yet again.

13. The Full Moon Drum Circle at Aliso Beach—the best thing you can do for free with your pants on.

14. Getting the emergency outdoor restaurant seating extended another year.

15. A summer of good waves, and the epic wave riders who ride them.

16. Sunsets—yep, I know they are trite and over photographed, but try having this kind of daily eyeball massage living on the east coast. Or the midwest.

17. Our everywhere ocean views. Thanks to our vertiginous escarpments.

18. Our safe streets and low crime rate. Thank you, Laguna PD and FD.

19. The Coast Film Festival—solidifying and celebrating the for realz” epic sports mecca that is Laguna.

20. Bluebird Canyon Festival—the best new annual neighborhood party.

21. Fete de la Musique and all the volunteers who make this musical feast sing.

22. The Laguna Cultural Arts Center and their tireless devotion to local musicians.

23. The Friendship Shelter and their ongoing efforts to house the homeless.

24. Laguna Locals on demand pilot transit program—so cool to see it being used.

25. Our remarkably eclectic neighborhood architecture—this aint Irvine!

26. The Aquathon—if it actually existed.

27. The whole mountain biking culture—from the veteran Rads to the emerging young chargers.

28. Paddleboarders and kayakers paddling silently on the horizon.

29. Long distance ocean swimmers—especially those who trunk it.

30.  Brooks Street Surf Contest—the coolest and oldest neighborhood surf contest on the planet.

31. Our wonderful canopy of trees and our Tree City designation. Thank you forefathers and mothers!

32. The Ranch—barefoot golf, deer, live music, vinyl. All cradled by Little Yosemite!

33. Art in Nature exhibition—amazingly interactive, just get it outside again.

34. Laguna Community Clinic—the last of its kind serving the underserved.

35. Coyotes, snakes, rabbits, birds, fish, crustaceans, sea lions, seals, dolphins and whales. Thank you for sharing your habitat.

36. Our local media – online and print newspapers, a magazine, and even a radio station staffed by true radio warriors—wow!

37. Hospitality Night—AKA Coachella By The Sea.

38. Our singular arts festivals—up and running again.

39. Our philanthropy and open heartedness—hundreds of nonprofits and counting.

40. The Community Pool—a lifesaver during the pandemic.

41. The Susi Q Senior Center—hey I spelled it right!

42. Our neighborhood parks—a bounty of horticultural riches.

43. Golf cart parades—nothing says exceptionalism like golf carts.

44. Mexican Food—a culinary necessity. But please, no more.

45. Asian Food—stoked that sushi survived, Vietnamese arrived, and more Chinese is on the way.

46. Everyones beautiful yards—thank you for sharing and caring.

47. Our amazing bootlegged homes—lets do a coffee table book called The illegal homes of Laguna.”

48. The Locals for Laguna movement—amplifying the cool and the good.

49. Having the kind of friends that are only possible in a small, tight-knit community.

50. Visitors—who remind us how extraordinarily lucky we are to wake up here.

If I missed anything, feel free to chime in. Happy holidays, everyone. 2021 was pretty magical. But arent they all in Lag Town?

Billy hosts Laguna Talks” on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on KXFM Radio. He can be reached at [email protected].

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