By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Mark SavageAahhh, La Habra, the grandest, most elegant city in all of Orange County!
What!? You mean you didn't know? Great goshamighty, everyone knows that the splendor of OC's northernmost burg far outshines the pithy offerings of other communities. La Habra's culture, history, entertainment and fine-dining establishments simply cannot be matched by such sleepy backwaters as Costa Mesa, Anaheim, San Juan Capistrano, Irvine, Santa Ana, and beaches Huntington, Laguna and Newport. Nay, these tiny hamlets are mere imitators next to shiny, beautiful La Habra, OC's crown jewel.
For 19 years, I was a proud resident of La Habra, so indeed, I speak of what I know! But if you haven't yet acquainted yourself with the county's version of Paris in the '20s, don't fret. Let's just hop into the unofficial La Habra municipal vehicle-a classy purple 4x4 with nekkid-lady mud flaps-and I'll give you a tour!
We'll begin by heading north on Beach Boulevard, just south of Imperial Highway. In the once-rugged hills on our right, note all of the new homes being built on a site that used to be infested with Chevron's oil wells. Certainly, the proper authorities have sucked away all the toxins that were undoubtedly left in the ground. After all, corporations are your trusted friends! Just south of here, you can also glimpse bulldozers grading the hillside. That's where the new golf course is going, and I don't think I need to tell you how desperately OC needs one of those!
At Imperial, notice the noble McDonald's on your left. In the spring of 1985, they thought so highly of their customers that they generously served extra eggshells in their Egg McMuffins! I know because I put them there!
We'll turn right on Imperial and continue heading east. Imperial was once supposed to be made into a freeway, but it's okay-most folks drive as if it's always been one, anyway!
To our left, you'll notice the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop, a mecca for saturated-fat junkies everywhere. So popular is this slice o' paradise that people stand in line for upward of an hour just to wrap their withered lips around one of Krispy Kreme's gooey concoctions. I'll repeat that: PEOPLE STAND IN LONG, BATAAN DEATH MARCH-LIKE LINES FOR DOUGHNUTS. FOR DOUGHNUTS!
On the right, we pass La Habra's great cultural mecca, the Super Kmart, where rows and rows of wonderful products await your purchase 24 hours a day! La Habra is so blessed: it not only has a Super K, but it also has a Target! Not only that, but La Habra also has an In-N-Out Burgers and a Tommy's Burgers! Talk about haute cuisine! Them's good eatin'!
Don't let anyone tell you La Habra is lacking for fun things to do. Farther up on the left, you'll see the Pelican Theatre, which houses an ultraclassy nude juice bar, featuring lots of lovely, values-oriented women displaying the natural gifts God blessed them with!
Now we'll turn left on Harbor Boulevard and head north for a glorious display of old-fashioned patriotism that can only be found in La Habra: the Flag Guns Shop. Located in the back of the Pic 'N' Save strip mall on the right, the shop is draped in the red, white and blue, with "Buy, Sell, Trade" painted proudly on its window. It certainly makes you tear up, no?
Well, campers, save those tears for what's up next: nothing less than La Habra's greatest claim to fame! Not much farther up on the right is Paul's TV and Video-that's Paul's as in "King of Big Screen" Paul's! You could-no, you will-get misty-eyed just contemplating all of the pleasures that Paul's has brought not merely to OC, but also to the world. Paul's also may be the sole reason why there aren't any non-Christian bookstores in La Habra: Why would anyone want to waste time reading when they can watch TV?
Let's backtrack a bit down Harbor and turn right on La Habra Boulevard, the city's Champs Elysťes. Note the plethora of discount- and used-clothing stores, which is indicative of the many shopping bargains to be had in town. As we hit Euclid Street, you'll see the Children's Museum at La Habra on your left; La Habrans just adore children-unless they're out breaking the city's curfew law and behaving like the criminal buggers they invariably are.
That's what makes La Habra such a fantastic place to raise a family!
They looove kids here!
On the right is City Hall, in which courageous civic leaders in recent years have passed laws designed to turn the whole town into a South County-style homeowners association, something that's absolutely needed. Why, in 1994, they made it illegal for citizens to dry their indecent laundry outside their homes on clotheslines, and they almost outlawed peeling house paint! They so loved a law they passed in 1984 (requiring liquor stores to hide the lower two-thirds of porn magazines' covers) that they passed an identical law again just last year! What a bold moral stance!
This is also the area where La Habrans hold their annual Corn Festival every August. Huh? Well, no, corn was nevergrown in these parts, so they do indeed have to truck in bushels of ears for the fest. But if you have to ask questions like that, you're just not being a good La Habra booster, pardner!
Just across Euclid, on the right, is La Habra's most historic site, a monument commemorating the location of former President Richard Nixon's law office from 1939 to 1942. Unfortunately, the city doesn't provide pillows for comfortable genuflecting, so you'll just have to bring your own. This shrine is so holy that, according to legend, if you urinate on the monument's bronze plaque, you'll be blessed with good luck for the rest of your born days! Go ahead, try it!
Now we'll head north on Euclid and make a left onto Whittier Boulevard. We'll soon pass La Habra High School, home of the Highlanders. La Habra's most famous international celebrity, artist Mark Kostabi, attended La Habra High. He's the one who hires people for $7 per hour to paint the pictures he tells them to-and then signs his name when they're done. He has also called people who buy "his" pictures "suckers and fools." Certainly, La Habra can be proud of unleashing Kostabi's stupendous talent upon the world!
We'll continue west on Whittier and then make a left onto Beach Boulevard, back to our starting point. Coming up on the right on Beach is the Sunset Inn, which some ornery outsiders once tried to turn into a homeless shelter. They were spurned, though, thanks to the valiant efforts of La Habra's good-citizen soldiers, who raised a big stink about it. Through the years, La Habra's residents, politicians and even churches have turned away other efforts to create shelters for abused women and the terminally ill within the city.
(Speaking of the homeless: the city also has an anti-camping ordinance, which helps keep those weird people away-that's why you rarely see any. If you do, though, all you have to do is look the other way, so it feels as if they don't even exist!)
Is there a question from the back of the vehicle? Yes? Why, La Habra's official motto is "A Caring Community." Thanks for asking! While it's true that a grossly misinformed few think of La Habra as the armpit of Orange County, they're sorely mistaken. Why, the past two years alone have seen quite a rash of grisly murders, which are always exciting when the police cars show up with their lights flashing and sirens blaring! At least it gives everyone something to talk about over at the Super K!
Well, that's the end of our tour. Thanks for coming! I'm sure you now love La Habra just as much as I do-maybe even more!