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HARMLESS Every Friday and Sunday, The Orange County Register runs poofy profiles written by Latina columnist Yvette Cabrera. Her most controversial stories deal with the Gap selling guayaberas while completely ignoring meaty issues affecting Latino OC such as police brutality and corrupt politicians. Yet her genteel nature has not saved her from being possibly the Register's most hated columnist by its readers, who constantly send her mail rails (both electronic and via telephone) about the evils of Mexicans. Hopefully, these idiots won't drive her from the Reg to the Los Angeles Times like her predecessor, Agustín Gurza.

See also: Orange County Grand Jury; Any Mighty Ducks Winger Who Is Not Paul Kariya; Seal Beach Seals; Cal State Fullerton Men's Basketball Team; Lit HEISLER PARK When pale friends fly in from snow-covered Minnesota desperate to catch California fever, take them to Heisler Park—perhaps the most photographed spot in coastal Orange County. The palm-tree-lined oceanfront park—which old Hollywood used to shoot tropical-island scenes—offers unforgettably spectacular views, beautiful beach coves, flora-covered cliffs, picnic areas and a gazebo. Cliff Drive near Main Beach, Laguna Beach. HEPATITISIf any OC beach was in need of a U2 benefit, it's the poo-filled waters around the Huntington Beach pier. Hell, forget the band, just bring in a real U2, bomb the joint and start anew, since—despite this year's groundbreaking legal action taken to stem the fecal flow—HB still remains home to more closures due to pollution than any other place in Orange County. HESS, Dawn From a deserted Japanese temple in Rashomon to a concentration camp/mental hospital in Cleansed, Hess' elaborate sets create magic in Rude Guerrilla's tiny space. Not only can she single-handedly install air conditioning, but she can also be counted on to regale anyone within earshot with humorous, long-winded stories about the horrors of owning a roofing company. HOOTENANNYAnnual orgy of vendors, tattoos, angry-looking boys, wifebeater tanks and overpriced food. See also: Weenie Roast; Reventón Super Estrella; Glory of Christmas HOT ROD TODD Found unlikely semi-stardom as singer for the late Le Shok and Neon King Kong (and he did something with Electric Eels cover band the Crummy Fags, too, but the technicians haven't yet been able to determine exactly what it was), pioneered the even more unlikely self-defense technique of masturbating to frighten away bar bouncers, at last report was studying to be a mortician somewhere in Long Beach. Probably still very tall. HUB, THEIf you can snag a seat on its outdoor patio where the bands play, this is perhaps the sweetest OC spot to just kick back and savor live music. The outdoors thing is a big lure, but the Hub is also eclectic enough to book everything from punk rock to coffeehouse folkies to bands who do that "emo" stuff. A major player in downtown Fullerton's recent club explosion and conveniently located behind the Reagan Years, OC's coolest video arcade, which is also the perfect way to wait out band set changes. And earlier this year, owner Carlo Terranova finally opened his much-anticipated bar the Continental, just a martini glass toss away on the other side of Harbor Boulevard; the Continental is what the Hub wants to be when it grows up, but the Hub ain't in any hurry. 124 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-2233. HUNTINGTON BEACH There's nothing quaint about Huntington Beach, which has a mostly working-class population of 190,000. In fact, it's a pretty ugly city. Except for the old residential neighborhoods surrounding Lake Park in the downtown area, the city is desolate. Beach Boulevard especially is a wasteland of fast-food franchises and auto dealerships. For most of the century, Big Oil owned Huntington Beach, covering its coastline with hundreds of steam-driven wells. That legacy lives on today in the oil field out near Bolsa Chica and the single well pumping silently next to the Taco Bell on PCH. When the oil dried up, the City Council—dominated by pro-business, chamber-of-commerce types—sold its soul to Big Business: Boeing, Hilton, Wal-Mart and PLC Cos., the mega-development firm specializing in gated communities of luxurious homes. Even the nickname "Surf City" is just a bitter joke now, with raw sewage forcing frequent beach closures and ordinary surfers banned from the water during the big OP/Gotcha/Bluetorch/whatever pro competitions every summer. Downtown, which should be funky, has instead congealed into a mass of redevelopment giveaways to corporate franchises: Jamba Juice, Burger King, Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Subway, Taco Bell. About the only remnants of the old days are the El Don Liquor and the apartments upstairs. And, of course, there's HB's preference for an overwhelming police presence, especially around times when residents are celebrating the birth of freedom and all that. That said, there are still plenty of interesting things to do in Huntington, but you've got to look really hard to find them. HUNTINGTON BEACH DOG BEACHLocated between 21st Street and Seapoint in Huntington Beach, this is three-quarters of a mile of canine nirvana. There are enough sand, surf and chaseable seagulls to satisfy even the most discriminating beachgoing hound. Hours are from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. (714) 841-8644; www.dogbeach.org. HURLEY INTERNATIONALWhen Bob Hurley left Billabong USA a few years ago to launch his own surfwear line, no one could predict the immediate—and major—impact his Costa Mesa-based company would have. Hurley was so successful it has since been swallowed up by Nike, but that hasn't stopped the local HQ from being prime stalking grounds for surf fans. Surfing role model Rob Machado, happy man Pat O'Connell and hipster trio the Malloy Bros. can all be found playing backgammon and drinking lattes at the Hurley house on a regular basis. 1945 Placentia Ave., Unit G, Costa Mesa. HYPOCRITE 1. In an Aug. 8, 2002, Orange County Register column that ostensibly defended Latinos' right to have a Gigante supermarket at a disputed Anaheim location, Gordon Dillow wrote of taking a self-guided tour of an existing Gigante and deciding, "I didn't really feel like I was in my own country" because of the Spanish signs, music and language spoken there. Sir Redneck obviously doesn't wander the streets below his ivory tower on Grand Avenue in Santa Ana. 2. When it suits him, Orange County GOP Central Committee chairman Thomas Fuentes, the sixth-generation son of Mexican immigrants, plays up his heritage and Catholic faith. Yet Fuentes has alienated his people by planting poll guards to intimidate Latino voters, championing anti-immigrant voter initiatives, and fighting efforts to carve out an OC supervisorial district that would give Latinos more political clout. Indeed, the lack of Latino support for Orange County Republicans was among the reasons a group of wealthy, moderate Republicans tried to replace Fuentes as chairman. Let that sink in: they wanted to oust a Latino to attract more Latinos. Is it any wonder his nickname is Tio Tomas? Additional resources: Barbie, Klaus,Some of My Best Friends Are Jewish (Valhalla Press); Farrakhan, Lewis,The White Album (Redneck Records); Liberty College,Gay Pride Celebration video (9/11 Productions)
 
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