Killer Quince

Happy Quinceañera to us! A look back at 15 years of telling the other side (that is, the real side) of OC's story

The country—and even this paper—stereotypes Orange County as a land of staid, cookie-cutter strip malls, which isn’t too far from the truth. As we’ve grown more diverse, immigrants have embraced the county’s pro-business rhetoric in a way the master planners never envisioned—by creating one of the country’s most diverse ethnic-dining scenes. The pho palaces and bánh mì shacks of Little Saigon, Little Arabia’s hookah lounges and falafel dives, Santa Ana’s excess of regional Mexican cuisines, and nearly every other ethnic group—the Weekly has reviewed hundreds of them over the years, years before some crazy Yelp kid claimed to have “discovered” it. To this day, we’re one of the few newspapers left in the country that devotes a column to hole-in-the-walls. And the fancy restaurants? Yeah, we do that, too, but give us two tacos for a buck and free pineapple juice off a gleaming lonchera over brunch at the Ritz-Carlton any day.

The Weekly features plenty of fine reporting on the good, the bad and the ugly of Orange County, and that is not meant as a description of the times we have written about ourselves. Gustavo Arellano played Rashomon with his fame in “Someone Stop This Man,” an ¡Ask a Mexican! column about his ¡Ask a Mexican! book reaching No. 1 on Amazon. No self-examination tops Jim Washburn’s Lost In O.C. columns about “swinging weights from my dick,” a reference to virility-building courses he took after spotting Ki Cong ads in the earliest editions of our paper. Sex and politics were recurring themes of Weeklings writing about themselves. One detailed the joys of banging the spouse. It was written under another name to protect the innocent: the writer’s children. Matt Coker posed as a slightly off Republican to infiltrate Orange County GOP circles for one cover story. Local Republican operatives returned the favor by convincing Coker to write on obituary on a squat, hairy, gun-toting Femi-Nazi. Problem was, she didn’t really exist. Of course, no one took sex, politics and self-indulgence to the heights Rebecca Schoenkopf did in her weekly back-of-the-book Commie Girl columns. She outdid herself with “A Very Special Interview With Rebecca Schoenkopf” in the awards-show-spoofing 2000 Best of OC issue. Check that: She really outdid herself in her final Commie Girl, titled “See You, Suckers!” Schoenkopf announced she was quitting—and this time, she meant it.

Star Foreman
Star Foreman

For a look at the top covers, one per volume, from the past 15 years (as determined by our editors and art staff), click here.

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