An LA Times Reporter Walks Into a Huntington Beach Bar . . . and Finds the Jersey Shore
Street fights, bros 'n' hos, toxic surf, free-flowing hooch, corrupt politicians--whatever gaveNicole Santa Cruz
the idea that Huntington Beach is the Jersey Shore of Orange County?
Cruz foists that premise in a Los Angeles Times story about Surf Shitty's boisterous bar scene.
MTV is no doubt Mapquesting H.B. for a reality camera crew now.
Cruz's evidence for making the Huntington Beach-Jersey Shore connection came after a late-night weekend ride-along with local cops. Among what she saw:
- The air is crisp and salty, and despite the cold, women in colorful tube dresses are laughing and men in collared shirts are whistling in appreciation.
- A 24-year-old man stumbling on the brick sidewalk while answering a cop's question about how much he drank that night: "A Mind Eraser. Two shots of Jack Daniels. A Guinness and a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Two Irish Car Bombs, then three Bud Lights."
- On a typical night, Baja Sharkeez is packed with people who look like they were born in the '80s.
- Tales from bartenders who say they have tossed naked men and broken up bloody fights.
- The term cops give drunks who frequently wander into the wrong house, looking for a place to sleep: a "Downtown 459," after the state penal code for burglary because alarmed residents think someone broke in to steal from them.
- The final tally from enforcement within the three-block downtown while Cruz was hanging out with cops: broke up two brawls, encountered a man passed out in the front seat of a cab, arrested a 21-year-old who voluntarily jumped off a 20-foot building and ushered numerous drunks home.
The Times decided to parachute in a reporter because of Huntington Beach's No. 1 ranking among cities its size in California in victims killed and injured in alcohol-involved traffic accidents. A 22-month police investigation zeroed-in on that stretch of Main Street as causing the most alcohol-related calls.
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