YELLOWCosta Mesa's Lion's Parkhas a big grassy meadow. Who cares? It has a baseball diamond and that "Costa Mesa Community Center." Mere distractions. The real lure of Lion's Park is that bright yellow Korean War-vintage Navy jetfighter planted in the sand next to the playground equipment. You see, not only is it a Korean War-vintage Navy jetfighter, but it's also yellow. Yellow! How cool is that? I sure wish I had had a bright yellow Korean War-vintage Navy jetfighter to climb all over when I was growing up. The best thing about my old neighborhood park was this ancient fire truck, which certainly had its charms but was painted red—so sadly derivative of the same mediocre paint schemes I saw on the road every day. If ever a fire truck needed to be painted bright yellow and be a Korean War-vintage Navy jetfighter, it was that one. Corner of 18th Street and Park Avenue, Costa Mesa.
YIN/YANG Sports agents Leigh Steinberg and Scott Boras live in Newport Beach, each with a wife, three kids and lucrative relationships with some of the greatest—and richest—athletes of their time. Steinberg and Boras are not just sports agents, of course; they are perhaps the richest, most powerful and influential sports agents of all time. Tom Cruise's character in Jerry Maguire was based on Steinberg, who got his start in 1975 negotiating the contract of quarterback Steve Bartkowski, a college buddy at Berkeley, with the Atlanta Falcons. Alex Rodriguez's quarter-billion-dollar contract with the Texas Rangers was negotiated by Boras, who got his start in 1983 negotiating the contract of infielder Mike Fischlin, a childhood friend, with the Cleveland Indians. Their differences? Steinberg has made his millions swaddled in the image of a choirboy who requires that his clients sponsor charitable causes and wrote a book called Winning With Integrity, in which his drunk-driving citation of a few years ago was all but ignored. Boras is Satan . . . or so say the owners who compete with one another to pay his clients millions and then cry foul. What happens when these two forces compete against each other in today's marketplace? YORBA LINDA Let's not kid ourselves: the only reason anyone has heard of this colorless, 18.6-square-mile collection of strip malls and white-bread housing tracts that bills itself as "The Land of Gracious Living" is because a lying, conniving, manipulating, scheming, malcontent ex-president named Richard Milhous Nixon was born there. More than 60,000 people dwell in Yorba Linda, which translates as "Beautiful Yorba," referring to the Spanish explorer Jose Yorba, who took possession of the city in 1809 as part of a 62,000-acre land grant from the Spanish king. For most of its life, the city was nothing but a bunch of small farms. Nowadays, it's not much more than a bunch of half-million-dollar tract homes. There aren't that many places in Yorba Linda to get a good meal, and as far as anyone knows, the city has just one bar. Its old-timey historic district is nice and quiet, but it's also small and not particularly tourist-friendly. For years, the city has been trying to bill itself as "Spectrum North," a kind of Irvine-like home to high-tech companies, but that idea is pretty much dead, the concept of sprawling technology parks overtaken by vastly more profitable retail giants like Home Depot.
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