Growing up in the northern middle ground of Los Angeles County and Orange County (oh, to be from Long Beach!) has its perks and cons. At times it feels like being bi-racial, rejected by both cultures. (or counties in this case.) Other times, being able to live and play in both worlds feels like a geographical blessing.
I grew up in Whittier, but I’m sure folks from other LA County towns such as La Mirada, Cerritos, Norwalk, and Diamond Bar have found themselves trying to pick a county side most fitting to them. If you’ve ever had a county existential crisis, you are not alone.
For those who grew up in Whittier or lived in a fellow bordering city, here’s a list of things you’ll find relatable.
10. Angels Or Dodgers?
Confusing names such as “The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” doesn’t make it any easier for us middle grounders to pick a hometown team.
9. Whittier Isn’t Just A Boulevard!
Whittier Boulevard is most notable for its car cruising culture —there’s even a song about it! But if you really have any street cred, you’ll know that Whittier Blvd. runs straight from East Los Angeles to Brea, where it becomes Whittier Ave. Fun fact: there’s also an entire city named Whittier on Whittier Blvd. Mind blowing, right?
8. You Feel Poor In Both Counties
If you’re from the South Los Angeles County line, chances are you most likely live modestly in a middle-class neighborhood at best, but most likely in tract housing that was last trendy during the Nixon administration. Whenever you find yourself in Beverly Hills or South OC, the extravagance of both cities equally leave you feeling intimidated and outcasted.
7. You Wish You Had A Freeway Close By
If you live within five miles of a freeway entrance, I envy you. Whittier is La Habra when it comes to the California highway system. The scarcity of freeways in this area forces residents to mainly commute through residential and main streets. You’ve maneuvered through Imperial Highway, Lambert Road, Whittier Boulevard, Bastanchury Road, Euclid Street and Harbor Boulevard countless of times. Hell, you know where Harbor Boulevard starts.
6. Your Orange Crush is the 57 North/60 West and 605/5 Interchanges
When you have managed to find a freeway, it’s usually the 5 or the 57. The 60 West along the 57 and 605 along the 5 are essential routes for L.A./O.C. middlers and they’re not pleasant. I guess there are more of us than we realize.
5. You Overhear Ignorant Smack About Both Counties
Hip L.A. kids say they don’t want to go to the O.C. because it’s far, unless it’s for Disneyland or the Observatory. You roll your eyes. Forgive them for never having danced to some funk or taken a mere stroll in downtown SanTana to realize OC is just as hip as Echo Park and still muy mexicano, something Echo Park can barely say anymore. Similarly, when you cross into Orange County, you over hear privileged O.C. kids say they aren’t allowed or prefer not to go to L.A. because it’s dangerous. Eyes are rolled again. Los Angeles isn’t all Skid Row and Hawaiian Gardens, you know?
4. You Know Your Way Around SoCal Like A Boss…
Waze and Google Maps got nothing on you! Work, school and your social life have constantly lead you into both Southern California territories‚your sense of direction and odometer definitely show for it. This consistent pull between both counties is also why you’ve grown attached to each one.
3. …And you’d Rather Drive In Orange County Than Los Angeles
Southern California is full of bottleneck traffic, but Orange County’s freeways are cake in comparison to Los Angeles freeways. Having been scarred from previous L.A. commutes, you let out a sigh of relief when life pulls you into Orange County and the 5 South expands like Moses parting the Red Sea and shit. You also rest assured that parking will be abundant and free, or at least reasonably priced in comparison to LA.
2. County Lines Got You Fucked Up
You thought you were part of Orange County until you looked up county lines and realized your whole life has been a lie. Or you thought you were part of Los Angeles until Google Maps proved you are actually an Orange County resident. Does this mean it’s time to trade in that Dodgers hat for an Angels hat? (And vice versa.) OR you can have both! (See number 10)
1. No One Outside SoCal Has Heard Of Your City
When traveling internationally, no one knows where your middle ground town is. Heck, I’ve even had fellow SoCal residents ask me where my hometown of Whittier was. You end up telling people you live either in Los Angeles or by Disneyland just to get past the road block in the conversation, but deep down in your heart you know neither one of these answers suffice.