The last time I hung out at Newport Beach's fire pits was in 2002, when I was trying to date some Vietnamese chick who had a problem with me because her parents hated Mexicans. Haven't been down there at nighttime since, mostly because my preferred beaches are Laguna and Seal, but I've always loved the pits, those grand first-come, first-serve civic, um, circles for Southern California. So when I first heard that Newport Beach officials were trying to get rid of them, I assumed it was some sort of sick NIMBY joke–look everyone, we're trying to be Irvine!
But as Coker wrote last week, it's true. And so I made it the focus of my "Orange County Line" commentary for KCRW-FM 89.9 yesterday.
A friend made a fascinating point after listening to it yesterday: maybe Newport's efforts are also an anti-Persian move? He said swarms of them head down there right now, all Shahs of Sunset-ted out and leap over the fire pits in honor of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which is going to happen next week. Couple that with all the Mexicans who love a good fire, and it's RACISM! Anyhoo, enjoy!
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