Pristine Roads & Waterways But Cheers To The Longstanding Dive Bars
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
When you live in Los Angeles County and drive down to Orange County, you realize this is how things should be in L.A.
The freeways have more lanes, the roads are wider and there’s always turn lanes with turn lane signals.
The streets look as if they were paved yesterday, just for your arrival.
Down by the coast, Pacific Coast Highway runs along the beach and you can actually see the ocean. And when it doesn’t, you’re still by the water, which is often on both sides of you.
In Los Angeles County, you can see the ocean from PCH in Malibu but only a fool would look at it for more than half a second because the road has frequent curves and maniac drivers who act as if they left the dog running loose through the canyons.
Some main streets – Santa Monica Blvd., Sunset Blvd., Melrose, Fairfax and I could go on and on and on – are in need of repaving, are narrow and don’t have turn lanes or turn arrows on the traffic lights. Needless to say, this backs up traffic, which is bad in the first place.
Even being by the water is different in Orange County. It’s everywhere. In addition to the ocean, there’s the back bay, which is like Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway. There’s even an island – Balboa – and a tiny ferry that looks like something out a children’s book to take you back and forth to it and the Balboa Peninsula (cost: just $1 or, a buck-50 if you’re on a bicycle).
It all seems to pristine, so clean, the prefect Los Angeles. It’s as if when the people were building Los Angeles, the people in Orange County were sitting back saying “let’s see how they are doing this; then we’ll take that and improve on it.”
Despite all this, it’s fun to note that parts of “the OC” have an endearing lack of polish, too. Keeps it down to earth, like telling a swimsuit model that her she needs to rub in the suntan lotion on her nose.
That’s why I always must pay a visit to a couple of dive bars while I’m there, and it doesn’t get any more dive bar-ish than Blackie’s By The Sea and the Beach Ball in Newport Beach. Of course, PubClub also likes Woody’s Wharf, the wonderfully time-resistant and legendary pick-up bar on the water.
After all, you can’t have polish without some things needing some polish.