[quote author="acpme" date=1255147014]bk, where to next (assuming you had to move)? not a dream home out in the mtns somewhere but assuming you still had to work and live in oc.</blockquote>
Mrs bk and I would prefer San Marino or Hancock Park but we have no choice but to stay near Irvine because it is the best for my daughter due to the custody arrangement. Mrs Bk cried for years while we lived in Irvine due to the pretentious and unfriendlly nature of people. The stepford enviroment and boredom drove us out of this city. This city is not suitable for strollerless families like us. We can careless for the tot lots, sidewalks, or clubhouse that we never used but forced to pay for.
Legacy property was our criteria and there are only few choices in OC.
We are really happy living in Floral Park and have no intention to join the 4.5 year average nomadic herd.
Our next move will not be bound by constraint.
There is no other places in OC that will meet my aesthetic demand and any future relocation would likely be the Draper House.
Bk, what are the people like in San Marino? Do the people share any of the same characteristics as Irvinites? Are they pretentious? San Marino seems like it has the best schools, best houses, the creme of da crop. In my own mind, that doesn't translate into the most down to earth place.
[quote author="Mcdonna1980" date=1255227617]Bk, what are the people like in San Marino? Do the people share any of the same characteristics as Irvinites? Are they pretentious? San Marino seems like it has the best schools, best houses, the creme of da crop. In my own mind, that doesn't translate into the most down to earth place.</blockquote>
There are many old folks in San Marino and many generations who have lived there since the 40's, 50s, 60's and 70's. The SM people share very little Irvinite characteristics except for some Chinese Uber rich and for the most part they live primarily in Taiwan or Hong Kong.
There is a huge difference between old money vs new money crowd. The new money crowd tends to show off a lot.
There is a huge difference in term of environment. There is night life in Old Town Pasadena vs Old Town Irvine.
There is a huge difference between Sam Woo in Irvine vs Hop Woo in Alhambra.
There is however one similarity : drivers living in both places attended the same driving school.
i spent the early chunk of my life in san marino and family background is similar to what bk just mentioned above. my parents decided to move out of that area though because the chinese (more specifically, taiwanese) community is an awfully small world. we had several relatives that lived within walking distance. any time a family we knew emmigrated from asia, they too came to san marino. that's a nice thing for some but also makes life very claustrophobic to have everyone you know live in a 3.8 sq mile town. for my parents, there were also the concerns about the competitiveness of the schools and lack of diversity. san marino high is like uni high on steroids. school friends and family friends all spoke chinese out of school. i still have friends from elementary school that speak with a chinese accent despite being in america since kindergarten. also, many taiwanese families there started moving out when new money chinese started moving in.
irvine might seem like suburban chinatown to some but it's ten times more diverse than san marino. of course, i would still live there again if work put me in LA and didn't have kids (and more importantly, my finances allowed it!). we have property in pasadena so we're still in that area every so often. a leisurely drive through the neighborhood along oak knoll is still one of my favorite things to do in that area.
btw, i sometimes think we give too much credit to people who live in san marino homes, esp when we're talking about immigrant families. a majority of them have no idea about the special character of their neighborhood. i would bet money that they don't know the difference between their 1920's san marino house vs a 2000's mcmansion in arcadia. if SM residents were <em>allowed to</em>, you better believe a lot of people would have razed their classic homes and built a new china palace to replace it. to many, san marino is better because the homes are more expensive or SM high is better than arcadia high. if they build Irvine Ranch mcmansions in that area, they would be gobbled up just as fast.
the house i lived in was a ranch-style colonial (?). i don't know if thats the proper terminology but it was a one-story layout. the exterior had real brickworking that is common in the area, and a bk-approved detached rear garage. we sold to a chinese family. the new owners turned the grassy area in front of the circular driveway into a landscaped mound with tropical plants, birds of paradise, and short palms. that was not as bad as the small grecian fountain! the fountain was removed (probably at the request of the city) but the tropical landscaping is still there today.
I absolutely agree that Chinese living in SM have no idea what good architecture and planning are. The land in SM is ideal to raze a 1920's home and build several Irvine like Mcmansions on the lot. Other cities with relaxed zoning and review standard have lost this battle with Chinese developers. Temple City, Arcadia, and Alhambra all have regrets.
Chinese is known for going into nice cities, ruining them and move on to the next city.
One of the smartest planning concept for Chinese communities is HOA, CC&R and postage stamp lots to avoid tear downs and bad renovations.
Correct me if I'm wrong but this is how I'm interpreting this discussion: Old school San Marinites are more inclined to be neighborly & preserve their vintage homes because they have a vested interest in maintaining their heritage. Newcomers to San Marino are mostly rich Chinese looking to use buy a status symbol second home with access to good schools. Can San Marino retain it's charm if the growing populace is <em>not</em> moving there for neighborly charm?
[quote author="Mcdonna1980" date=1255405406]Correct me if I'm wrong but this is how I'm interpreting this discussion: Old school San Marinites are more inclined to be neighborly & preserve their vintage homes because they have a vested interest in maintaining their heritage. Newcomers to San Marino are mostly rich Chinese looking to use buy a status symbol second home with access to good schools. Can San Marino retain it's charm if the growing populace is <em>not</em> moving there for neighborly charm?</blockquote>
The Chinese population in SM is still a small percentage. They kept pretty much to themselves. Because of the strict CC&R they have only ruined the interior of the homes. The exterior and landscape are intact. The white population is still large enough to carry on the charm. Fall decor and tasteful floral decor grace the entry every fall as expected. Fall flowers are set into terracotta urns and planters are already replanted with winter flowering varieties.
[quote author="bkshopr" date=1255406517] Fall decor and tasteful floral decor grace the entry every fall as expected. Fall flowers are set into terracotta urns and planters are already replanted with winter flowering varieties.</blockquote>
It?s interesting that you mentioned the Fall decor here. We live in an older (probably oldest) community in MV and the residents here also take time to change the decor and gardens according to seasons and holidays. I enjoy walking around the neighborhood and see each house has different ideas changing along with different seasons. I also noticed in other newer neighborhood people don?t have the behavior of changing the d?cor now as Fall comes. Probably they will all wait until Christmas which is the only holiday that most people come up with new ideas decorating their houses and gardens.
[quote author="acpme" date=1255406270]yes because of stringent design guidelines in the city. </blockquote>
By charm, I was referring to more than the aesthetics. A place that exhibits a sense of community, friendliness, etc. What I'm trying to find out is if San Marino is trending towards or away from being a neighborly place.
<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/2000-03/16/076r-031600-idx.html">spacer Judgment At Pasadena The Nuremberg Laws Were in California Since 1945. Who Knew?</a>
The answers may lie in the cultural and social norms of Pasadena and neighboring San Marino, a small city where the Huntington is located. In the 1940s, these towns were bastions of white Protestant culture. Minorities were prevented from living there through restrictive covenants enforced by homeowners' associations and, after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the covenants in 1948, through individual land deeds.
San Marino "was truly a racist little community," says Skirball Center President Uri Herscher. "It was packed with oil lords, and no Jews and no Italians lived there."</blockquote>
I lived there from birth 'til leaving for college. My parents paid off their house (awesome place, built in 1923) when I was in junior high. My dad showed me the deed to the house after he got it.....stated something to the effect of "no negroes, jews and/or italians" could own the home. Still seems pretty amazing to me.
The great thing about the city is how much of it was built during the Depression. It's good to know that there's always a way to make $$$ even in the worst of times.
Our family best friends were ethnic Japanese, came over in the late 1800s. They were sent off to Manzanar in early '43, and deeded everything they owned (a few dozen San Marino and Pasadena acres) to a caucasian friend who actually gave it all back after the war. Proof positive that for every FDR there's a good person, too.
FWIW, the schools were amazing when I went there, but I've heard that they have really fallen since then (almost 20 years).
I've always thought of San Marino as Irvine's counterpart in LA County. San Marino is old money Taiwanese. Well-connected mainland families who moved to Taiwan with the KMT. A lot of doctors and other highly skilled professionals. Parents who graduated from Taipei University(the Harvard of Taiwan). Daughters who win a spot on the Rose Court.
Irvine is more new money Taiwanese. People who made their money in trade or tech. A lot of these people did not grow up with money so they flaunt it in sometimes embarrassing ways. Thank god for strict community rules!
Of course it's not nearly as black and white as I'm painting it. But one thing the Taiwanese in both areas have in common is complaining about the damn mainlanders moving in and taking over.