Or that was certainly how I felt it was until I first started coming to California in 1982 and realized that behind that facade people were just as normal as everywhere else. They just showed it differently. Traveling north from San Francisco really underlines this but that laid back thing still remains. I think (and OK I grant I could be totally wrong here) that economics got in the way.
Back in the 1960's when the Love and Peace Generation led to the Summer of Love and worldwide exposure, San Francisco was not the place it is today. It was cheap. People could afford to be hippies in communes that today are really smart town homes and condos costing into the millions. Today they cannot. The alternative therefore is to move north where it is less expensive to carry on the life they want to lead.
I cannot think of any other explanation why there are so many long grey haired people my age living in Marin County and the further north. Of course other people live there who have likely always lived there -- farmers, loggers, etc. -- but the growth in organic, eco-friendly everything surely cannot have come from people who have always been blue collar workers living hand to mouth. Simple economics means they wouldn't have had the luxury of time and money to move in this direction. Only transplants with a specific ethos were the likeliest to move towards eco-everything in the way that California has.
|The Pony Express|
I could be wrong of course and welcome an alternative explanation but when we stopped at the Pony Express Coffee Shop in west Marin just outside Point Reyes, the owner was totally freaked when I and another guy went in around the same time and placed an order each for 2 coffees. A buddy of his came in behind us and said:
"Looks like tourist season has started early."
His phone went off around this point too and someone started speaking to him and he said:
"Look I'm really busy at the moment and I'm feeling stressed by it all. I'll have to call you back".
2 guys, 4 coffees!! This guy should go to Starbucks some time!!