Everyone’s got a California. Mine starts at birth, in San Diego. It carries into the Bay Area through age 7, after which my family relocated to the suburbs of Boston. That’s where it took on greater force.
California became the site of family vacations just as I was plugging into pop culture. Whereas before it was a place to live, now it became a haze of leisure-distorted observations and fictionalized renderings: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s spunky, freewheeling antics in the Venice Beach–based Billboard Dad, Marissa Cooper’s unfazed rich-girl style on The O.C. California now came with a soundtrack, and it was by Phantom Planet…
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