Love Letters to California – The New York Times - The World News

Love Letters to California – The New York Times

Here are some examples, lightly edited:

“Outside of California, people don’t know much about Davis, but I feel so lucky to live in this hidden gem. We loved bikes before we came, but living in the bicycle capital of America has totally changed us. I now bike everywhere — to work, to dinner, to my daughter’s activities — and the game changer is that I feel completely safe doing so. Throw in the quintessential college town with our farmers’ market, theaters, essential coffee shops, local book and record stores, and plenty of boba tea shops — all within an easy bike ride or walk — and you have a magical place.” — Kari Edison Watkins, Davis

“When I was a little girl traveling with my parents from Seattle to Sonoma on Highway 101, I thought the Ukiah Valley and the next one south to Hopland had to be among the most beautiful places on earth. Now, 70 years later, I still think so. It’s hard to believe I am here.” — Leslie H. Smyth, Ukiah Valley

“I love San Diego County. One day many years ago, a friend and I had breakfast on the beach and a dip in the ocean. We packed a few things and drove one and a half hours up to Julian in the coastal mountains. Had lunch with a pal there, then continued east, another hour or so, down into the desert for dinner and an overnight in Borrego Springs. Beach, mountain, desert, all in one day. Changes in climate, plants, animals — even the air smelled different.” — Sandra Zarcades, Rancho Santa Fe

“I grew up in the New York metropolitan area, but in 1989 it was a series of Grateful Dead shows at the Kaiser auditorium in Oakland and at the Warfield that hooked me on their homeland. As the song goes, ‘I’ll be knocking on the golden door, like an angel standing in a shaft of light, rising up to paradise.’ In California I feel perpetually bathed in that light. The Grateful Dead brought me to the promised land of adventurous, creative and poetic souls, coupled with breathtaking landscapes of ancient redwood and sequoia groves, thousand-foot cliffs hanging above the Pacific, stunning granite spires of the Sierra, vast majestic desert wilderness. California is a land of immense beauty, brilliance and creative possibility.” — Albert Flynn DeSilver, Woodacre

“As third-generation San Franciscans, we left the city for Carmel 30 years ago to have a family. Raising a family here was perfection. It has the charm of a small town, yet has a symphony and Sunset Center drawing nationally known entertainers. There’s a stunning beach and a California outdoor lifestyle. We knew our children’s friends and families, and decades later, many stay in touch. Unlike city life, most parents made it to their children’s 3 p.m. sports tournaments and school events. Finally, we’re an hour or two away from the big arenas, museums and plays in San Jose and San Francisco. It’s been heaven.” — Lori Silver, Carmel

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