What Happens When a Newport Beach Socialite Visits Santa Ana?

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If you're not from Newport Beach or a KDOC-TV Channel 56 viewer from back in the days when Wally George ruled supreme and she hosted a cooking show with the late RV king John Crean, you probably don't know who Barbara Venezia is. She's a nice woman, fierce defender of Newport Beach, charity maven, and that rarity: a Republican who's not walking evil.

Still, Barbara lives in her Newport Beach bubble, which made her recent column in the Orange County Register on visiting downtown SanTana read like an 1880s dispatch of a Brit visiting the Raj.

Her first mistake was relying on SanTana councilmember Busty Bustamante as a guide to the city--Huell Howser, he ain't. "To be honest, my only experiences in Santa Ana have been at O.C. Board of Supervisor meetings, so fun isn't something I associate with this town," Venezia says, while gasping that the downtown is "revitalized." Wow, you're just two decades late to the party, Babs! (Don't believe the Brave New Urbanists who say the area was dead until they bravely came into town).

She then goes on to talk "with one of the pioneers of the Santa Ana revitalization," Irv Chase, the owner of the Yost and the man--if you want to play that game--most responsible for holding back downtown SanTana because he insisted for 25 years on renting to wabs and their quinceañera shops instead of being open to new ideas--until the city made it financially worth his time, of course.

"As I walked through the artists' displays in the Santora Building basement, I thought, 'Move over Laguna, Santa Ana could become the art capital of O.C. given a few more years!' Again, the bubble: anyone who follows art knows that SanTana supplanted old, plein air/hippy dippy Laguna, oh, a decade ago. She also treats Memphis at the Santora and the Gypsy Den as somehow newcomers to the area, even though they've been there for nearly a decade each.

But the craziest part of Venezia's column is her conclusion, where she wrote, "I still had to drive through some dicey areas before reaching downtown that night." Of course, Aliso Viejo is sketchy to the typical Newport Beach socialite, but that area you drove through, Barbara, at least if you followed the instructions of Google Maps? Fourth Street? First part is residential and business--you're safe. Then industrial--you're safe. Next is a bunch of abandoned lots--that's all the fault of your pal Busty and his fellow councilmembers. Then you get to the about-to-get-exterminated Mexican part of Fourth Street--then you arrive to all the charming things you wrote about.

"Dicey"? Chica, go visit Blackie's around last call, then get back to me...in the meanwhile, kudos to you for finally discovering Orange County!

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5 comments
Gus stay out of Newport
Gus stay out of Newport

It would be interesting to read about your next trip to Newport  Beach. Surely you could give great deals about the lawn  you mowed. Or how you got to hand wash a Bentley. Or what the fire pits down at Big Corona were like.....

TedBKissell
TedBKissell

You forgot the best part, Gustavo. In the photo she snapped of Tim Rush, one of her tour guides, the dude is wearing... wait for it... a pith helmet.

Which makes your Raj comparison even more on-point.

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

you have nothing to fear as far as Gus or me or other wabs from visiting newport beach. i think some cracker pendejo councilman from newport (or was it corona del mar) made it known that grassy areas attracts wabs. i would love to line people like himself (and you, of course) and go to town. i need to work on my pinata swing. but i welcome your bigotry. it is empowering.as for bust: busty bustamante is the perfect oreo pendejo to serve as token brownie host. i don't give a fuck if he was born on 4th street or even inside some quiceanera shop. fucker should stop trying to claim santana as his own. go stick your spoon back in your mouth and culo and callate ya de una ves pendejo.  

Culichi Sucks Gustavos cock
Culichi Sucks Gustavos cock

Spoken like the classy Mexican that you are. You see, that's what makes you a total and complete loser. Someone could be completely broke, which I'm sure you are, and still have class. But, I can understand how you wouldn't value that quality, because you or any other Mexican has never had it. Never will. So go back to mowing my lawn, washing my car, and cleaning my shit stained underwear.

Oh, one last thing. Don't forget, your shift at El Ranchito starts at 4 this weekend. And make sure everyone has chips and salsa. Andele.

Ctnelson
Ctnelson

It was A Costa Mexico city council hombre gringo

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