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Stereotypes New Yorkers Get Wrong About Californians
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Stereotypes New Yorkers Get Wrong About Californians

Picture of Katie Ward
Updated: 9 February 2017
New Yorkers pride themselves on their dark, to the point, ambitious attitudes. To them, Californians seem like blonde, tan Barbie-wannabes. But Californians are much, much more.

They all are blonde and tan

Some Californians have skin so pale that they nearly blind people when they step into the sun. Just like everywhere else, there are a variety of hair colors and skin tones across the state. While there is a certain sub-group of people who want to look like Barbie or Ken, they don’t all fit the plastic mold.

They all want to be famous

Yes, there are many people in Los Angeles that work in the entertainment industry. However, only a small percentage of them are actors or performers. The industry is made up of many different groups and organizations: prop masters, set decorators, publicists, agents, directors, producers, editors, marketing teams — you get the point. And this is only in Los Angeles. The rest of California is made of techies and farmers and hippies and ranchers and more.

They’re all obsessed with health crazes

How can the state that produced In-N-Out be entirely obsessed with health crazes? While fads like gluten-free and juicing diets have grown in popularity, a true Californian would never deny the classic double-double from their local In-N-Out or a carne asada burrito from a nearby taqueria. Vegetarian? Replace beef with cheese — so much cheese. (Vegan?? This paragraph is not intended for you.)

Everyone either hikes or does yoga

Admittedly, there are some Californians who brag about their ‘hikes’ up paved roads in local parks. There are some who wear yoga pants regardless of whether they practice yoga (although they will probably quickly tell you if they do). But exercise isn’t all about vanity in California — they use their surroundings as inspiration. In SoCal, people tend to embrace the sun and the beach in their preferred workout methods (i.e., surfing, swimming, rollerblading). In San Francisco, where cars are far less common than in L.A., bikers and walkers can get a workout simply through their daily commute.

They’re all terrified of the rain

Californians are not afraid of the rain — they love it. They don’t have a lot of experience with driving in it, and mudslides are a disaster, but they embrace every drop. In fact, they’re actually quite desperate for the rain. California was hit with a record-breaking drought in 2015 that devastated their biggest export: agriculture. Say the words El Niño, and Californians gasp in excitement across the state. Their soil and their souls are parched, and they are ready for the rain.

They have terrible public transportation

It’s true — they don’t have the subway. But according to the American Community Survey, which determined how often public transportation is used in 290 different cities, San Francisco is second behind New York, and Los Angeles is reported as 15th on the list. Muni (San Francisco Municipal Transport) and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) serve as the preferred commute method for many Bay Area inhabitants. In Los Angeles, the Metro isn’t quite up to NorCal standards. However, don’t forget that L.A. is the largest city in California, and the second largest city in the United States. And Angelinos really, really love their cars.

They all live in wonderful weather all the time

California experiences beautiful days — 75 degrees, sunny, a light breeze. These days are rare for most of the state, however. San Francisco is regularly cloudy and foggy with a wind chill that will cut through your Patagonia in a second. Meanwhile, Bay Area suburbs experience temperatures upwards of 100 degrees. Most of California experiences insanely high temperatures, actually — the state is home to the iconic Death Valley, after all. There are also cold, snowy winters in the mountains.

New Yorkers are more ambitious

Californians get it. If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. Blah, blah, blah. But in 2014, San Francisco passed New York as the most expensive city in the country for real estate, so paying for rent there also requires a touch of ambition, to say the least. This drastic hike in prices came as a result of the tech industry boom in Silicon Valley, and techies are ‘hella’ ambitious, as NorCal-ers would say.