51 Reasons California Is America's Best State

Categories: Duh

california_puzzle_piece_calsidyrose.jpg
calsidyrose
​First, Gawker started counting down the worst American states in order. (California ranked #46.)

Then the good folks at SF Weekly's sister papers in Minnesota (#45) and Texas (#13) took issue with this, and both dug deep to try to prove that their states are actually America's best.

Both papers mustered lists of 50 reasons, which is impressive, given what they have to work with.

In California, we don't have to work to make a case at all. All you have to do is open a window, and the case for CA supremacy is closed.

S0, it's probably cruel of us share to this list of what is already obvious. But 51 items came to us during an idle moment this morning, as we lay beneath one of this state's many orange trees, feeling a sweet Pacific breeze tease our hair, and listening to Otis Redding sing "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," the greatest pop song yet penned and performed by an American.

Why 51? Because Cali is above and beyond, y'all.

51. The only facts of American life that Irving Berlin got around to celebrating in "God Bless America" are the mountains, the prairies, and "the ocean white with foam." Start just off the California coast and head east, and chances are you'll hit all three within a hundred miles.

50. Robinson Jeffers, the great poet of the central coast, reminds us that no matter how many ugly houses we throw up, the majesty of Carmel Point is undiminished. (Also, in that poem, "Carmel Point," he pretty much coined the term "spoiler.")

49. You know all those talented writers and performers who used to live in your state? You should come visit them!

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mcatalena
48. The tacos. Sweet Jesus, the tacos.

47. Often, those tacos are brought in what we call "food trucks," long a California staple. Look for a trend piece on them in the local style section of every major-city daily newspaper anytime now.

46. Death Valley National Park is both unspeakably beautiful and a chilling glimpse of America's global-warming future. And all that barrenness is offset by life: In 2009, California had 81,500 farms -- and that's just the ones growing crops legal enough to report.

45. We know it might be upsetting when state border workers take your fruits away upon entry. But, really, you won't need them, because we've got fruit enough for everyone.

44. The Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa houses a collection of over 6,000 Peanuts strips -- most of them not those iffy '80s ones about Spike.

43. We're egalitarian. All ideas, no matter how batshit, wind up on the ballot.

42. California boasts two world-class cities: Los Angeles and San Francisco. No other state can say the same.

41. By the same token, "L.A. face and an Oakland booty" has no out-of-state equivalent. Just try swapping in "Bronx" and "Albany."

40. And those cities are competitive for best in the country, too. Gorgeous, brainy S.F. is like Boston plus porn and minus the racism. Meanwhile, Moe the bartender once observed that L.A. is like "someone stepped on New York and scraped it off on the beach."

39. Speaking of The Simpsons, it doesn't matter where Springfield is. The show -- like almost everything else in our media culture that anyone enjoys -- comes from here.

38. You know how in Steinbeck the Okies had such a miserable time getting here, and then they were disappointed when the reality did not live up to their Edenic dreams? They still stuck around for generations, so this must have been better than heading back.

37. We are the world's breadbasket, just with porn, not bread.

36. Only twelve states are less obese than us, and none of them have a diet named for them.

35. As if to apologize for giving the world McDonalds, we gave the world In-N-Out Burger.

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69 comments
jshaner414
jshaner414

How can you write for SF Weekly and call Northern California, "NoCal." ... It's NorCal

Eric Carlson
Eric Carlson

hope John Wareham has moved to texus if he hates it so much

Mary Littlelamb
Mary Littlelamb

California has gotten so expensive that they have forced the lower and middle class people to move out. The artist the people that need to cities what they were. I was one of those people. I lived in Los Angeles and San Francisco right in the city. The Castro to be exact. Most of the drag queens struggle to do their club night once a week just to make it and they're being forced out of San Francisco and that's what the tourist go to see and that's what makes this city of San Francisco... the hot sexy gays and the drag queens. The landlords are getting greedy and they want the dot com ers the people that work for twitter and Google to take over. The rich and nerdy. I mostly left because it's really hard to find a hot straight guy in San Francisco and they seem to have egos because they know girls don't have much of a choice. Just like New York City. Manhattan. San Francisco is turning all suit and tie. And it's mostly men because women don't get paid as much

John Wareham
John Wareham

Read '1,235 Reasons Why California is a Terrible Place to Live' '

Stefan Garza
Stefan Garza

Tell me how great your economy is? Seems to me lots of people are making there way to Texas. Lots of land and everything is cheap.

NorCal Crowe
NorCal Crowe

Too bad this list has stupid hipster bullshit taking the place of legit reasons. I wouldnt live anywhere else....except for the fact that there are so many problems with this place its twice as long as the positives....too bad...this state use to kick ass!

Jack Curtin
Jack Curtin

Agreed. I live in Massachusetts which sucks.

Mary Littlelamb
Mary Littlelamb

San Francisco is my favorite city. However, I hate that I can't walk around and dressed sexy due to the weather, and I prefer the gun laws in Florida

Katethegreat2
Katethegreat2

Oh please. Ok, listen up everyone. I'm a twelve year old girl who has been to every state in the freakin United States of America. I've also been to Japan, China, Korea, Sweden, Greece, India, Africa, England, the Bahamas, Italy, Paris, Russia and any other place you could name. Even I know that California is the best place not only in the US, but in the world. Remember I'm only twelve. First of all, the beach is better than any place on earth. Here we have everything from beautiful mountains to warm sunny beaches, and bad weather and unfriendly people are unheard of. Whenever I visit other states or countries, people look at me when I walk by and tell me how beautiful I am. I say back, "Thanks! I'm from California!" And they nod and say, "That makes sense. California is a wonderful state." Also, I'm extremely talented. I sing, dance, act, I'm an author, an artist, a director, and I can play every sport from tennis to lacrosse to football to ice hockey/ ice skating to soccer to track and field to cross country to wrestling to karate/ju-jitsu/tae-kwon-do to basketball to baseball/softball and I'm the fastest swimmer that met at the international girls meet in 2011 and I have many, many other talents that I could write a whole nother book about but I'm already focused on writing a book on the pros and cons of nuclear energy and it's power support. California has the most auditionees for America's Got Talent! and it's not hard to see why. We work hard and be the best we can be. California has deep historical relations as well. We also have two, no, three major cities that are known worldwide. What other state could say that??? Also, we are known for our perfects racial mix. No one here is racist and I have never seen a drunk person here ever. California has the most universities and is the state that everyone wants to live in. I could go on and on but I have to get back to writing my novel on Astrophysics and Calculus and how we should start teaching them in fifth grade instead of middle school. So this is for all you suckers who can't live here and keep on complaining about how we're such an awful state: Get over here and I can try out my karate skills on you. I know I sound stuck up, but believe me I'm a nice person. Really I am. I just can't stand it when someone who has never been to California says that it sucks. Really, I can't. I'm a lover, not a fighter but I'll fight for what I love, which includes my favorite state. I love you Cali! Sorry to all of you guys out there who are saying that California is the same as any old state. Yeah, no. As soon as you step off the airplane, you have a sense of calmness that washes over you just as one of our gentle rolling waves washes over the beach. California is truly magnificent. -Kate  

Yellowday
Yellowday

@JforwardSounds like you're just a backwards, backwoods, peckerwood, "hate like daddy dun' hated" redneck. Instead of ranting like a child about some place you've only heard about, but never experienced for yourself, you should get your hound dog and jump in your truck to come see us here in exceptionally extraordinary California.

Johnjamison
Johnjamison

Yeah our economy sucks and we have tons of political issues and illegal immigrants running wild, but you put those things aside and we have one hell of a state. Those issues aside, if you still have a reason to not like Cali, you are either jealous or have never been here. There's a reason why this is the most populated state per square mile!

Annie
Annie

I live in California and I love it :) It is the best state haha, but to each his own. I loved the article btw, it's nice to see something written fun and witty for once.

Sndytimes
Sndytimes

I was born and raised in California, and of course I personally think it's the best little chunk of the US, but this sounds more like 51 reasons that you love LA and San Fran. No, not everyone who lives in California has a head shot, wants to be an actor, or even likes Los Angeles. I grew up in San Diego and I think LA generates a lot of the negative stereotypes that Southern California gets (shallow, vain, fake blond hair, faker boobs, etc...) which is funny because the people who play into that have most likely moved here from somewhere else and are trying to fit that stereotype that they grew up with. Also, as much as I love Northern California, I was surprised when I went to college in the bay area at how stuck up some of the people could be. I met some people who could not shut up about how awesome 'the bay' is, and they would openly talk shit on 'SoCal' for no reason other than those LA stereotypes, and I would have to point out that I'm from San Diego, no one there that I've met ever talks shit on 'NorCal', and that there are good people and shitty people no matter where you are. I guess that's the point I was trying to make here. It's one thing to have a lot of pride in the place you grew up, but it's another to be a snob about it. Also, LA and San Fran don't make up the entirety of California, so stop acting like they do.

Swift2
Swift2

My great-granfather came here for gold, and I came here to strike it rich in the movies. Neither of us were successful, but we both stayed, blinking at the sun and listening to the ocean.

LatterDaisySaint
LatterDaisySaint

Sorry, but San Fran making a mockery of traditional values and beaming with pride over all the porn produced there does NOT make California a coveted place to live. In fact, quite the opposite. In MY America, I'd like to see MORE traditional values, not less. The breakdown of values (porn, being a huge example) is why things are in the crapper. This article was terrible.

Craig
Craig

LA and San Fran are world class chit holes. It is obvious the writer never drove in LA or its surrounding suburbs like Lennox or Compton. San Fran is a fag paradise.

Diane0728
Diane0728

Just moved to Cali permanently after many visits and being accepted at a UC. I loved your article! I love SF! No place is perfect, but California is pretty close. For all those unhappy people tearing your article apart? They need to find something that makes them happy and quit wasting their time being miserable and hateful about things they don't understand.

Kelly K
Kelly K

Only 1 thing is missing from this list: the desert "done right," Palm Springs! Mecca of stylish, mid century modern leisure. 52 reasons California is the greatest state.

calinative
calinative

Glad Jforward will forward his ass to another state and stop bringing this one down. Good riddance! Go back to the midwest or wherever. 

Krishna Dukes
Krishna Dukes

This  is  approp.in a twisted Hunter T sort of way,  since 'Anchorman', Sandy D is recognized world wide, Not to mention OAKLAND and COMPTON, (but not always in such a good way, true) keep up, ya media ho's, ya HEARD!?

Gsimps3
Gsimps3

I rank San Diego higher than LA or SF. The world vacations in SD. Even Los Angelenos get away to SD every chance they get.

kim i
kim i

thank you.  i was getting a little antsy until i saw your pentultimate entry.  ("two world class cities," seriously?  not even "two and a half world class cities"?)

kim in san diego

N00345154
N00345154

One reason California is not the best state: Florida exists.

EugLoven
EugLoven

What makes these 51 reasons null and void? A little disaster we like to call Prop 8. Overturn that hate, and then I'll reconsider loving my home-state.

Me
Me

#34 fail...  Reagan was from Illinois, not Indiana. 

jackterrier
jackterrier

If you must listicle, could you please refrain from calling the region "NoCal" and referring to our freeways with the definite article ("the 101")?It is bad enough when Southern Californians speak it, but so much more worse when our publications print it.

Guest
Guest

Tom Waits doesn't live in L.A.  He lives in Sebastopol.

Jforward
Jforward

Seriously? This idiocy proves that "journalism" has become more about writing non-sensical bullshit intended to generate page views that reality.To break it down a bit: About No. 3 - guess you're missing out that int'l drug cartels are over-running everything you listed in reason No. 10.The writer of this piece apparently does not know what a prairie is. They don't exist in California. Visit Kansas is you're brave enough.There may be a lot of fruit and veggies here, but the nation's largest citrus growers are in Florida and Texas. Oh, all that pork for porchetta you love to eat at the fancy eateries? You import it from Iowa.And, the beef for your In and Out burgers and beloved tacos? It comes from the Midwest - because only 4 percent of the nation's beef cattle are raised in the Golden State.More sunlight in California? Maybe you should run that by some scientists at Cal Poly - maybe you mean there are less clouds. Because last time I check, sun shines equally on places of the same longitude.All the famous authors live here? Tell that to New York City & Europe.And, dude, you want to claim the "porn breadbasket" of america? OK, cool with me...enjoy your fisting fetishes and other weird shit while normal americans read playboy. we're all just fine without the folsom street fair...I could go on, but it's useless. Your state is no better than any other one.

Swift2
Swift2

So go to whatever red state you wish. And try lo list 51 reasons we should join you.

newsubrookie
newsubrookie

@Craig  @Craig Oh is this poor little boy afraid of gay men? Don't worry I'm sure you'll find your big muscled daddy next time you visit SF. No need to pretend you're not gay

Cwilliams
Cwilliams

oh they understand which is why they're pointing out uncomfortable facts.  

Kate
Kate

That was my thought. Where's the San Diego love? That was kinda weak. 

I'm Da One
I'm Da One

Florida is FAR from the best state. Florida is good for vacation and partying in Miami or Orlando for a few days but I would never consider it living material for various reasons. 

Lonniehale1234
Lonniehale1234

Yeah man...Florida is where old people retire to because they like the 100 degree weather and 90% humidity all the time. Southern Cali is on average 84F with a RH of 52%. Not to mention we've got the best looking people in the nation.

Imagen
Imagen

Florida sucks. I lived there for two years and couldn't wait to return to California. 

guest
guest

Lol, technically, they did say, "or wherever." lol. 

Alan Scherstuhl
Alan Scherstuhl

You got me on that just as I was making the change. Thanks! 

Ztcds
Ztcds

LOL you are retarded bro, clearly you've never been to Cali, if you did you would know that we have the world's center of innovation, entertainment, some of the best weather, world class skiing, and world class surfing within 2 hours of each other, the best music festivals, concerts, some of the best clubs. keep hating and have fun wherever the heck you are. 

Blewisb
Blewisb

Sorry buddy...but it sounds like you are from the midwest or the south. I'm sorry for ya...All of the above mentioned items that make california great are really true. This is the land of VISION! CREATIVITY!BEAUTY!....  you get the point or maybe you don't. You never will.... unless you spend time here.  So, get on it... live it and see what people are doing here. what people do here, is nothing like anywhere else. California is the last paradise, the last shangri-la, anything is possible here. Nowhere else on earth will you ever experience this type of treatment. Good luck with everywhere else...California will make your dreams come true...California is the last safe place on earth!

Bryan McQuirk
Bryan McQuirk

Been to Kansas may times, and it sucks, unless you find hundreds of miles of open and mostly flat land appealing. But then again #10 is talking about all the wonderful types of national parks and their variety, which is something you do not see in Kansas( which I have driven from its southern border to its northern and east to west).#3 while indeed the Mexican gangs have been planting marijuana crops in the forests for years, most of the northern forests( especially the emerald triangle) is being farmed for marijuana by locals. All of California's national forests and parks are not being "overrun" by "international drug cartels". Hikers and hunters are not being slaughtered are hassled in mass by foreign criminals.Also after a little looking, I found that California is second only to Florida's citrus crop. That is why there are no commercials touting Texas oranges or any other citrus crops.As far as In n Out Burger, here is where they get their meat from. http://www.californiaweekend.c... While California may only produce 4% of the nations cattle, at least it is kept in house for consumption.You sure talk a mean game, but you need to follow your own advice about "doing some research" Kansas lover.

guest81
guest81

 Apparently CA's interesting enough to you to read one of our free weekly entertainment rags. Just sayin'

Jforward
Jforward

Well, it's called being "well read"...or, reading things you don't normally agree with. Kind of like liberal democrats should watch conservative republican TV...you learn something. Or as the Godfather said, keep your enemies close...

Jforward
Jforward

not jealous of gay dudes bdsm-ing in public. nor of ugly lesbian feminists wanting to legalize prostitution. or the water your state steals from other states to exist. or - hmmm - let's see - all the authors you lay claim to but are from other states. i'm not jealous of the 3 million+ illegal immigrants clogging your schools, jails, prisons, and making balancing your budget a big pain in the butt. no, not jealous of that stuff. and, if i want sunshine, i can go to florida. any other questions? or is the troll going back into his anonymous cave? like i thought. 

Jforward
Jforward

not really. just pointing out the truth to elitist freaks in cali....

Jforward
Jforward

No. 2 reason "journalism" is dying...you rely on google for your "fact finding.."And, even if there is the odd square mile of two of "coastal prairie" - it's either owned by some rich dude who doesn't want anyone to access it or is eroding slowly...and, the good news? since you've only found one problem I guess my points are valid.Go back to j-school dude - or did you ever go to one? worked at a "real" newspaper? covered a "real beat" been a member of SPJ? I could go on, but by now you're likely digging up a beatnik quote for me and having coffee with the founder of "whore"

DuuringL
DuuringL

I have to ask, Jforward,1) Why did you live here so long, if you hate it? 2) Fine if they "may" have gotten stuff wrong (which, I will not say they did or didn't.) why care? It's just a funny piece. 3) Have you ever read 'cracked.com', their articles are about the same, it's for entertainment, not importance. This isn't the Wall-Street Journal. 4) Isn't everyone entitled to their own opinion without being told they are wrong, need to change, or stupid? 5) To comment on your "google" comment. It is actually not a source at all, it is just a gateway to GET to your source. So, actually, you are wrong in your fact. Also, the sources you can find on there, as long as they are legit sources, it is actually very helpful to use. Just as Wikipedia is, even though, before it had been demed bad previously. So, my last question is, why can't you be a person and do what your mom told you to do when you were 10 years old, Say something nice, or don't say anything at all. 

Jforward
Jforward

Oh yeah, domino...did i say I hated the internet? just wondering, because I don't seem to read that anywhere. and as two folks below have pointed out, there are two major errors in the piece I didn't even mention. Like i said, relying on the internet for "facts". Booo yeah.

Satoshi
Satoshi

@Jforward  Actually, your incorrect.

California does not have the highest highschool dropout rate. Illinois does. Followed by Arizona, Louisiana, Alaska, Colorado, North Carolina, Nevada, and Delaware.

California actually has one of the higher high school graduation rates in the country, at less than a 5% dropout rate, less than half that of Louisiana. Don't know where you got your bogus information, but it sure as hell wasn't correct.

"not jealous of the state that has passed a law banning gay marriage"

Prop 8 was repealed, you know?

"not jealous of the state with the highest teen pregnancy rate."

That is also incorrect. The State with the highest 

teen pregnancy rate is New Mexico.

And for the last one I will check,

"top three meth-addiction rates"

That is likewise...

incorrect.

California has a meth-addiction rate of roughly 120% National average. (Compared to states like Oklahoma and the #1 state for meth addicts and meth usage, Arkansas at 240% and 280% respectively)
So please, enjoy yourself where 'life is normal' where Highschool dropouts are larger than in California, Teen pregnancy rates are greater than in California, and your more likely to have a meth user as a neighbor than in California.

Chuff12345
Chuff12345

Wow! All 10 of your 5+ paragraph long posts (or shall I say rants) just go to show how little there is to do in middle-of-nowhere kansas!

There is a reason why this is the mist populated state per square mile in all of the United States. If all you can hold against us is that our highly successful top 5 burger in the nation (yet exclusive to the SW) In N Out chain get it's beef from the mid west, you really need to get out more! I don't give a crap that you produce the beef I eat here...I'm not going to move to that boring hillbilly hell hole there just to say my state is full of cows that get slaughtered and put between patties all across the civilized states in the eastern and western US.

See, instead of a tractor I own a porsche. Instead of driving "into town" every week to get groceries, I drive 2 miles down the road before I hit the first 4/5 star restaurant. When I want to go to the beach, I hop in a car and drive a half hour. And when I want to enjoy hundreds of acres of national parks I have to step outside my backyard and loom over my back fence.

You obviously haven't been to California otherwise you'd be here now if you could.

Ztcds
Ztcds

lol also you're comment about gay dudes is pretty fucking narrow minded. what is your problem with gay people? a bigot like you would probably be better suited in the South. 

Ztcds
Ztcds

ahahahha you realize that pretty much all of the problems, drop out rate, teen pregnancy, meth heads etc. is just because we have a population of 51 million dumbass. also arnold is what happens when you elect a retarded conservative to govern a state with a liberal ideology. fact is this state is the center of technology and innovation world wide, and of course we have high foreclosures, we have one of the most valuable and high profile real estate markets in the world (because our state is so much more beautiful than yours) and the global real estate market is still in major recovery mode, so we will have foreclosures as long as that lasts. most problems with our state come due to our population of 51 million haha regardless we still have major population centers (San Diego, and San Francisco) where young people can actually find jobs in today's economy unlike your shitty state. Funny how you live here and you are hating so hard, you are pathetic why don't you get the fuck out if you hate it so much? Or do you not have any control over your life.

Jforward
Jforward

not jealous of a governor named arnold - who banged his maid and has an illegitimate child - not to mention flushing your economy down the drain... not jealous of a gov. named jerry brown - who hit his political potency in the 1970s - so much for forward thinking, you funny californians - hey let's elect a politico from the disco era.. not jealous of the state with the weakest press freedoms of any in the USA. not jealous of the state with the highest high school drop out rate. not jealous of the state with the highest teen pregnancy rate. not jealous of the state that has passed a law banning gay marriage (shit, Iowa and NY has y'all beat on that....) not jealous of a state with one of the highest rates of voter NON-Participation (who cares about participatory democracy?) Not jealous of a state with one of the top three foreclosure rates...top three vacant housing rates...top three meth-addiction rates...should i continue? I mean, my "anger" may be violating your sensitivities? i'm sorry..go eat some goat cheese. and BTW, I have lived here 15 years and yes, will be leaving soon. so, have your "best state" in the country to yourself...i'll be having a good time back where life is normal....;-)

andysouthland
andysouthland

You have some real anger issues.  You might want to get some help for that.  

Humbug12345
Humbug12345

Whoa! You REALLY must be bored wherever the hell you live (obviously not anywhere like CA or NY) to be ranting over a comedic article like this.

Hell, without Hollywood youd have no movies to watch and half your TV channels would be off-air (because I know most people in the Midwest rely on movies and TV like their lives depend on it). Then you'd REALLY be bored!

Chill out bro...sounds like you are either bored as hell in Hicksville, USA or jealous!

Alicekim40
Alicekim40

Oh for gods sake, jforward it's just a lighthearted entertainment piece. Get over it. What an unhappy person you must be.

Dominiondancing
Dominiondancing

There's nothing more effective than bitching on the internet about how much you hate things on the internet.

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