Documentary Online - "California Dreaming"

  • SFGeoNinja

    Posts: 510

    May 07, 2011 8:17 AM GMT
    I've been gearing up for a move to CA in August of this year and came across this documentary that really got me thinking.

    It's a Dutch-produced short film tracking people of varying economic and social backgrounds and how they are tackling life's challenges post-recession in Los Angeles. Subjects include homeless (formerly lower-middle class) families living out of their RV's, ex-gang members, immigrants, and new bohemians in Silver Lake and Los Feliz. Very interesting stuff, the video is about 40 mins long, I highly recommend you check it out and post your thoughts!

    http://greenmyfleet.blogspot.com/2011/05/california-dreamin.html


    Here's the intro:

    "California is a strong brand, the state of new beginnings, dreams and movie stars, of surfers and a wonderful climate. But the Golden State is bankrupt and the city of Los Angeles is running out of cash. Public services are being cut and unemployment keeps rising. At the same time, optimism, entrepreneurship and the belief in the power of America are stronger than ever.
    In Los Angeles, we meet five people who are going through a transformation in their lives during this crisis. Justin and Christine lost their jobs and are now living in a van with their two young sons. Charles has gotten out of prison after fourteen years. Mizuko prepares her children for the future by making them at ease in virtual reality. Laura has taken advantage of the crisis by buying land cheaply and starting an urban farm and artists collective Fallen Fruit maps the abundant free 'public fruit' available in the city. Who are the pioneers who are reinventing the new America and how do they see the future?"

  • swimmer8671

    Posts: 429

    May 07, 2011 7:28 PM GMT
    I'm in the exact same boat as you man! I'm super excited, and i guess you are right, i do tend to focus on all of the great things, like the beach, the sun, the beautiful people, but when it comes to focusing on the negatives like the homeless, or poverty it just doesn't come up as much as the positives.
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    May 07, 2011 7:53 PM GMT
    You should drive around Santa Monica and Venice. It's a virtual RV park. icon_lol.gif
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    May 07, 2011 8:18 PM GMT
    California has messed up state finances, but you have to look at what would affect you. Taxes and auto fees are high, but there is no cost for heating as is the case elsewhere. As far as the locale, it really depends on where you live and what kind of commute you have. If you live in a nice area, especially near the coast and some nice neighborhoods elsewhere, and have a short commute, the area is great.
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    May 07, 2011 8:28 PM GMT
    Northern California is affordable. Plus clean air and no traffic. Only drawback is there's nothing to do there. The only people that live there are retirees, pot growers, and axe murderers. But yeah, pretty much the metro areas like SF, LA, and SD are expensive. In the greater LA area, you might be able to find places in the Inland Empire or in the high desert. You can get a 4 bedroom house in the $300K's or less. But over the years, those places have been havens for gang members and meth labs. Yeah, California is kinda wacky. icon_lol.gif
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    May 07, 2011 8:38 PM GMT
    Sd isn't that bad...living in North Park, before Hillcrest and Mission Valley. Never paid more then 600/month for rent and now that I found really good roommates that I've been with for a year was paying 450/month with those roomies. Anyways, totally do able. I did it on a coaching salary...struggled on jamba but figures, and survived on a Delta salary. So it's not as bad as people make it sound if you can manage money.
  • NerdLifter

    Posts: 1509

    May 07, 2011 8:58 PM GMT
    I have been thankful for a very long time that my parents at least still are employed. We have been extremely lucky and fortunate; I know plenty of other kids that weren't so lucky...

    Much of the states in general right now have been having major money issues (CA seemingly is used as a major example for some reason in media discourse when majority of states are facing bankruptcy); funding is being cut everywhere. MD state senate had the University system give back millions and student groups have been slashed by 70% or out right eliminated, including our suicide hotline since the university refused to pay the minimum cost phone bill.

    I wish I knew more about the fiscal problems in the states, one of those things that I think I'll like to read up on after exams end. I will not pretend at this time to be some kind of expert nor reasonably knowledgeable on the subject matter.
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    May 07, 2011 9:20 PM GMT
    Very good documentary, thanks for sharing. I really feel for those people, as being self-employed, I have felt many of those stresses. Still do. Have even thought about the prospects of car or RV living if things came to that.

    The one gentleman had it right though, and I am sure this will anger some. The illegal immigrants have ruined so much in this country. BUT, they are not really to blame. It is the people who HIRE them that need to be shot. Without jobs, they would go away.

    I live in Prince William County, VA, the first county in the country to enact strict immigration laws well before AZ. And guess what, you can't walk a mile in this town without seeing hoards of pregnant Mexican mothers, or Mexican men working on cars in parking lots with their music playing loud, or their kids running around. In my building alone in there are 16 apartments. When I moved here four years ago there was maybe one Mexican family. Now I believe at least half to 3/4 are Mexican, and you know most are illegal. LOUD, kids, and more kids, and pregnant mothers, literally and literally reproducing all the time.

    My feeling is get rid of them, deport them. They ARE criminals. And I would say the same if hoards of illegal pasty-white Irish immigrants (who look like me) all of sudden infiltrated a town. Illegal is illegal, regardless of race.
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    May 07, 2011 9:29 PM GMT
    depressing but eh. every Californian had to strap himself down. my dad and mom came here with nothing. My dad started selling and buying bottles out of a u-haul truck in the early 80's (before most people knew what recycling was). People use to yell things at him and taunt him for doing it... A man that was a corp accountant in his country. MY mother was an chemical engineer and babysat when she first got here. Fast forward to the late 80's. He owned 8 big recycling centers at one point, my mother owned 3 latin meat'/produce markets (they had 3 homes which and an apartment complex). Well, things took a turn for the worse and my mothers Cancer treatment costs were outrageous (my parents had no choice but to pay for it out of pocket). Lets just say they had seen better days. However, you suck it up and move on. My mother passed away, my dad sold things, he reduced his life and is now doing well in his new venture! However, you ask him what his biggest success is? its giving his kids a great education.

    i say whatever, things aren't so bleak is you just try! suck it off, save for a rainy day, move forward and realize that nothing will ever be handed to you!

    California is an amazing state, full of wonderful people with big ideas. We have never been followers and so like the many recessions and disasters we've had, we always rise above it (: proud to be from here
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    May 07, 2011 9:45 PM GMT
    wrestlervic saidVery good documentary, thanks for sharing. I really feel for those people, as being self-employed, I have felt many of those stresses. Still do. Have even thought about the prospects of car or RV living if things came to that.

    The one gentleman had it right though, and I am sure this will anger some. The illegal immigrants have ruined so much in this country. BUT, they are not really to blame. It is the people who HIRE them that need to be shot. Without jobs, they would go away.

    I live in Prince William County, VA, the first county in the country to enact strict immigration laws well before AZ. And guess what, you can't walk a mile in this town without seeing hoards of pregnant Mexican mothers, or Mexican men working on cars in parking lots with their music playing loud, or their kids running around. In my building alone in there are 16 apartments. When I moved here four years ago there was maybe one Mexican family. Now I believe at least half to 3/4 are Mexican, and you know most are illegal. LOUD, kids, and more kids, and pregnant mothers, literally and literally reproducing all the time.

    My feeling is get rid of them, deport them. They ARE criminals. And I would say the same if hoards of illegal pasty-white Irish immigrants (who look like me) all of sudden infiltrated a town. Illegal is illegal, regardless of race.



    immigrants? bitch, my parents are immigrants. They im sure have put more into this country in 3 decades than you have your entire useless life. Not to mention they raised a nurse, teacher and a business owner and real estate developer.

    btw, they didnt come here illegally. however, i know that if they did they had to do it, they would work for less than you would. Id love to talk to that man in the movie. With a degree and cant find work? the BS! he just doesnt want to work for less than he thinks he worth. get over it is what i have to say! no one is going to pay 15 dollars and hr for him to cook at some little restaurant. he is an idiot, if he wants to earn an actual salary, he shouldnt have gone to some stupid for profit school to learn something that can be taught by watching a few network channel shows!

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    May 07, 2011 10:07 PM GMT
    You're arguing with me even though I have nothing against legal immigrants, which you say your parents are. What's the point?

    It seems you're standing up for illegal immigrants because they will work for less, ILLEGALLY.

    What part of ILLEGAL don't you understand?
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    May 07, 2011 10:09 PM GMT
    the guy said immigrants.
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    May 07, 2011 10:14 PM GMT
    jrunner25 saidthe guy said immigrants.


    He said "the immigration problem" then said "hiring your own citizens for a proper wage" which meant he was referring to illegal immigrants who will accept a lesser wage. I have absolutely nothing against legal immigrants. That's what made America.
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    May 08, 2011 12:20 AM GMT
    Great documentary it also making me think twice about moving to CA...
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    May 08, 2011 12:45 AM GMT
    Don't move to Los Angeles. It is a pretty damn boring city. I lived there for 22 years. Most of which was because I was a minor and was under the control of my parents which I guess is pretty normal. Anyways, I would move to San Francisco there is so much more to do there than in LA. Anywhere in SoCal is ridiculously boring... unless you enjoy living in the suburbs.

    I wouldn't pay attention to that documentary. Its not even applicable to you for the most part. You don't have any kids and no prison record (I am assuming) so why would any of this make you have second thoughts? Kids drain your income like a mofo and make it extra hard to look for a job and if you have just got out of prison you should except not to be able to easily find a job even if the unemployment rate is 1%.

    You're a single white male with a college degree. This documentary is totally irrelevant.

    Its like a gay man watching a PSA about unplanned pregnancy and having fears about getting knocked up. The sperms can attack that piece of shit in their ass all they want but they ain't gonna fertilize it.

    don't get all crazy now.
  • SFGeoNinja

    Posts: 510

    May 08, 2011 2:13 AM GMT
    AvadaKedavra saidDon't move to Los Angeles. It is a pretty damn boring city. I lived there for 22 years. Most of which was because I was a minor and was under the control of my parents which I guess is pretty normal. Anyways, I would move to San Francisco there is so much more to do there than in LA. Anywhere in SoCal is ridiculously boring... unless you enjoy living in the suburbs.

    I wouldn't pay attention to that documentary. Its not even applicable to you for the most part. You don't have any kids and no prison record (I am assuming) so why would any of this make you have second thoughts? Kids drain your income like a mofo and make it extra hard to look for a job and if you have just got out of prison you should except not to be able to easily find a job even if the unemployment rate is 1%.

    You're a single white male with a college degree. This documentary is totally irrelevant.

    Its like a gay man watching a PSA about unplanned pregnancy and having fears about getting knocked up. The sperms can attack that piece of shit in their ass all they want but they ain't gonna fertilize it.

    don't get all crazy now.


    I've heard a lot of bad things about LA to be sure (see my other forum post here: http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1434453). After a lot of discussion with the bf, we have finally decided on San Francisco! So excited to move there in August.

    I wasn't trying to say that every bit of the documentary is doom and gloom, apocalyptic scenario for everybody. I just think it was a good problem that we have with American society in general, CA is just very emblematic of that.

    While being homeless or an ex-convict might not affect most of us, I still think it's good to be aware of the issues facing society as a whole. I know there is a whole lot more talk about inequality these days, and I think awareness of class is definitely increasing.

    Even with a college degree, that's no guarantee that poverty or joblessness will never be relevant. That dude living out of a school bus around the 10:00 mark was a CEO of a startup for Christ's sake! I know so many people here in Seattle, too, who are coming to terms with the decreasing value of their educations. Many college degree-holders I know are working at Starbucks, waiting tables, or even as janitors (I should know - my company employs several janitors who are english-speaking, with work experience and college degrees). So I think it definitely hits closer to home than you might think at first. There's a kind of general desperation people are experiencing as the middle class jobs that used to sustain many folks without extensive education are slipping away. The mother living in the RV hits on that note very poignantly.

    I also enjoyed the segment around 39:00 with the architect living on the communal farm. I like to think she embodies a lot of what we hope to gain from this recession. New opportunities for sustainability and community that the market wouldn't recognize or invest in pre-crash are getting a lot more attention (see the rise of car-sharing, urban agriculture, and higher-density living).

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    May 08, 2011 3:47 AM GMT
    davidp7 said
    AvadaKedavra saidDon't move to Los Angeles. It is a pretty damn boring city. I lived there for 22 years. Most of which was because I was a minor and was under the control of my parents which I guess is pretty normal. Anyways, I would move to San Francisco there is so much more to do there than in LA. Anywhere in SoCal is ridiculously boring... unless you enjoy living in the suburbs.

    I wouldn't pay attention to that documentary. Its not even applicable to you for the most part. You don't have any kids and no prison record (I am assuming) so why would any of this make you have second thoughts? Kids drain your income like a mofo and make it extra hard to look for a job and if you have just got out of prison you should except not to be able to easily find a job even if the unemployment rate is 1%.

    You're a single white male with a college degree. This documentary is totally irrelevant.

    Its like a gay man watching a PSA about unplanned pregnancy and having fears about getting knocked up. The sperms can attack that piece of shit in their ass all they want but they ain't gonna fertilize it.

    don't get all crazy now.


    I've heard a lot of bad things about LA to be sure (see my other forum post here: http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1434453). After a lot of discussion with the bf, we have finally decided on San Francisco! So excited to move there in August.

    I wasn't trying to say that every bit of the documentary is doom and gloom, apocalyptic scenario for everybody. I just think it was a good problem that we have with American society in general, CA is just very emblematic of that.

    While being homeless or an ex-convict might not affect most of us, I still think it's good to be aware of the issues facing society as a whole. I know there is a whole lot more talk about inequality these days, and I think awareness of class is definitely increasing.

    Even with a college degree, that's no guarantee that poverty or joblessness will never be relevant. That dude living out of a school bus around the 10:00 mark was a CEO of a startup for Christ's sake! I know so many people here in Seattle, too, who are coming to terms with the decreasing value of their educations. Many college degree-holders I know are working at Starbucks, waiting tables, or even as janitors (I should know - my company employs several janitors who are english-speaking, with work experience and college degrees). So I think it definitely hits closer to home than you might think at first. There's a kind of general desperation people are experiencing as the middle class jobs that used to sustain many folks without extensive education are slipping away. The mother living in the RV hits on that note very poignantly.

    I also enjoyed the segment around 39:00 with the architect living on the communal farm. I like to think she embodies a lot of what we hope to gain from this recession. New opportunities for sustainability and community that the market wouldn't recognize or invest in pre-crash are getting a lot more attention (see the rise of car-sharing, urban agriculture, and higher-density living).



    I don't buy the CEO story. I think he is full of shit. That or he was a really really bad CEO in which case he would've failed regardless of the condition of the economy. There was a homeless guy the other day that told me he was Jesus Christ. I definitely took that with a grain of salt.

    Again, these are extreme examples in the documentary. Even if you just end up working at starbucks or as a janitor you will probably be able to afford enough to not have to live in an RV. Also, if you have a college degree an you are a janitor then you're probably a victim of more than the recession...
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    May 08, 2011 3:51 AM GMT
    After working for various dot-coms and start-ups.. CEO, VP, Director of.. all of those are meaningless titles.
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    May 08, 2011 4:08 AM GMT
    LOL, sad to hear you are choosing sf but that's such a great city! to the rest of the pop who decides to move to la, please dont! lol so tired of seeing people come here and leave! it takes a certain type of person to live in la and many don't realize it... you dont just come here and think you can make it... its expensive, you need a car, insurance, gas is through the roof, lots of traffic, places are full of "actors" and "models" which makes the place feel as fake as ever. I almost feel like the 80's weren't so bad, after mtv started this whole reality craze, shit hit the fan in this city!
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    May 08, 2011 4:08 AM GMT
    Thank you davidp7.

    It looked depressing to see homelessness and people living in vehicles at a picturesque location. And it was very nice of Santa Barbara to permit people to park at locations without any hassle. I actually didn't expect that. Usually well-to-do cities and communities are concerned about their appearance. I'm glad to see their compassion in these still difficult economic times.
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    May 08, 2011 4:33 AM GMT
    wrestlervic said
    jrunner25 saidthe guy said immigrants.


    He said "the immigration problem" then said "hiring your own citizens for a proper wage" which meant he was referring to illegal immigrants who will accept a lesser wage. I have absolutely nothing against legal immigrants. That's what made America.



    maybe you should ask yourself why you are living in that apartment complex? honestly, any city you go to, there will be "slums" or "ghettos". if you don't like it, move. also, dont try to hide behind the whole I would send illegal white people out of the country if they came here. thats total bs, a way to save yourself from being called a bigot. you have a problem with the way these people carry on with their own lives, obviously, or else you wouldnt comment on their loud children. ugh... if you were in la... id run you over in my svu!
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    May 08, 2011 5:14 PM GMT
    SF and LA are both great places to live. For the outdoor activities and lifestyle that I like, I definitely prefer LA. There are many storms that hit SF but stay north of LA. It is a different experience. Given the size and diversity of LA, I would take with a complete grain of salt any blanket comment that says don't move to LA.
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    May 08, 2011 5:23 PM GMT
    should note that the documentary was not entirely about LA... more so southern california, as the family living out of their RV at the beginning was a Santa Barbara-based family.
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    May 08, 2011 6:07 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidSF and LA are both great places to live. For the outdoor activities and lifestyle that I like, I definitely prefer LA. There are many storms that hit SF but stay north of LA. It is a different experience. Given the size and diversity of LA, I would take with a complete grain of salt any blanket comment that says don't move to LA.


    LA is only diverse if you look at it as a whole. The neighborhoods are predominantly filled with one ethnicity over a large area of land. For example, San Gabriel Valley, it is filled with Asians. There is a very very very low percentage of black or middle eastern people there. You can use google maps and try to look for an american grocery store in that area and you will have trouble finding one that isn't a 30 minute drive away.

    I am the type of person that likes to live in areas that are ethnically diverse and LA was certainly not one of those places. Trust. Unless your definition of diversity is limited to Hispanics.

    Plus the traffic in LA sucks big time and the public transit system sucks. You can use google maps and look at their traffic predictions (which is based on historical records) and just about every freeway is red and yellow most of the day. You have to plan your day around the traffic.

    San Francisco is the place to be if you're moving to California. The city has a lot more to offer than LA.

    Can you tell that I hate LA? I grew up there and ever since I lived in other cities I can't stand going back to LA.
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    May 08, 2011 7:53 PM GMT
    AvadaKedavra said
    socalfitness saidSF and LA are both great places to live. For the outdoor activities and lifestyle that I like, I definitely prefer LA. There are many storms that hit SF but stay north of LA. It is a different experience. Given the size and diversity of LA, I would take with a complete grain of salt any blanket comment that says don't move to LA.


    LA is only diverse if you look at it as a whole. The neighborhoods are predominantly filled with one ethnicity over a large area of land. For example, San Gabriel Valley, it is filled with Asians. There is a very very very low percentage of black or middle eastern people there. You can use google maps and try to look for an american grocery store in that area and you will have trouble finding one that isn't a 30 minute drive away.

    I am the type of person that likes to live in areas that are ethnically diverse and LA was certainly not one of those places. Trust. Unless your definition of diversity is limited to Hispanics.

    Plus the traffic in LA sucks big time and the public transit system sucks. You can use google maps and look at their traffic predictions (which is based on historical records) and just about every freeway is red and yellow most of the day. You have to plan your day around the traffic.

    San Francisco is the place to be if you're moving to California. The city has a lot more to offer than LA.

    Can you tell that I hate LA? I grew up there and ever since I lived in other cities I can't stand going back to LA.

    It's still all a matter of opinion and your specific circumstances. For example, the South Bay and Palos Verdes have diversity and have much to offer, but if you work in say Hollywood, the commute will be a downer. Much of someone's experience depends on their neighborhood and their commute. If you don't have much of a commute and/or can use surface streets, the freeway situation doesn't matter. As another example, folks live in Venice or Playa del Rey - who could ask for more diversity than that? - and have a 20 minute commute to the airport area or El Segundo. It's just all what your own circumstances and interests are. I could live anywhere in the country and on any continent, but I choose the LA area because for me its pluses are more significant than its drawbacks and I love my community. I just don't agree with making blanket recommendations to others unless I know more of their specific circumstances.