Thursday, January 14, 2010

#30 You Can Take the Girl Out of Newport Beach

January 14, 2010

You Can Take the Girl Out of Newport Beach

It’s been a very interesting past 2 weeks for me. I have been in southern California and a few days in Mexico and it’s the longest time I have spent in this part of the world since I left it 6 years ago, very nearly to the date. In fact, 6 years ago tomorrow, I got on a plane to London to change my life as I knew it. I have always been a reluctant and distant fan of my hometown. One cannot argue with its beauty or lifestyle, but the town and its people always rubbed me the wrong way. When I hit 18 I could not wait to get as far away from this piece of paradise as possible, and I did. And I stayed away for a long time, until now.

But I have come to realize that although I have been absent from Newport Beach for over a decade, it’s never really left me. You can take the girl out of Newport but you can’t take the Newport out of the girl. We’ve all heard this saying batted around and many times Newport is substituted for places like Essex or Queens or Jersey, usually places people don’t necessarily want to be from. However, it fits me perfectly as I rarely wanted to be associated with the vapidness that can be people from Newport. But coming home literally brings it all home. Newport or anyone’s hometown is in your blood. You can never escape it and for whatever reason that comes along, you will often return to it.

Newport Beach has the good the bad and the ugly. Although I have lived and travelled to some pretty faraway places, the fundamental snobbiness that growing up here places in you has never really left me. I have stayed in my 2 pound per night Indian beach huts and have done the travelling thing in the hostels, but where I really want to be is in a 5 star luxury spa retreat with my own butler. Not only do I want to be in that spa retreat, I kind of think I am entitled to it. Why? Because I grew up in Newport and that is the kind of luxury that I have grown accustomed to and for the past 6 years, I have worked bloody hard to get to that spa retreat.

Another part of my being raised here that has never left me is my love for the beach and the ocean. It’s probably quite difficult for people who know me now to think that I was a beach bum because living in a metropolitan city doesn’t give one the chance often to indulge in that pastime, but I do remain a beach bum at heart. In fact, it’s the thing I miss most about my hometown. I love the ocean. Whether I am surfing in it, or paddle boarding on it, fishing in it or just swimming. It’s in my bones and was a huge part of my growing up. I would often go to school in no shoes and sand on my feet and if I did have shoes on, they were Rainbows. Now it’s either Rainbows or Chanel. A truly perfect metaphor for growing up Newport style. I met up with an old girlfriend of mine from my days here and hadn’t seen her for about 3 years when she was in London visiting another friend of ours. It was funny because she was telling me that she was curious to see what I would be like after not seeing me for so many years and then she said, ‘You came in to the bar dressed exactly the same, you even had your Rainbows on in London.’ Guess what? When I saw her in LA over the weekend, I probably had the same outfit on. Jeans, tank top and Rainbows. I guess some things never do change.

So as I head back to the cold, snow and rain that is my adopted hometown of London to live out my final 4 months of being a Londoner, I do so with a new found appreciation. London will never leave me just as Newport has never left me. It’s in my bones and blood now. Just as I replaced walking on the beach with walking in Richmond Park, I will replace my afternoons sipping Prosecco in a gastropub with afternoons drinking Corona Light on a boat. And just as the pull of Newport brings me back home, so will the pull of Blighty. Because no matter how much I complain about both places, and we all know I enjoy and good whinge, I love these 2 towns. And next time someone needs to describe me to someone else who hasn’t met me, they can use this as an example, Corre’s AAhometowns are Newport Beach, CA and London, England. You can take the girl out of either one….


  1. I thought it was so refreshing that you were wearing exactly what I always picture you in! I can't even imagine a Corre that wears Chanel shoes, though I'm sure she exists! xo

  2. Sorry about that last comment which I have deleted. Being agnostic, I certainly do NOT promote religious novels on The Ride, although I highly doubt anyone really thought that I knew that guy anyway.

  3. This is dull as hell, in fact it has been absolute garbage since the episode slagging off English women. The wheels have fallen off 'The Ride'. ZZZZZZZZ

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  5. I am trying to limit the amount I upset people to once every few months. My next post on why I hate poor people with a chip on their shoulders, titled "The Poor Chip" is out next week. I know I probably shouldn't care, but I just wasn't in the mood for all the hate over Christmas. As I have come to learn very acutely over these past 30 articles, you can't please everyone.