The Lumberjack student newspaper

Is Arcata the Florida of California?

To make a long story short the Humboldt man and Florida man are the same person.

by Alana Hackman

One morning, I was finishing up one of my mundane tasks at work when I overheard a discussion between my manager and a customer. The customer was a travel nurse and was stationed up here for the summer. Of course, the follow-up question to that information was, “Where are you from?” in response she goes, “Florida”. 

That answer was a bit shocking to me. I’ve met people from New Jersey, Texas and even Canada up here – but Florida? My manager asked her how she enjoyed her time up here and through a slight chuckle she responded, “Well this is the most Florida place I’ve ever been to in California.”

At this point I had to laugh with her. I was never posed with a comparison that happened to be so spot on. It’s remained on my mind since then, so today I ask myself, is Arcata really the Florida of California? 

I mean to start with the first difference: Arcata will never ever be comparable to the Sunshine State. Our muggy, gray clouds in August will speak for themselves. Although, there are some similarities if we want to look at the landscape. Starting with the lush vegetation, the Everglades and redwoods are quite synonymous. Same with our apex predators, like gators and black bears. We also share the same sandy beaches at close proximity. 

I mean, Arcata is no girl’s spring break trip to Miami, but we do have lots of tourists coming through and even some hotties, if you’re into ecological preservation and bare feet – another shared similarity between the two vacation destinations but for completely different reasons. If you’re not near a beach, I don’t want to see those toes. 

There seems to be many more similarities between the two; crazy amounts of drug peddling and always being able to count on the most insane conversation to be initiated between you and some stranger that approaches you on the street. Can’t forget the wannabe rappers that seem to be coming out of the woodwork all the time. Also, how both destinations seem to be a top pick for retirement communities. 

I believe that one of the biggest similarities you can find between Florida and Arcata is that you can almost always expect the local headlines to hold the same zany crime bookings that are shared between the two coastal regions. 

Any headline beginning with ‘Florida Man’ or ‘Humboldt Man’ can always promise the most insane crime story you’ll ever read. Must have something to do with the beaches and far right extremists that shack up on both coasts. 

A quick peruse of Orlando Fox 35’s website under the keywords ‘Florida Man’ brings up cases such as a man dunking a woman’s head in tar, another throwing a barbecue at deputies and one stealing a hearse from a funeral home. You may think these are as crazy as it can get, but have you seen the recent headlines in the Lost Coast Outpost?

Let me entertain you with a few: The confiscation of 2,400 tabs of acid, a man setting fire to another man in Eureka, and my personal favorite, the man found with a handgun that was the size of a credit card along with drug paraphernalia. 

Along with the crime, we can’t forget about the universities. Although there’s a few more to choose from in Florida than the small city of Arcata, I think they hold the same results of anticipation for students – to only be let down once they arrive. We can also count on the humidity to ruin your cute outfits and hair in both places. 

All in all I think that anonymous travel nurse was right, Arcata is the most Florida place in California. Fresno may be the runner-up in reference to the crazies, but who vacations in Fresno?

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