Cathy Curtis' architectural critique of Orange County ("A Non-Walk Through World of Orange County Architecture," Aug. 12) demands a rebuttal from a person who chooses to live in a place like Irvine, not in spite of, but because of, the very characteristics Ms. Curtis so disdains. I resent the implication that people who enjoy this kind lifestyle are Philistines.
Ms. Curtis' inability to appreciate the things that bring us to Orange County is best exemplified by her statement that "the most astounding defense" of the Irvine lifestyle is that one person actually "professed to enjoy the serenity of life in Irvine better than his former residences in some of the great cities of Europe."
Moreover, it's obvious that the editor shares this lack of appreciation. The article's accompanying photograph gives us a wide-angle view of one of the city's major intersections as representational of the community at large. A similarly slanted representation could be obtained in any city.
I have lived abroad and have visited many foreign cities and appreciate the arts, architecture, academic life and all the other amenities the good life has to offer.
I choose to live in Irvine because it provides me with all of this in a beautiful setting with a wonderful climate.
I like the broad boulevards that permit me to move about quickly. I like sitting on my deck enjoying the eucalyptus and sycamore trees in the greenbelt. I like my little garden, my roses, my dahlias, my zinnias. I enjoy the agapanthus flowers in the center dividers as I drive by, the hawthorne next to the roadways, and the contrast between the bright red bougainvillea, the white oleander and the green turf of our parks.
I have plays, concerts, operas, ballet and academic programs all within 15 minutes of my home and enjoy ready access to the beach. Which city, European or otherwise, can combine all of this without the noise, the congestion, the crime, the panhandlers or the dirt?
Is it truly astounding that my wife and I consider ourselves among the most blessed of people to be able to have all of this within such easy reach?