Blog: Five Years and Counting

Burt Ross

This month marks five years since my bride and I moved to Malibu, but who is counting? I can honestly say these have been golden years. I am not sure what I expected when I left my home state of New Jersey, where I was an infant, a young man, a public servant and, finally, a parent myself, but Malibu has exceeded my expectations in every way.

I don’t have to be a climatologist to figure out the weather here in Malibu is considerably more moderate than in New Jersey, or almost anywhere else for that matter, but I never dreamed there could be so many sunny days in one year with temperatures so mild you rarely need heat or air conditioning. Malibu is probably one of the few places on Earth where people panic and order wood to build an arc after it rains for two consecutive days.

My eyesight is 20/20, so all I have to do each morning is to open my eyes to see how beautiful Malibu is with its mountains rising from the sea. It doesn’t get any better than this.

But Malibu is much more than ideal weather and gorgeous ocean views — although that would be enough for many of us, including yours truly. Malibu is an intimate community small enough for people to connect, but large enough to maintain privacy; a city only an hour from an international airport and yet home to coyotes and mountain lions; and a place where almost everybody here understands what we have is very special.

I am also very grateful that the people here have welcomed me even though I am an immigrant from the “old country,” New Jersey, and even if I still have a Brooklyn accent you can cut with a knife. I will always feel like an immigrant though, but at least I no longer think Tarzana has something to do with the jungle, or that Ojai is the state where the Cleveland Cavaliers play. I am very proud of myself that I know where Calabasas, Culver City and The Oaks Mall are, and how much more can you really expect from a newcomer in just 5 years? I am still having trouble with my directions and find it disconcerting that if I swim off our beaches I will hit Mexico, not Japan. I guess I won’t go for any long swims.

And finally, I am grateful for my editor Emily and my publisher Arnold, who allow me to write what I want when I want. I have to go now because my phone is ringing. I believe it’s Malibu’s Chamber of Commerce offering me a job. 

Important note to reader: This column was submitted a week before the monsoon rains which caused part of Malibu to float out to sea. Please disregard all aforementioned references to Malibu’s perfect weather. In other words, never mind.