“Lake Arrowhead Is Scenic and Fragrant But…,” posted 5 and 1/3 years ago: “Before yesterday I had never visited Lake Arrowhead. High in the mountains (about 5000 feet), quite hilly, the scent of pine and wood chips, forests of towering fir trees, about 30 minutes north of San Bernardino.
“It seems wonderful when you first arrive, but then you start noticing things.
“Like the sparsity of sidewalks and bike-riding and general hiking paths — the town is strictly about cars, and big fat SUVs at that. Not to mention the blue-collar, vaguely bumblefuck atmosphere — you can immediately sense a downmarket culture that is at least somewhat lacking in educated, upscale sensibilities. I knew something was up when I spotted a couple of streetside banner ads celebrating the local ‘heroes’ who’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan. On top of which many of the homes lack architectural integrity and have obviously been built with cheap materials. On top of which Lake Arrowhead Village is so overdeveloped that any concept of charm probably went out the window 50 years ago.
“In a phrase, the town lacks a certain refinement. It’s for people who like to eat at McDonald’s. It almost feels like some kind of low-security, blue-collar prison camp. The town that F.W. Murnau shot Sunrise in 90 years ago was a very different place, I’m sure. Many decades before the middle-American mob moved in and transformed this little mountain village into Mulletville. This is not a community that would appeal to Bernardo Bertolucci or Michelangelo Antonioni in their prime. Europeans do lakeside resorts with a lot more class and style.”