There's an Internet group by and for local model railroaders. The group is Model Railroads of Southern California...and it's free to join and free use.
We're a local group of model railroaders who share our experiences, tips, and ideas with each other. All model railroaders, with or without layouts, are welcome to participate. Our group has over 550 members and is growing.
We publish news of local club and railroad events, and we do free layout tours. In the last 19 months we've had 46 layouts on tours throughout Southern California.
Speaking as a "Northern" Californian, who should therefore be genetically predisposed to consider anyone down in SoCal to be a pop-culture-obsessed idiot, an overpaid movie star or a paparazzo, I must say your statement comes off as exceedingly ignorant. Even though I'd never want to live south, say, of Point Conception, it's stupid to generalize about a region with millions of people as you have.
 Calling the Bay Area "Northern California" seems wrong to me, as there's more than a third of the state between us and Oregon.
Well, they *are* a rather provincial bunch, aren't they?
So how do SoCal hobby shops (let's say ones with train stuff) compare to Beige Area ones? Lots have closed around here, of course: to my mind, one of the best still is Franciscan Hobbies on Ocean near City College.
Caen thought it was because San Franciscans have always had an inferiority complex in regard to the much larger -and still growing- entity to the south, whereas San Francisco cannot expand an inch -except vertically- without dredging up more of the bay to build on. (Turns out that wasn't such a good idea anyway.) He felt that since San Franciscans couldn't claim to be
*bigger* than L.A. they'd collectively decided to make it up by claiming to be *better* in every other way than thier declasse neighbors to the south; and they continue that way to this very day.
(This explains why L.A. folks are nearly always fond of San Francisco, in much the same way a big sister is fond of her bohemian if slightly odd little brother, while San Franciscans continue to act snotty towards Angelinos.)
It's difficult for me to compare: I haven't been back to The City now for almost twenty years. But the retreat of hobby shops -train-oriented hobby shops in particular- is evident down here too. There are several really good ones still remaining in the area, with the Whistle Stop, Milepost 38, and Allied Trains probably being as good as anything in the Bay Area. But from the Inland Empire (nee the San Bernardino-Riverside area) it's a 40 minute drive -at best- to the closest one. There are simply none left to serve the millions of residents east of metropolitan Los Angeles.
Even though I think SF and LA are equally retarded for thinking that either is any less clueless than the other, I think you take some kind of moron prize for arguing that endless sprawl is a good idea.
I assume you're referring to SoCal (primarily Los Angeles County), correct?
It's equally moronic to blame the sprawl that we all know exists down there on the people who live there, at least as individuals. It's not as if they all decided to move there to add to urban sprawl by moving there, each and every one as a conscious decision.
Let me introduce you to a new phrase for your vocabulary: "Straw Man". It means the act of lying about what someone just said -or posted- and then drawing a conclusion based on your own lie. It's an act generally committed by either the witless or the Trollish, but in neither case does it commend the good judgment of the guilty party, because it's so painfully obvious.
To wit: nowhere did I say *anything* about the desirability of urban sprawl. Nor would I.
But at least your using the above tactic demonstrates why you dislike Californians so: they're nearly all a *lot* smarter than you.