Is Orinda Really the Friendliest Town?

Is Orinda Really the Friendliest Town?

A. Pietrykowski

Local Orinda teens take a friendly photo to prove Orinda’s title to be true.

Alison Pietrykowski and Julia Govan, Photo Editor, Opinion Editor

Orinda was recently chosen as the second most friendly town in America by Forbes Magazine, close runner up to the town of Sammamish in Washington. Although the survey was solely based off of the crime rate and percentage of residents that own their homes, the quaint little town of Orinda appears to be a close knit community.

According to Forbes Magazine, “the town is home to a bevy of artsy activities that draw residents by the thousands including the Orinda Film Festival and the annual Shakespeare Festival.”  Not to mention, Orinda hosts a day-long July Fourth event every year that starts with a pancake breakfast. Neighbors are also known for organizing events like pumpkin-carving contests and wine-and-cheese parties.

While some residents might scoff at this awarded title, no one can disagree that citizens of Orinda come off as welcoming, open, and well, friendly. Whether this is simply a facade or truly the nature of the town, people flock to Orinda for a reason, mainly the great schools and safe neighborhoods.

Although most residential teens spend the first 18 years of their life trying to get out of Orinda, they spend the rest of their lives trying to get back in. This is because despite the lack of privacy and the sometimes negative reputation associated with Orinda, there is no doubt that the town is flourishing with success.

However, it must be addressed that the two main factors that went into ranking towns of America seem unrelated to the title. In the 2012 Forbes study of America’s Friendliest Towns, there were no areas of the study dedicated to the actual generosity of the picked cities.

The thing about Orinda is, though it’s impossible to know what goes on behind closed doors, residents are always kind to each other’s faces. Orinda is infamous for country club mom gossip and is often judged for its materialistic values. The survey was done without taking into account any form of kindness, like perhaps how much money and time on average Orinda residents donate to charities. Because facts like these were neglected in determining America’s most friendly communities, the award was mistitled.

The truth is, wealth and kindness have no correlation. It appeared as though the ranking should have been “America’s Wealthiest Towns.” Somehow, Orinda was found friendly by the fact that 92 percent of us own our homes and by our extremely low crime rate.