The locals sometimes call it "the Inbred Empire", for while things can be dusty and dull at times, we do have the ability to laugh at ourselves.
Not to be confused with Ontario Canada (after which it is named) boasts an"international" airport with flights that occasionally go to neighbor Mexico. Certainly you can connect to any country in the world from here, but it still operates in the shadow of LAX, and is in fact operated by the same firm.
The town itself is a mix of long-established suburbanites and hardworking immigrants. The gang life has come here and graffiti is rampant, but the murder rate isn't as notorious as Los Angeles or San Bernardino. A trolley route used to run down the center of Euclid Avenue in the heart of downtown. It is now a strip park, running all the way through former North Ontario (now Upland) to the foothills, and south to Prado Dam Regional Park, losing its park-divider somewhere in dairy country.
Corat's apartment is in an old suburban district, probably just south of Holt and just west of Euclid. It's in an old house with only three or five other units, possibly a Victorian that's been refurbished as apartments or possibly built that way to begin with. Something like this place:
Note the two front doors.
The neighborhood can be rough at times, quiet suburbia interrupted by passing trains or the trucks coming in and out of the Sunkist plant at all hours (soon to be if not already closed). The description of the area post #222 is based on my own memories of graveyard shifts at Sunkist a couple of years ago, and late nights at a tiny, since closed, art gallery in the late 1980's there. You really can hear cartoons, and if you listen closely roosters and hens, in the early hours on a Saturday morning.
Riverside itself is sprawling, including a charming little old town built around historic Mission Inn and a bustling college district. In between is the notorious Casablanca district where the houses are charmingly pocked with bullet holes (in reality I didn't see any holes, but was warned sternly that shootings were frequent), some farm and horse areas, a mothballed military base now housing part of the police department, and acres of suburbia.
The "Homicide, Genocide, Rivercide" episode of Mile Higher Club takes place in a house in those orange groves, which are the stuff of urban legend. There was at least one genuine murder here in the groves, but locals whisper of many more, and bodies never found. Locals also talk off the record of pot parties and other such revelry in the relative privacy of acres of orange trees, though you'd be hard pressed to verify any of it as anything more than talespinning. Life here in the IE can be dull, and stories of drunken revelry eases that somewhat.
So for the legend...
The orange groves of Riverside, California are something of a local legend. Acres of orange trees grow mostly in neat rows, not yet invaded by the encroaching suburbia that took out the vineyards of Rancho Cucamonga or the citrus groves of countless other towns. A few houses sit in nice neat blocks, but just a few sit isolated at the outskirts of the groves, their neighboring houses fallen prey to termites, fires, or mere disinterest.
The groves themselves have a darker legacy, one intertwined with the notion—generally false—that Riverside is the murder capital of the State (a dubious honor more properly given to nearby San Bernardino). Within these acres of trees are few roads and no lights, a place where many a local stoner has gone to indulge his habit and have free fruity munchies. Small festive parties are rumored to be held there from time to time, their detritus discovered months if not years later. And murders…there is at least one documented case of a couple of teenagers beating another to death, rolling her body into a ditch and covering it with a discarded couch, not to be discovered until the killer had confessed. It is widely held that the groves hold many such victims, not all of them missed, or searched for, or ever found.
The point of the groves being their sheer isolation, an oasis in suburbia as private as the wide deserts, where wild or simply private things could happen unobserved.
Eliza's dad's house is a Gothic girl's dream house. A lovely and authentic Victorian in the quiet groves, where the night is not so obscured by the city lights as it is in the rest of the sprawling city.
The photo is of an actual house in the groves, apparently owned by Sunkist growers.