Ask Tessie: I just moved to Tahoe — how do I act like a local?
I just moved to Tahoe this winter, and it immediately became apparent to me that fitting in as a “local” is paramount to making it in this mountain town. I really don’t want to come off as a newb, so as Tahoe’s oldest (and coolest) local, I was hoping you could throw some advice my way.
Left The Bay Behind
Welcome to paradise! You’ve traded in tech startups, boot camps at The Marina Green and wine bars for remote web design, daily skiing and laid back breweries — and for that, I commend you.
But if you’re going to fit in, there are some city-dwelling habits you need to drop straight away.
First, if your car isn’t a Subaru then get rid of it. The rules of the road are different in these parts, so you’re going to need to adopt a blinding hatred for anyone who deigns to drive with out-of-state plates or below the speed limit.
Whatever you’re doing now, stop and head straight to the bank because you need to take out a small loan so that you can get all of the necessary toys to fit in: skis, snowboard, avalanche kit, skins, snow skates, snowshoes, snowmobile, stand-up paddleboard, peddleboard, mountain bike, fat tires, kayak, boat, wakeboard and kite board should hold you over for now.
You’re also going to want to adopt a dog right away, bring it with you everywhere and allow it to escape from your yard constantly.
During winter, your No. 1 priority is no longer getting to work on time or making deadlines, it is about making first chair on a powder day. This, above all else, is sacred. Send out tweets, Instagram stories and Facebook posts so everyone knows when this happens. It will do wonders for your street cred.
Though you may be used to paying $2,500 for a studio apartment in the Sunset, the housing market here is different. You’re going to have to embrace communal living well into your 50s unless you’re willing to head back to the bank for a second loan to buy a $500,000 500-square-foot home built in the 1950s.
As for nightlife, if you’re not rapping to Eminem during karaoke night at Rojo’s Tavern while three-sheets to the wind, then invest in a police scanner and a six-pack of Miller High Life for some serious Friday night fun.
Pro tip: Ask for a local’s discount everywhere you go.
While grocery shopping on the weekend surrounded by throngs of your former neighbors as they rush to stock up their AirBnBs for the weekend, separate yourself from who you once were by assuming a Zen-like mindset and masterfully tuning out the scene of pure chaos unfolding in Safeway.
And lastly, to fit in as a true Tahoe local, put a big ol’ grin on your face at all times because you now live in the most beautiful place on Earth, baby!
Tahoe Tessie is a humorous take on the standard advice column. It is produced by the Tribune staff, and it is not meant to be taken literally. Have a question you want to ask Tessie? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This past year has been a rollercoaster for the Lake Tahoe region. As the coronavirus pandemic dragged on, undeterred visitors continued to flock to the area.