before moving to a nice part of the OC my parents owned and ran nursing homes in Riverside. We lived in the Woodcrest Hills area and it was really nice (all the houses were unique and big and had pools almost gated community like), but damn when we'd drive down the hill into those Riverside Flatlands there were some depressing assed towns.
Then they opened a nursing home in Bakersfield and we'd actually live there on the weekends or for weeks at a time during summer (we would just drive back to the house in the OC after) there were some of the most depressing places on earth [in bakersfield]. My dad would actually apologize and literally give me $100 to spend at a mall (I was 8yo) or let me spend it on fireworks (they had those firework kiosks everywhere) and just watch as I would let off $100 worth of fireworks in weird open dirt fields in the middle of the town - (do they still have those in Bakersfield now?) this was from 1986-1988.
All the commuting (those drives from the OC to bakersfield) took its toll (it was during the height of the road rage incidents - my dad actually had guns stored in each of our cars). My parents decided it wasn't worth the money (I guess you could make millions with nursing homes in the 80's) and moved back to rhode island.
for all the diversity you see in southern california, most of the races actually kept to themselves in insular communities, especially the asians and jews. even socioeconomically there isn't that much of a mix, its mostly homogeneous communities where whole towns are well off or poor, of a certain racial demographic, and weren't really friendly/neighborly. this is how my 8-10yo eyes saw it in the late 80's.