Downtown Laguna Beach is many things except one: a place to live.
No one knows exactly how many people live in downtown Laguna Beach. It's not tracked by the city, and the census numbers are not that granular. But you can almost count the number of residents on one hand.
Meet Jeff McFarland, 48. He lives above La Sirena Grill on Mermaid Street in a 600-square-foot one bedroom apartment. Single with no children, he admits his place is not for everyone.
"I had to get used to the sounds and the rhythm of the neighborhood, and to be honest, it was a little surprising at first," he said. "But I love it here."
McFarland is an exception. He considers his neighbors the business owners — not other residents because there are none.
In the downtown proper, not counting the low-income housing complex and the few random hillside apartments, there are probably no more than two dozen residents — maybe. There are three very small motel-like rooms above the Envy clothing store, 310 Forest Ave., and there are five nicer units at 243 Broadway St., above the Blue Laguna Salon and Spa.