Thursday, September 17, 2009
Flintridge, of La Canada Flintridge, sits southwest of Altadena and speaks the language of money, old and new.
The nouveau’s are easy to spot. Huge houses overflow tiny lots, like obese tourists traveling coach. The brick, stone and wood all made of the same solidified silly putty. These are the great breast enhancements and penile enlargements of Flintridge, protected by plaster lions at the gate; houses that jump up and down and scream as loud as a high school pep squad at a $5 carwash: “Stop! Look! We’re loaded!”
When Fitzgerald wrote “the rich are different from you and me,” these weren’t the ones he had in mind.
On the other hand, the old money houses whisper, “Just move along, there’s nothing for you here.” They’re not built to look at, they’re built to hide. The people inside give huge amounts to charity, under anonymous. By unwritten law, one Rhodesian ridgeback or two boxers or three golden retrievers must be in residence.
But now some new and old money finally meet on an equal playing field of dead lawn -- Fortunes lost and foreclosure. I could be wrong, but I’ll bet my few dollars on it.
Still, think I’m brave enough to cross some lions or climb inside an iron gate to prove a point? Think again.