Thursday, September 17, 2009

No Trespassing


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.

36 comments:

-K- said...

“Huge houses overflow tiny lots, like obese tourists traveling coach.”

I laughed.

“When Fitzgerald wrote “the rich are different from you and me,” these weren’t the ones he had in mind.”

I laughed again.

And the photo of the dumpster in front of the mansion ties it all up in one neat little bundle. A bundle of foreclosure, that is.

Cafe Pasadena said...

My lord, how did You get into Flintrich?? They actually let you, an AltaDenite, in? You must've told them about all your investments.

Bellis said...

I, too, love your descriptions of these houses!!! And I'm always going to think of it as Flintrich now. I got to the front doors of some of these mansions by following my little friend, an intrepid 7-year-old, on Hallowe'en. Many of the doors were opened by uniformed maids holding out huge bowls of beautifully packed candy selections. The rich are indeed different - and pretty generous.

Anonymous said...

Do Irish setters count?

GG

Linda Dove said...

Oh, I think I know that lion house! On the way to Descanso? It's got way too many yard-knacks for its own good.

Margaret said...

There are some great similes here. As for me, I would not sneak in if my life depended upon it.

Wayne said...

I've been waiting for just the right occasion to work breast enhancements and penile enlargements into one of my posts.

Well, there's no use now.

Curses, foiled again!!!

altadenahiker said...

I know Wayne, I thought it might be taking the metaphor a little long, but I saved you from yourself.

Yes Linda, lion house, but the very last photo is of a very old estate that is either deserted or, I don't know, maybe they like it that way. the rich are different blah blah blah.

bandit said...

Yeah, get some!
No German Shephard Dogs? Pity.

WV: is "lequid"

Jean Spitzer said...

Old or new, the rich are different.

AmyR said...

The dumpsters and the lions right beside them - perfect photo and great post.


"obese tourist"

I got squished next to one of these in coach last week. I was not happy.

Susan C said...

I like "solidified silly putty."

Who do those nouveaus think they're fooling?

Mister Earl said...

Great descriptions. I know and hate those silly putty houses. No one with any taste would live in them, which I guess answers the question. Speaking of breaking in, a lady in the town where I grew up was crazy. One time she broke into Bing Crosby's house and was hanging out in there till the police removed her. I think a similar crazy broke into Ronald and Nancy Reagan's house in Pacific Pallisades.

altadenahiker said...

Then again, looking at the dry rot problems around chez moi, what's so wrong with silly putty...

Petrea said...

Is there a difference between La Canada and Flintridge? I don't know which part is which. All I've ever seen over there are the grossly obese McMansions, the home-owner's equivalent of a Lee Press-On Nails French Manicure.

The other ones, the hiding ones, are apparently well-hidden.

Shell Sherree said...

I'm glad they stopped at stone lions and didn't try to smuggle in real ones.

Pierre said...

I've never had a longing for an enlargement. However, now as I pass expensive neighborhoods, a sudden sense of inferiority may grip my loins. I won't forget the comparison.

Nice read.

Julie said...

i like the old gate in the last photo. Right up my alleyway.

pivoine66 said...

The lions in front of the Tudor revival house read architecturally like a bad mixed metaphor. . . . Confusion followed by foreclosure?

pasadenaadjacent said...

Fu dogs? maybe they're old money Tiwanese

altadenahiker said...

Petrea, south of Foothill.
Shell, who is to say they didn't?
Pierre, it also springs to mind when I see certain cars. Hummers -- well, yes of course those...
Julie, I know!
PA & Pivoine: It didn't stop with lions. There were also buddhas and some Hindi statues laying around. Metaphors weren't the only things they mixed.

Laurie said...

You're impossibly brilliant.

Hey, next time you're there just stick your camera over the fence and sneak a peak...

Anonymous said...

You have changed the sport now! From tennis to golf: ”silly putt(y).

I like that, tennis always gaveme the tennis elbow!

The change is more human to me!

Tash said...

What -K- said, but I laughed at more places. You are brilliant and funny!

TheChieftess said...

I love this post!!! I laughed my way through it!!! Right on!!!

Virginia said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR SAVING WAYNE FROM HIMSELF! geesh

Well guess what KB? We have McMansions on teensy tiny lots down here in little ole B'ham too. I"m thinking there will be a big ole sink hole in those neighborhoods one day.This post was one of your best. I"m still laughing, sistah!

My WV is CHABLY- Yep, I live chably! OR, I think I'll have another glass of CHABLY!!! :)

PJ said...

I think I have some relatives in Flintrich - but I can't find them. Seriously.

BlueJayEye said...

First time on your blog Altadena Hiker. Enjoyed your post and will be back for more. I was hoping the Stedford Wives would be mentioned, but alas they are hiding.

CB3Dot said...

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes, perhaps. But today, your words are running neck and neck with the pics. Who are the "they" they speak of anyway? Did you ever meet one of themsies?

TheChieftess said...

Alas, BlueJayEye, the Stepford wives exist only in the OC...here in LaCanada Flintridge the coolest of the cool have to look like they're non conformist while at the same time they're conforming in their counter-culture, non-conforming way....it's a bit confusing...but suffice it to say that the Desperate Housewives of LC and F are not Stepford Wives!!!!

Italo said...

Ciao, You Are brave.
Amazing the description :D
BUT YOU KNOW, I WANT TO LIVE THERE

altadenahiker said...

You guys are too too kind.

Tell us more, Chieftess. But first tell us how many golden retrievers you have.

TheChieftess said...

Damn....am I that transparent??? however, I have only one golden retriever...and she's a golden oldie!!!

Anonymous said...

HAVE YOU (I MEAN ALL OF YOU) EVER BEEN THINKING?

I MEAN IT! THIS IS SERIOUS.

I have no problem, but how can you say.

Virginia said...

Chieftess,
Oh may i please have a photo of your Golden? My dear sweet Baxter was the love of my life and I love all Goldens!!Waaaaa, I'm sad thinking about him.
V

TheChieftess said...

Virginia...you've inspired me to post my golden oldie on my blog...not my next post, but the one following...either the end of next week or the following!!! thechieftess.blogspot.com (I'm a shameless hussie for advertising my blog on AH's...ah well, I'm sure I've been called more imaginative things!!!)