They Should Have Called It 'Vegas'
When I was growing up, Indian Hills Estates was THE place to live. Everybody who was anybody lived in one of those sprawling ranch or rambler houses, with a lawn that looked like a putting green and a patio flush against the golf course. In Indian Hills, the fathers were always home in time to get in nine holes, and the mothers volunteered in the school library and then got their nails done.
The rest of us slummed it on streets similar to the one I live on now, a hodge-podge of split levels, contemporaries, and something trying to pass as colonial. The more fortunate of us had trampolines in our front yards. Our mothers worked at Big Apple and our fathers put in long hours at Lockheed to pay for our band uniforms and then met their girlfriends at Gino's Pizza afterward.
Ah, those were simpler times.
Today, everywhere I look, they're knocking down the houses of my youth to erect those altars to excess, the McMansions. Not just a few. Three houses on two acres will be replaced by two dozen homes the size of Biltmore. It's such a regular event, we hardly notice anymore, except for Lo, who constantly mistakes a house for the mall and begs me to take her to Build-a-Bear.
I can see the appeal. Some of these homes are so enormous you could give your kids a credit card and the number to Domino's and not have to see them until their high school graduation. On the other hand, I see the dangers. Most of the new houses have hidden "media rooms" where the computer is so far removed from any family areas that they're Dateline Specials waiting to happen.
We do wonder how so many, many people can afford this lifestyle. How do they pay for Cinderella's castle and for the husbands' Boxters, the wives' Navigators, and their teens' Land Rovers that fill the five-car garages?
But more than that, we wonder why ANYONE would pay $900,000.00 for THIS:
Here are two of the ten or twelve "masterpieces" that adorn the front gate (Note the warning about the video cameras, installed after those pesky kids kept painting a mustache on Mona Lisa):
Keep in mind, these are not the largest examples of what I'm talking about. But while they may not be the Big Macs, they sure have extra cheese.
And now for the Bellagio, Venetian...