Sunday, December 04, 2005

Nouveau Riche

November 16, 2005 - I stuck Bebe out the window of my room at my parents house for this one. They just completed building the house across the street on the left. The person who lived in the house that used to be there died a couple of years ago. I never met him or knew him, but apparently he was a dentist or something. All last year, I saw his relatives and/or executors coming in and out, and apparently part of what was going on was the sale of the property. During my time at the monastery, the old house came down and construction of this house began.

This architecture can be seen all through this town. They are called "mini mansions", but I prefer calling it "Nouveau Riche" architecture. Opulent monstrosities that would look good on a bigger piece of property, but not on the size of properties that were carved out decades ago, intended for the rising upper middle class in harder, if not hard, economic times. All of the other houses in this shot are the older style. Nice affordable private homes, architecturally practical and boring, but inoffensive, with nice lawns for children to play on.

The trend now is towards this new architecture. As the older generation dies off or moves on, their properties are being sold to these developers who readily tear down what was there to put these up. All the houses look the same, no lawns, unfriendly to children playing outside, but friendly to children watching flat-screen TVs inside and playing video games after school until their dual income parents get home. They all say "we've got money (even though we can't afford a larger property in Alpine a couple towns north)". I prefer the older houses that say "this is a home".

current sounds: last 10 songs shuffled on iTunes:
1. Arbor Day (10,000 Maniacs)
2. Rhinoceros (Smashing Pumpkins)
3. New Genious (Brother) (Gorillaz)
4. Bullpen (The Pugs)
5. She's So Lost (James) (Versus - Drawn and Quartered)
6. Twisted (Everyday Hurts) (Skunk Anansie)
7. Answers (Steve Vai)
8. Sketch Pad with Trumpet and Voice (Peter Gabriel)
9. Action (St. Etienne)
10. Flute Talk (Travis Terry) native American flute


joyce said...

i recently watched a 60 minutes talking about monster houses ("livin' large"), and how one town in maryland outlawed buying a house and tearing down to build a monster house. it's just a little weird if you ask me...

keauxgeigh said...

yea, that sounds like what's going on here. although what rich people do with their money in their "own element" is their business. if there is no gentrification of previously "affordable" housing areas, who cares? as long as money is not being used to run out people who don't have as much money.

Lisa said...

In Texas, these are sometimes referred to as "North Dallas Specials." They usually have a pool in back. Not that I would have minded having a pool in back when I was growing up. It's just that we were lucky when the mortgage check didn't bounce. I'd also tell you stories about trudging to school ten miles in the snow except it doens't snow much in Texas, and we rode yellow school buses instead of walking. :)

keauxgeigh said...

That's funny that all sorts of names are coming up for them. I guess there's enough land in Texas that they'd have pools. In this area, there's hardly enough room for what could reasonably be called a lawn. A lot of the older houses around here have pools. And lawns.

Didn't you have to drive the buses?