Now, I’ll say this at the outset. I could do this here, and should. Even here in Northeast Florida, I could go down to Ponte Vedra, walk on the beach, and shoot opulent oceanfront mansions and compounds. Don’t get me started on South Florida. The mega-yachts and soaring architecture and perfect lawns down south are a sharp contrast to how the people who try to work for a living live. But I was in California, and I had my camera, and honestly, I like Florida a lot better than I like California.
So here are the Hollywood Hills. You can see why, when there’s a fire, so much gets lost. The houses are just built up the side of the hills, and I can’t imagine what it costs to rent, let alone own, one of these places in Hollywood. I don’t imagine any of the people working in the hotels or the shops actually live there … unless there are a dozen to a house. It was that way when I worked up in Santa Barbara. Nobody there wanted you to come and actually work for a living … but if you had money, c’mon up. Several of the people who worked at the radio station lived three or four to a house, and that was back in the mid-80’s. With the cost of housing in CA now … fugeddaboudit.
On the other hand … this is the view from the freeway from the airport. And I don’t suppose that I could even afford to buy one. What I didn’t manage to get were shots of the extensive tagging on nearly every flat surface. Some of it quite artistic, some of it just a mess.
But, I’ve seen this before. If you go to the islands, you see tarpaper shacks just outside the gates of the all-in-one mega-resorts. As I said earlier, you can find it here … a striking contrast between the people who have a lot of money, and those who don’t. There is a middle class here, and in California as well, but they do seem to be getting harder and harder to find. The good news is, I’m one of them.
So there are lots of places with these kinds of contrasts. I just happened to be out west when they were presented to me with my camera in hand.
I don’t like California, and I don’t know why. I know several million people do, as is evidenced by the number of them living there. But there’s something just disquieting about The Golden Bear state for me, at least in the cities. I like San Francisco well enough, but it’s more expensive then LA. I did enjoy driving up into the high desert when I was there. The scenery is spectacular. And, I’ve never managed to make it to the wine country. But in the end, I’ve become a creature of the low country. I’ve found it here. Nothing against all of you who love to live on the shaky side … but I’ve lived both places now, and I experience one more earthquake, albeit a mild one, in the year or so I lived there than I have hurricanes in the 8 years I’ve lived here. And there was only one. No, the low country is for me. But as we all know, it takes all kinds.