Friday, February 1, 2008
i drove to the backside of the picturesque green hills lining highway 80 east in mid-ca.
i visited 5 "distinct communities ". when i squint down my eyes, homes become a mass of peach and tan texture against vivid green hill. a hefty wooden trellis abuts a station where the private security monitors visitors. i drive around 15 minutes and see under 5 people outside, and three times as many landscapers. The houses look to be over 4000 sq feet - shoulder to shoulder, but with some variety in plantings, british village-type trim around the windows and entryways. The eastern communities have more variety than the western. But there is something inherently bizarre and sad about both places. They feel unnecessary. There is no visible town, port, or hub. Streets are bisected by golf cart crossings and the only visible store is a newly opened dry-cleaner, and country club lounge. An apparent desert excluding the plaster and stone dwellings pooled in the valley floor. The only sound is of hammer and saw, as new boxes make their way up hill.