Well We’re Movin’ on Up

We don’t have a deluxe apartment in the sky, because this is earthquake country and we’re not rich. But our neighborhood is, and I’m not gonna lie – it’s beautiful. The trees are massive. California Oaks arch gracefully over the road, begging you to walk up their bendy trunks, take a seat and swing your legs above passing cars.

california oak

But so far, the wealthy neighbors are reclusive. Until tonight, when we saw and talked briefly with two people (a record!), I’d seen plenty of gardeners and contractors, but no neighbors. It was like this for a whole week. We felt lonely and isolated.

In our former Cincinnati neighborhood, most evenings people would be gardening (Nick, Vanessa & Andrew), walking dogs (Paul & Mary), sitting on their porch swings, or walking the block with a glass of wine in one hand for the express purpose of meeting and talking with people (Hi Dana, Gabi & Emelien).

We couldn’t afford to buy a home on our new street – and probably not anywhere nearby either. A mansion on three acres nearby, where a famous catfight between Alexis and another “Dynasty” character was filmed in the reflecting pool, is on the market for $28 million. (BTW, when you’re selling for $28 mil, why do you need a Zillow listing? Just curious.)

Per capita, Pasadena is the wealthiest area in Los Angeles County. It’s not Beverly Hills, Bel Air nor Venice, which until recently would have been my first three guesses. With our midwestern incomes, we’re dragging Pasadena’s per capita income down. Worse yet, our university-subsidized rent is affordable. There goes the neighborhood!

We have a place that’s small by Cincinnati standards, yet has plenty of room for us and comes with a garage and driveway – two things we never had renting in the city back home.

You Know Your Neighbors are Tonier Than You When…
…the ones across the street, who live in what you originally thought was a Spanish Mission but is actually just a Spanish Mission-style mansion, have what looks like a kid’s birthday party / Memorial Day BBQ festival in their walled yard.

There was an inflatable bounce house, an ice cream trunk parked in the driveway and a guitarist playing cover tunes. Maybe I’m oldskool, but add a ping pong ball toss for goldfish and you’ve got a festival. They probably had one, and if I’d seen it I would have waited until everyone had been drinking for a while, donned a little black dress and snuck in with a glass of wine to toss for my goldfish.

When we walked the dogs past the party that night, the ice cream truck didn’t have any customers. I was so cowed by the sheer wealth of it all that something which seems so obvious now didn’t even occur to me. I could have walked up to truck and placed an order. No one would have noticed and it would have been free.

Who rents an ice cream truck so you can have all the free orange pushups you want? Our neighbors! I really need to get invited to their next shindig. We might have little else in common beyond a love for orange pushups. But I really love orange pushups, so for one night, that’d be enough.


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