Saturday, August 12, 2006

Money can't make some people happy.

In fact it seems to me that money makes people stupid.

There is a story on today that makes me laugh. It's about a rich couple from California who moved to Hingham.

Hingham is an old seaside on the coast south of Boston. For a long time it has been a pretty exclusive old money sort of town. Lots of houses in Hingham have little plaques on the front with the date they were built.

Let's just say you don't see many 1977's or 1981's.

The problem is that to get to being old money, you have to first be new money. Old money folks can't cope with new money folks, because no one likes to be reminded of their humble beginnings. It's a vicious cycle really.

Then like any wealthy town, there are the no money folks, the shopkeepers and waitresses and receptionists and town employees.

It's the only thing that old and new money can do together, look down on the no money people.

Anyway, the article I am referring to is about a couple who bought a house on the water. They basically just bought the land, because they promptly tore down the existing structure and put a brand new $1.3 million dollar home.

Happens all the time.

Except that what this couple did was close off the lane that went to the beach in front of their house. They wanted to make it so that only abutters and a few locals could access the beach.

Problem is that no one has put a restriction on access in 20 years. So of course the locals are pissed. Not only that, but the new owners sent their lawyer to talk to the neighbors instead of going themselves.

And the new owners don't get why people are mad.

The way I see it is that if you have that much to spend on a place, buy on a private beach, not near a town where people can just walk over. Because then just anyone can stroll over for a dip.

Don't try to pick and choose which locals can use the beach. If you open it to some people, you're going to have to open it to everyone. It's not like a nightclub, it's friggin' nature!

It's poor form to bulldoze your way into a neighborhood and ram your show of excess down peoples throats. If all your money can't buy you some sugar, then you should expect sh*t to be more difficult for you.

I know plenty of people who've built (in my opinion eye-sore) McMansions, and they've been very nice to their neighbors, and been as sensitive as economically possible so that in the end everyone thinks they've gotten things their way.

And quite frankly it's HINGHAM for crying out loud! What sort of riff-raff exactly are they trying to keep out? Board shorts out, bermuda shorts in? People please!

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