13 April 2003
The blues, or at least the greens
I figure, I'm a Baltic Avenue sort of guy; I'd like to stay away from Mediterranean if possible been there, didn't like it but my aspirations don't rise much beyond Oriental or Vermont or Connecticut.
My daughter recently bought in on St. Charles Place, and while she was here in town this weekend, we somehow wound up doing a brisk impromptu tour of some of the higher colors on the board. We didn't get to Boardwalk, what with the big metal gates and all, but we did spend a few minutes on Park Place, and we hit some of the newer developments on the far side of Free Parking.
"When I see one of these places," she said somewhere around Ventnor Avenue, "I want to go up to the door and ask them, 'What in the world do you do for a living? How can you afford a place like this?'"
I said something like "You never know. Maybe the meth lab finally paid off."
We passed a teardown, where a grand old house from the Twenties was being replaced with something maybe more modern, certainly twice the size, and I pointed out that this was a small but annoying trend: "You'll find this sort of thing in new developments also: houses about twice as big as they ought to be for the lot. There's a whole subdivision full of McMansions that way." I gestured in the general direction of the Water Works.
"They have no yard," she complained. "I gripe about my yard, but at least I have one."
On the far reaches of town, we passed a new development going up. Gated, of course, and the sign contained the following requirement: Minimum 3200 sf.
"Thirty-two hundred!? That's three times the size of my house!"
"Fairly standard for new construction in this area," I said. "You live in 1067 square feet?"
"About twelve hundred. How could you possibly keep a place like that clean?"
"If you can afford the mortgage, you can probably also afford to have someone come in three times a week and cycle the dust."
"I wouldn't have it," she declared. "Seventeen hundred is big enough for me."
"Especially since you don't actually have it, huh?"
"Exactly." This child is way too much like me for her own good.
We took a run to the opposite end of town, to a development called Rivendell, mostly because I figured she'd be amused by the very concept, and somewhere east of Lorien Way (very much in the spirit of Marvin Gardens) I introduced the very same Monopoly metaphor I've been abusing here.
"I love these places," she admitted, "but I really don't want to live in something like this. It would be nice, though, to get a house up on St. James Place."
"It might at that," I agreed, and we turned around and headed back towards the railroad tracks.