Friday, June 15, 2007

Children of Fortune

If you ever need a dose of ostentatious nonsense, pick up a copy of the glossy real estate publication called Elevations. This isn’t your usual real estate brochure. If you’re looking for a "community within a park" and not just a "park within a community" this might be the guide for you. And it helps if you have a couple of million to spend on your mountain retreat.

I have my own ideas about what community means…caring about your neighbors and caring about the land you live on…that’s part of it. But that’s not exactly what the well-heeled buyers are looking for behind the secure gates of elite enclaves.

They’re seeking the perfect "private community". And when you think about it that’s an oxymoron of the highest order.

Nevertheless, if that is your cup of tea, how do you find the right "private community" from the more than 140 choices in the area? The answer is a "one-stop shopping experience" profiled in the latest issue of Elevations:

Private Mountain Communities offers an innovative solution to community shopping with two state-of-the-art Discovery Showrooms that serve as a matchmaker between future residents and the area’s premier communities. ...

Each Discovery Showroom is staffed with experts in master-planned communities that have done extensive research to understand the unique differences of each community. This expertise coupled with a warm and elegant atmosphere where customers can relax and review community brochures, DVDs and use interactive exploration tools on the large screen displays makes for an enjoyable experience. …

(Certainly a much more enjoyable experience than rubbing shoulders with real people or scuffing up your nice shoes walking around on the side of some mountain. And, oh, let’s not forget…)

There’s even a wine and cappucino bar for customers to enjoy while they explore the perfect community. … Here, they will discover communities, from smaller boutique properties to those that offer world-class amenities. …A personal concierge will also help…to make the entire process as smooth as possible.

If this kind of insular pampering is what you require, then it’s no surprise that you could care less about what happens to the peasants that live downstream, the people you wish "would just go away."

Destroy the neighbor’s pond…kill a stream? No problem. You’ve got more pressing concerns, like perfecting that golf swing…or picking the perfect color of granite countertop. You paid good money for a strong gate (and armed guards) to protect yourself from the minor annoyances posed by the less-than-perfect outside world. It's not your problem.

But don’t take my word for it. To get a taste of what I’m talking about let’s turn to another page of Elevations

Since the Gilded Age, the mountains of North Carolina have beckoned, and America’s children of fortune have answered their call. Here on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, River Rock conjures the high life.

C'mon. Do people actually take this stuff seriously?

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