Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Beauty and Wealth

Some Pictures, PTown, First Week

As much as I love PTown, the salt air, sand dunes and the ocean views, the obtrusive reminders of class, ostentatious wealth and privilege are inescapable. In the sixties and seventies the town was much more down to earth, with artists, hippies, and average tourists among the fishermen and townies. College kids worked in ice cream shops and changed sheets in the B&Bs. Now, foreigners from Eastern Europe and Jamaica buss tables, do maid service and sous-chef at restaurants where appetizers go for $23 and dinner would cost them a day’s pay.

The homes and condos that have been built here, just in the past ten to fifteen years range from seasonal, converted tool sheds going for $130,000 to luxury homes priced in the millions of dollars. So-called modest homes have landscaping that probably cost what we paid for our house in Smalltown; here, monthly landscaping services and maintenance could easily equal the yearly income of many Americans.

Even at the campground the rigs get bigger and bigger. While our camper is not tiny by any means, it is also not luxurious. Our current neighbor is a $500,000, 44-foot motor home which the owner’s informed us, they keep garaged in the winter when they’re not in Florida. Our house is 44 feet by 22 feet, which means their garage is probably bigger than our house.

The thing that irks me is the sense of entitlement that some wealthy folks exude like an obnoxious body odor. They pretend to be unawares as they impose their physical and ecological footprint onto the personal space of others – whether by parking their oversized motor home in a space meant for a camper half the size, or using a small town’s worth of fuel to transport their yacht to and from the Caribbean complete with a motorcycle, helicopter and 40-foot lifeboat.

I could go on…but suffice it to say that I do not envy their wealth and position, I only resent their sense of entitlement.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you had a nice time as your pictures would suggest.



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