28 August 2006

The End of the World, part I

It's always seemed to me that Santa Fe is where Californians go to die. It's kind of like Miami Beach. But "go to die" I really mean "go after they sold their houses in the ridiculous, illogical housing boom in California thanks to equally ridiculous, illogical Prop 13 [thanks a lot, Prop 13]; and after selling their houses they buy cheap New Mexico real estate and install some turn of the 19c. horse-tending equipment and faux-aged stables and shit and walk around the Plaza looking lost, throwing a pittance at the Indians selling depressing jewelery; and they eat ice cream at 'what's been billed as the busiest Haagen-Daz in the world'" I.e., tourists and carpetbaggers.

Well, this just in: LA is gentrified. Sounds like Santa Fe:
Gelato. Back in the 1990s, coffeehouses were a pivotal sign of gentrification, showing buyers of means that a neighborhood was ready for its close-up — and a low-fat, no-foam latte. Espresso-based businesses generated street life, the air of Italian sophistication and an addicted customer base willing to pay obscene prices. The glamour began to fade, however, once Starbucks started grafting itself onto laundromats. Gelato shops – which offer a cream-free form of ice cream — are the new hubs of neo-Italian excitement, pushing a neighborhood from middle to upper class.