John & Anne Wiley

2012/12/30

City Sandwich

Flying from SB to SD for family holiday, we passed hilltop mansions between the LA and SD megalopoli that form a double-decker city sandwich. Like this little Hobbiton on the mountains near Topanga Canyon.

2203 Hobbit Hill

2203 Hobbit Hill

I love the creativity of homes like these, and often wonder how many people will ever see them other than those flying “low and slow” in small planes like Tripp. We also get different views of LA, like this “clear day” one just above the layer of smog blown back to the hills.

2207 LA Layers

2207 LA Layers

Looking down thru the layer in Santa Monica everything is vaguely brownish, and the stark snowy peaks shine out above it in the far distance. Downtown LA seems very much in peril of being swallowed alive at the right edge of the layer. Not long after as we pass La Jolla approaching SD, more fanciful mansions catch my eye.

2217 Life on the Edge

2217 Life on the Edge

Here on the edge of another major population center, on the edge of an eroding bluff over the sea perch more whimsical shapes. For me they evoke thoughts of beauty, peace and wealth mingled with images of fire, flood and quake. If we could afford to build there, would we? If so, would we try to mitigate the risks that so readily spring to mind or would we grow comfortable with the reality that life is fleeting and impermanent?

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