Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hilltop Hide-Aways Hide Interesting Stuff

I'm fascinated by local hilltops. As you can imagine, hillsides, hilltops and ridge tops with, as the real estate salespeople call them, "forever views" command top dollar. Each year, new houses built on hillsides in my neighborhood are pricier and pricier.

But there's an interesting fact about hilltops hereabouts: the streets dead end. And property at these street ends appears to have been sold long before today's upscale market took off.

Probably because it was cheaper once upon a time. Hilltops were further from the water, the sewer and the other civilized amenities. Great places, it turns out, to gather up, store and hide Big Outdoor Collectibles, like beat-up muscle cars or heavy, rusty machinery (above.) After all, folks visiting the expensive people down the street aren't going to drive up to the very top just to sniff at such down-market activities.

This rusty mailbox, lying on its side, is at the entrance to one lovely property that abuts another very exclusive built-up site. What did I see here?

Well, there was the old tractor. Looks pretty good from a distance, but hardly a Beemer, Mercedes or Hummer.

But get closer and it's obviously a collectible that hasn't seen loving treatment as yet.

Peak around the corner a little further -- and talk about your "forever views!" What a place to hide your collection. I'd be happy to pitch a tent there any time.

PS: A charming local lady who sits with my mother at meals gave me further background on some of these not-so-upscale spots in old, otherwise exclusive established neighborhoods. It seems that for many, many years, the city fathers, in time-honored western tradition, eschewed zoning ordinances. In short, it was "anything goes." Times have changed, but old-timers are protected by grandfather clauses... and I, for one, don't mind the occasional spot of non-conformity.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if the prices of these places has increased like everything else.

catalyst said...

I have a brother-in-law who has lived on the same 8 acres for 35 years (in another state.) He is now surrounded by development and thinking of selling his land...for upwards of a million dollars!

Granny J said...

Steve -- I'm sure that a "forever view" translates into a $million view, though with the market off, maybe not quite so much!

And, Mr. Cat-a-lyst, you have one lucky (and probably stubborn) brother-in-law. But then, my sister-in-law in Western Australia recently sold her mother's place for over $A1 million. And probably as a tear-down, at that.

herhimnbryn said...

So, you are another admirer of rust! I posted about it too yesterday and so did Lorraine at

I enjoyed taking this walk with you. Living in th Hills outside Perth, I can appreciate the views. I hasten to add we live in the forest not on the escarpment, where the properties do indeed cost millions od dollars.

Granny J said...

I'm fascinated by the fancy that people have taken for rust-- and I have ever so many pictures of old farm equipment and implements,as well as other remnants of a more rural past. Perhaps it's because we're a young country without a history that goes deep in time. Same might apply Down Under.

Avus said...

Ha! I see we have a mutual aquaintance in HHnB - so that could be how you found your way to by blog - thanks for visiting.
I think your comment above about finding interest in comparatively recent implements in a young country hit the nail on the head. But whether it is 500 years old or just 100 it still has a value as history and the people who made it/used it deserve to be remembered.

Granny J said...

Mr. Avus -- they are remembered, to some extent. But then I learned many years ago how history is really written -- it's all about what you keep after culling your old books, papers and pictures. And repeating this process time and again. To some extent, I have found my own personal history is written in my check book stubs, a fact I'm reminded of every April when I start getting my tax stuff together.

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