I love the way that morning mist renders even the most familiar landscape a little bit unknown and mysterious.
I’ve lived in the same place for 19 years, and although much has changed in that time, physical alterations have been gradual, each settling more or less gently into the neighbourhood.
In the last year or so, a large number of modest houses have been demolished to be make way for McMansions. In the latest case, there was sufficient land around the old house to be subdivided into seven lots, each priced at just over a million dollars.
That’s right. For a NZ$1,050,000 (1) you can own 600m2 of bare suburban land upon which to build your dream home. As long as your dream complies with the (usually quite restrictive) building covenants on such developments.
I hardly know where to start with my list of concerns about this trend. The increasing homogenization of an already elite neighbourhood? The massive environmental footprints of the new houses? The obscenity of building mansions when there are families only a few miles away living in their cars?
What worries me is that so much of that charm is being destroyed, and what’s left will only be accessible to the wealthy few.
(1) $1,050,000 = around US$719,000, approx £541,500, just over 1,000,000 Australian dollars, or €635,000.