America is going broke. Prisons are being closed and inmates released to save money. Government workers are forced to take unpaid days off each month. Hundreds of thousands of workers are being laid off each and every month. Millions of homeowners face foreclosure or at least uncertainty about their homes. The stock market hit a 10-year low. Banks are failing every week. It is a disaster out there.
But no worries if you are Mr. Mohamed Hadid, Los Angeles real estate developer. He claims to have spent more than $59 million constructing his 48,000 square foot mansion in Bel Air. Now he is selling the estate with an asking price of $85 million. For that you get 10 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms, a whole bunch of other rooms, a huge infinity pool, and 280 degree views over Los Angeles.
Just a few days earlier Iris Cantor put her own 35,000 square foot Bel Air mansion on the market for $53 million. And it is not even her main residence.
This really is just too rich. I’m a great believer that people should be able to do with their money whatever they want. But this seems to me to be rubbing everyone else’s noses in it. If these folks were hurting and needed to unload their properties to pay bills, that’s fine. But these are not firesale prices looking for a quick return.
The details and the pictures are from The Real Estalker.
“Family At The Beach” (2009). Steveston BC.
There was a time at the end of the last century and the beginning of this one when I spent my time on the Drive divided between Waazubee and Fet’s. In each one, I would spend many hours watching, writing, reading, just enjoying the flow of the people. I could spend so much time there because in both restaurants I enjoyed the atmosphere, enjoyed the staff, knew the owners, and enjoyed the food. I was a genuine regular in both, and I always like that feeling.
We enjoyed WaaZuBee so much that back in the day we had our wedding reception there, in the raised area at the back. Waazubee was edgy, played industrial trance all day, and was a fun hangout. However, when we moved from around 1st avenue to this end of the Drive, Waazubee became a little less convenient and we went less. We used to still frequent WaaZuBee for Saturday brunch but, if truth be told, it has been a couple of years or more since I was last there. Until today, when we decided to go for lunch.
Nothing really has changed, environmentally or gastronomically, except it all seems softer and somehow older. The decor is the same — the old Portuguese dance hall murals looking tattier than I remember — but the featured artwork was weak. The old carpet was lifted years ago and I’m sure that nothing else has changed physically since the late 1990s. The music seemed soft and deliberately unobtrusive, and unfortunately the food was equally forgettable.
I had the Huevos Rancheros. I guess I had no reason to expect a chile-based dish, but the sad mild mushiness of fried eggs on baked beans (notwithstanding the tortilla between) was an unplesant shock. There was nothing wrong with it — I finished it down to the bare plate — but it wasn’t anything sparkling as I had hoped. My best gal had the Waazubwich chicken, a favourite of hers for many years. She had the feeling the chicken wasn’t quite right and asked me to try it. So I got to taste another entirely bland concoction, different from mine but just as unexciting.
Anyone can have a bad day, and maybe this was theirs. But it was all so depressing. Especially when compared to Fet’s, which has changed both physically and in its menus over time without losing the essence of what it always was. It is a real shame because I really like Benny and the folks at WaaZuBee, but I’m not sure I’ll be back, at least for a while.
It is Bob Marley’s birthday, and Reggae Week in Jamaica.