There's no doubt that California is a car culture. I've never seen so many luxury cars in my life. Lotus, Porche, Mercedes, Ferrari, Range Rover and Rolls-Royce were all well represented. I even saw three Bentleys in 5 minutes while filming in West Hollywood.
Being from the Midwest, I assumed the owners of those cars drove up each night to homes that were far more impressive than the set of wheels they owned. But from what I understand, that's not the case.
Sure some of them do, but in L.A. "the car is the new home." As one person I talked to put it, "You find many people who drive gorgeous, expensive cars can barely pay their rent."
But why? Cars are horrible investments. They lose value every day you own them. Putting money into your car rather than your home is like throwing money in the wind. You never get it back. So you must have a really good reason to want that luxury car.
Some told me that Los Angelenos love their cars because they spend so much time in them. After wasting hours each day in L.A. congestion, it's easy to start thinking your home is your car. But people in Chicago suffer from the same problem.
I think it's a bigger issue than time that provokes people to love their wheels rather than their homestead. In a world where stores look better than our living rooms, restaurants dazzle more than our dining rooms, grocery stores entice more than our kitchens and parks offer better views than our backyards, why would we want to be at home? It's more fun to go out. The feeling of walking into public places now surpasses the feeling we get when walking through our front door. So it's only logically to put money into the mode of transportation that takes us to those places - to put money into our car. Because let's face it, having a sweet ride enhances the experience.
But why not enhance our homes instead? We should use those public places as inspiration for how to decorate rather than a refuge and see our home as the place to be seen rather than the place to flee.
But then again, I am from the Midwest ...
Posted by Meghan Carter on Wednesday, Mar 26, 2008 in
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