WHAT, ME BLOVIATE #55: “Where is Everybody?”

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It’s funny, but for now, I appear to live in a beautiful ghost town.

. When I walk in my neighborhood, camera in pocket, looking for fresh ways to view the familiar landscape, I keep coming back to the same question in my head:

Where is everybody?

. It really doesn’t seem to matter what time of day I walk through my Seacliff Beach suburbia, or what day of the week. Daytime, nighttime, weekday, weekend- most of these glorious palaces appear… empty, or unused. Underused, at very least. And these are gorgeous, high-end houses, many with ocean views that one images to be very desirable. The cool thing about this area: each house is different than its neighbor. Where I grew up, on the outskirts of El Lay, housing tracts were more homogenous. There were only three floorplans, maybe four available. Here each one seems to proudly proclaim its individuality. But aside from the regular car traffic, I rarely see folks out in their own neighborhoods, living their American Lives. Aside from the occasional dog walkers at dusk, I rarely see any sign of retirees. There are lonely basketball hoops sitting idle, balls at rest against the poles, unbounced. It seems like a great place to raise children… but where are they? Where are the joyful cries of childhood, experiencing its glorious highs and lows? I look around and see: a tree to climb, a brook running between houses to explore, empty yards and great patios yearning for a boisterous picnic. I hear no music. When the streetlights would come on- if there were any, the driveways remain empty. The lights off. And the lights stay off. No one home today.

Where is everybody?

. Working, I imagine, to maintain the beautiful house they are too busy to enjoy as a home. Or they are second houses- seasonal playthings for the well-to-do. A closer inspection reveals that many- too many, have stickers in their windows identifying them as “vacation rentals”, reflecting economic imperatives that drive owners to maximize profit. It’s a market that squeezes ordinary homeowners into pancakes, discourages families with kids from moving in, takes much needed housing stock off the local market in a time where scarcity has driven rentals beyond the reach of some folks- myself, among them. All these empty ghost houses are sure pretty to look at and fun to photograph, but they are haunting too. They represent so much potential, unrealized. The images that result from these photo safaris are colorful, often with great symmetry and design, but they are usually devoid of the thing that makes a neighborhood a neighborhood: people.

Where is everybody?

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© Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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About KPKeelan

Fool, Philosopher, Lover & Dreamer, Benign TROUBLEMAKER, King and Jester of KPKworld, an online portal to visual and linguistic mystery, befuddlement and delight.
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