2.29.2012

Why Rich People Live in Newport

A recent trip to Newport got me thinking. Why do so many rich people live there? And what brought them there in the first place? While fashion blogs and history buffs might convince you of one reason or another, the smart people like you and I know what it really is - views! 



















Now that's what I call a nice view


See even this random hot chick agrees - it's all about the views!

But views can't happen without topography and proximity. Topography to get up above your neighbor, and proximity to the viewed amenity, in this case the mouth of Narragansett Bay and the open ocean beyond. The cliff walk (see video above) is what the peons use to get views of the said ocean, but more importantly to gawk at the absurdity of Newport's Gilded Age. Jordan and I did just that on our trip. And let me say, nothing makes you feel more impoverished than checking out the Breakers, which was built for $12 million in 1895, taking 2,000 workers to complete at its height. For reference, that would be like building a $335 million home today. (Nevermind that the Vanderbilt family sold it in 1972 for only $365,000)
 
























But follow me as I get (finally) to my point. 
Rich People Love Views. Views are Great but Require Topography and an Amenity close by. Newport has Optimal Topography and Offers some of the Best Views of Real Estates' Crown Jewel Amenity - the Ocean. Therefore the Vanderbilts must have had a Flood Insurance Rate Map.

Wait what? The proximity part of the equation is what I'm talking about. If hurricanes and dare I say tsunamis have taught us anything, its that proximity to the water comes with great risk. Proximity and lack of topography and you might wind up like New Orleans or worse coastal Japan. So those rich bastards had a flood map right? Well not exactly, but as you can see on these maps, they knew what they were doing when they built $10 million white elephants on top of the cliffs in Newport. (Area in red on both maps is the mansion enclave of the city)

Mansions and Cliff Walk are here.
Rich folks know not to build in the blue "flood" area

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