Gilty pleasure

For some reason, the Santa Clarita Valley where we live has three glossy magazines about living here in shangrila.


Things like Inside Santa Clarita or Elite Valencia, of all things, Seasons, now that’s rich (we really have only one).

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A couple of weeks ago, as I was thumbing through them for once (instead of instantly tossing them in the recycling bin as per usual), I spotted a spectacular sprawling estate being featured, advertising the decorator, landscaper, home theater installer, etc.


Now, estates are all over this five-town bit of paradise, so that in itself wasn’t new.


What was surprising and baffling was the location of this ultra upscale manse and grounds. A sleepy, run down (well …) patch of abandoned red dirt-farmer mile or two just over yonder from our neighborhood.


Tucked away behind Newhall’s reviving Old Town, literally on the other side of the tracks.

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It is called Placerita Canyon, placerita meaning, of course, little pleasure. Very little I mused upon spying the location in the credits of the spread and looking it up with Google Maps.


My curiosity about why anyone would choose tobacco road to put several million dollars worth of topiary and dupioni prompted us to slouch over there, dressed in our downscale duds.


In fact, we took Geoffrey’s old pickup truck because I knew for sure we were going to literally be intruders in the dust.

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Were we ever.


For one thing, I have rarely seen such a mix of old and new, rich and poor, sleepy and hip, sophisticated and bumpkinesque in one small spot. For another, instead of a 7000 square foot house perching nervously on, let’s say generously, an acre as is the usual practice for the gated gentry up here, these places had acres and acres of land around them.


Another aspect of this venture was discovering how very paranoid everyone is these days, what with all the homeland security scares and our Nextdoor neighborhood gossip that spawns local fear-mongering at an epic level.


More than once I had to leap back into the truck as people came out to stare at us.


Given the range of types there, they could have been periscoping us or pointing a shotgun. We didn’t stick around to find out.


Everywhere we went, we kept exclaiming ‘how could we have missed this place’ after living here all these years?


Why weren’t we smart enough to snag a dozen acres in this forgotten backwater when it was still available and affordable instead of plopping down half a million on a postage stamp with a house squeezed onto it?


Too late! Too late!


Hollywood moguls have discovered Placerita Canyon and it is now safely out of range of mere mortals like we-folk.


One thing I love about it though — and truly wish I had been familiar with this place back when we moved up here — is the respect the early planners had for the beautiful old trees that populate the entire geography.


In Valencia, people cannot wait to chop them down.


Ah well, I am thankful Placerita Cyn is there whenever we want to step forward to the past, or see trees, and interesting fences — every single place was fenced, some more elegantly than others, or horses — stables are there too.


It is a reminder of what this entire area must have been at one time, lifted straight from Faulkner and Williams, now the playground of Geffen and Seacrest.


There is a false sense of stepping back in time, as this area evolves into yet another playground for the rich and famous, regrettably.


Let’s just hope the Kardashians don’t discover it! Oy vey!


Images: Chez BeBe assets: Placerita Canyon – Click on each photo to view it large

20 Comments on “Gilty pleasure”

    • We can’t afford it, Bob. These properties are being sold for millions. Dang! We missed this opportunity. Geoffrey would have relished having all the land on which to put his various vehicles and workshop. I feel so dumb. I went around with the usual real estate agents who only show you a fraction of what is available. They sized us up for wanting to be in a Beverly HIlls type neighborhood and said Valencia was the only place we would fit in. They got us wrong and I let them. Too late!

      I should have posted the horses. I took that picture and didn’t size it down for here. I will put it up later.

      We love this area!

      Thank you Bob. xx


      • Thanks for the insight. I’m sure you know the “old real estate” house
        hunting rule…( show me the cheapest place in the most expensive
        neighborhood !) . Don’t blame yourself for the missed opportunity.
        Back then you didn’t know the “area” existed. So you couldn’t have
        overlooked it !! With your insight and perseverance I’m betting
        you’ll find “the place”…. and , take us along for the ride. Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, that’s what my father told me and that is what we did. We are the poorest people on our block. When we bought our current house, we could have bought a fixer upper on acreage in Placerita Cyn. But we just didn’t know about it. Ah well, we may just get a vacation place in SD instead. 🙂


  1. How delightful to discover a gem such as this! Thanks for taking us on the tour. Your pics, lovely as ever, do a good job of showcasing the different styles of abode. I empathize with the self-kicking if’only’s… Oh well, could be worse, so just enjoy the home you have, and the freedom to toodle around and admire places like this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, of course. I do feel lucky to have what I have. It is that sense of “could have spent the money more wisely” regret. Ah well.

      I think I will come back around to this place a year from now to show what’s new. There were many more pictures that I shared on Flickr and many more I haven’t shared, so I don’t overwhelm people. I am sure there will be new buildings in 12 months.



  2. Pingback: The Nudge Wink Report – A Round Up Of The Weirdest & Funniest News Headlines This Week Ending 9th July 2016 | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

    • Aren’t they? Darn, we missed our chance (not that we could have built a mansion, just could have had a bit more room!).

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting Jason. You are the best! 😀


  3. Your description is so full of vivid pictures that the photographs just add dimension, Beth. There is a shimmery, Impressionistic look to so much of the captures. I know this takes talent!
    I am always surprised when neighborhoods allow diversity of expression. The joke about the dirt and dust, with Geoffrey’s truck, and your having to scurry out to get pictures, then hurry back in made me laugh at your sense of humor! 😀
    I think you should join the Thursday’s Door’s posts. Some people don’t post every week, Beth. . .
    P.S. (psst!) I am finding my inner teenager with a crush on my NY Italian man. He holds doors, my hand and tempts me with simple kisses. . . I have known him now 104 days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for all those generous comments, Robin, first of all. I might just do that! I don’t know much about it. Is it a WP group? If so, can you put a link here? Thank you!

      And, as for your P.S. news: wonderful! I hope this one works out. In the meantime, enjoy the courtesies and attention. You deserve it and much more. ❤


      • The link is on everyone’s Thursday’s Doors posts and when I started I went to Norm Frampton (the host) and asked what he thought of my posting doors using only words and descriptions. He graciously said this was fine, Beth. I wrote about 4 or 5 and then my phone was stolen. So, when I got my new one I was determined to go simple, less words and use cell phone pictures. 🙂 I think your doors you find of homes, restaurants and hotels/bed and breakfasts are all beautiful. I actually don’t leave a link but people read my comments on Norm’s posts and also read his link and head there. . . It’s fun and a nice crowd. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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