Search This Blog

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Home Sweet Garage

When I was a kid, my mother took us to South Florida for a beach vacation. We were in a place called Sunny Isles, which back then was a fun place with wall-to-wall mid-century modern oceanfront motels with window unit air conditioners and Magic Fingers on the beds and small swimming pools on the patios. Our motel was particularly luxurious because it had a pinball machine in the lobby.

I don’t know what happened to Sunny Isles, but I suspect Florida politics entered the equation. Usually this involves commissioners who get bankrolled by developers to rape and pillage existing zoning laws. The end result is that middle class people, the former inhabitants of and visitors to places like Sunny Isles, no longer stand a chance there, because the rules have changed. Ergo, all the cute motels have been demolished for ridiculously tall and unattractive high-rise condo buildings that are only affordable to the 1%.

The worst violator of the Atlantic landscape is a developer named Gil Dezer. In addition to their fortune in real estate, the Dezer family owns several antique car museums that you’d think might be of interest to middle class people if only the admission price to look at a bunch of old metal wasn’t exorbitant. Gil Dezer has licensed the Trump name on several of his Sunny Isles and other South Florida holdings, making him possibly the second most repugnant person on planet Earth.

If you drive down Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles after sunrise, the whole city is dark, eclipsed by the dark shadows of Gil’s and other rich developer’s towers, making the name of the city nothing short of ironic.

Gil’s latest abomination is the PorscheDesign building, a 600+ foot high glass oatmeal box that caters to people who really appreciate their expensive cars. Inside the paparazzi-proof building are three robotic car elevators. After a resident drives in, the car and driver are pulled into the elevator and whisked up to the resident’s home in the sky, where they are digitally parked in full view of the owner’s living room. The cheapest condos, the $4 million ones, have two parking places, whereas the $32+million abodes have room for four vehicles. Because no one that rich should be forced to drive the same car two days in a row. And where else but Florida can you fork over $32M to live in a garage? Up until now Porsche Design earned its keep by selling overpriced watches and sunglasses, and maybe they should have stuck to that, because if you look at the picture above, which is a rendering of the inside of the tower, and the picture below, which is the Hot Wheels Rally Wheel carrying case, it is clear that Porsche Design stole its idea from Mattel.

I don’t know, but I don’t think a view of my red 2007 Honda Fit (which is quickly fading to pink due to sun exposure) is something I want to look at from the comfort of my living room. Neither is Other Bill’s 2009 Civic that has been wrecked three times. This is why we plugged up the peephole in our windowless door that connects the garage with the living room. It’s not something we’re proud of. I guess the PorscheDesign residents will have more interesting and less damaged vehicles to swoon over: minivans or something like that.

The PorscheDesign building is already sold out, even though the building isn’t finished yet. And you know the people who are going to live there aren’t the type who will put up with any inefficiency or any error, human or mechanical, that will even slightly inconvenience them.  I just hope these elevators (okay, secretly I do hope these elevators) turn out to be like the debacle at Denver International Airport several years ago where their robotic suitcase placing system didn’t work for over a year, leaving passengers stranded in a sea of luggage to locate their property.  What if the elevator computers are hacked and your car ends up in someone else’s living room? What if the elevator tries to park two cars in one space? What is that wet slurping sound I hear? Sounds like lawyers licking their chops!

I imagine the average Porsche Design homeowner, besides being stinkin’ rich and expecting only the finer things in life, probably owns at least two high-end super luxury vehicles that they want to park under mood lighting and in air conditioned comfort. Probably a lot of them actually work in Miami in power jobs, even though I suspect quite a few live care-free, trust funded existences. So maybe a lot of the people who do work might have to leave their lavish habitues at the same time. The elevators hold only one car at a time. And these entitled people are not used to having to wait a couple of minutes to get down to the street. Has Mr. Dezer or Mr. PorscheDesign taken this into consideration?

What do you do when two people with Trump-like personalities want to leave their homes at the same time? How is that prioritized? Is the person who pushes the elevator button first the one who gets the first ride? Do you have to schedule the elevator in advance, like an appointment with your plastic surgeon? What if there are other luxury vehicles waiting ahead of you? What if there are five? That could be an entire five-minute wait for a ride to the street. And you know these are the same people who run their Maseratis through traffic lights just because they think they shouldn’t have to wait for 30 seconds to meet their personal trainers or delay their Elizabeth Arden appointment. Is it just me, or do others see this as possible high-rise mayhem? What will the Dezer employees, the Dezerettes, do when the complaints start coming in?

I picture condo owner meetings erupting in riots with savagery equal to a Trump campaign rally. People will be shouting their reasons why they should have elevator priority over their neighbors. This will no doubt be resolved by the creation of an Elevator Priority Club, which people can join for say, oh, I don’t know, a paltry $200,000 a year. The elevators will all then be reprogrammed, and the most devious of the residents will pay the programmers an extra fist full of cash under the table so that they will be classified as Super-Secret Priority Members of the Elevator Priority Club. Then the outsmarted, jealous, non-Super-Secret owners, in order to sabotage the elevators, will order their valets or personal assistants to place large boulders between the open elevator doors on a lower floor.

And what will residents do when elevator maintenance and the annual elevator inspections take place? Will the Dezerettes, like some deranged IT department, have to schedule down time? What if you have an emergency during the time your elevator is being inspected, or even worse, broken? Do you expect a personality like that to take the stairs and call Uber?  And will the generators be able to keep the elevators running 24/7 after a hurricane hits and cuts the power lines? The PorscheDesign Tower is, after all Atlantic oceanfront property and is considered, how you say—vulnerable—during inclement weather. These inconveniences are not something entitled rich people will take sitting down in their rich Corinthian leather massage chairs. Lawsuits will be filed. People will be forced to find parking for their precious babies in nearby buildings. Havoc will overtake the Dezers and the Dezerettes. The building will have to be razed. The next PorscheDesign building will have no car elevators, but will instead have parking levels just like there are in the rest of the condo buildings in the barrier islands, many of which, unbelievably, are underground. It’s a good thing people who live there are republicans who don’t believe in global warming.
I know, it’s only a fantasy. I’m sure everything will be fine, and no one will be discommoded. No doubt having the status of a PorscheDesign address will outweigh any inconvenience caused by a delayed elevator. There is plenty to do in your car while you wait for your elevator to arrive. For instance, if your car is almost a year old, you can just go online and read reviews of next year’s Porsche 918 Spider.

Just don’t buy a red one. It’ll fade to pink in the sun, should your car ever see it.

No comments:

Post a Comment