Wretched Excess: Another Ferrari in Malibu
Wretched Excess: Another Ferrari in Malibu
Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, the stretch of highway where that crazy Swedish guy wrecked his rare Ferrari Enzo, snapping off a telephone pole at 162 mph and walking away from it all with just a cut lip. He's been arrested - the Ferrari wasn't really his, he was in the country illegally, he had an unregistered gun in the car, his electronic games company is bankrupt and all sorts of creditors are after him, and he already has a criminal record, having spent time in jail in Europe for fraud and such, before he became the CEO of the electronics thing.
He seemed to think coming to California and pretending he was cool, rich and successful would make it all better. This is where people reinvent themselves, after all. But he drove a bit too fast. It's kind of classic. They write songs about such things, like the Eagles' classic "Life in the Fast Lane" - the words of that number (here) will do nicely.
This is Thursday, May 18, 2006 - late morning with fog off the Pacific a few hundred feet to the left. Note the gas prices here a few feet from Malibu Colony where all the stars live. Business was fine, thank you. It doesn't matter.
Below, across the street at Malibu Creek Plaza, there was this parked by the local Starbucks - a Ferrari 456M. These were produced from 1992 through late 2003, and this may be one of the last, with its front-mounted 436-horsepower 5.5-liter V-12 (no mid-engine crap here), a top speed of 186 mph, and one of the better Pininfarina bodies. The original retail price was just shy of two hundred thirty thousand.
Contrasts - palm trees reflected in the glass, the Just Above Sunset staff Mini, and a surfboard.
Note - they do have brakes. You can slow down, and even stop.
Topic: Light and Shadow
From The Independent (UK), May 17, 2006, this from Marina Bradbury in Paris -
There are no Monet water lilies here, and our default Giverny will have to be Will Rogers Memorial Park on Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills, at the north end of Rodeo Drive. just across the street from the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Polo Lounge and all that. The visuals are similar, except the water lilies we get floating here are a slightly different subspecies of what Monet was painting, lotus blossoms, and the reflections in the water are, here, of palm trees. It'll do. Air France has two or three flights a day from LAX to Paris, non-stop, but these lotus pools are just a short drive down Sunset Boulevard.
Claude Monet's water lilies, among the most celebrated paintings of the Impressionist movement, will be revealed in their original glory when the Orangerie museum in the Paris Tuileries gardens reopens today. Created especially for the museum, the monumental work, entitled Nymphéas, has been hidden from the public eye for six years, during extensive renovations. The giant frieze, made up of eight separate paintings which together stretch almost 600 feet around the gallery, has not been seen in the way the artist intended for more than 40 years.
What you're looking at, in terms of scientific classification -
Species: N. nucifera
Binomial name - Nelumbo nucifera
"One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water." - Bhagavad Gita 5.10
Nelumbo nucifera is known by a number of common names, including Sacred Lotus, Red Lotus, Indian Lotus Bean of India and Sacred Water-lily. Botanically, Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn.) is sometimes known by its former names, Nelumbium speciosum (Willd.), or Nymphaea nelumbo. This plant is an aquatic perennial. In ancient times it was common along the banks of the River Nile in Egypt along with the closely related Sacred Blue Lotus of the Nile (Nymphaea caerulea); and the flowers, fruit and sepals of both were widely depicted as architectural motifs where sacred images were called for. The Pharoic Egyptians venerated the Lotus and used it in worship. From Egypt it was carried to Assyria and became widely planted throughout Persia, India and China. It may also have been locally indigenous throughout Indo-China but there is doubt about this. In 1787 it was first brought into horticulture in Western Europe as a stove-house water-lily under the patronage of Sir Joseph Banks and can be seen in modern botanical garden collections where heating is provided. Today it is rare or extinct in the wild in Africa but widely naturalized in southern Asia and Australia, where it is commonly cultivated in water gardens. It is the National Flower of India.
Ironically, the lotus pools are in the same little park where, on April 7, 1998, George Michael (who sang with the quite forgettable group Wham!) was arrested for performing a lewd act in front of an undercover Beverly Hills cop in the park's public restrooms, a cute little stucco structure with a red tile roof.
Further notes on the park here, saying you should not get this park confused with Will Rogers State Historic Park, six miles west and also on Sunset, Will Rodgers' old ranch. This one is five acres, and that one is enormous, with polo fields you might have seen in "Pretty Woman" and other films. The little park with the lotus pools was a five-acre gift from the Beverly Hills Hotel, in 1915, so the land that became the City of Beverly Hills' first park had been part of the hotel's front lawn. Will Rodgers lived a block away and in the mid-twenties, before he moved down the road to his ranch, he was, informally, the honorary mayor of Beverly Hills. Everybody liked him. After he died the city named this small park after him, even though he had moved out in 1927. No hard feelings.
Trivia from the link -
Good Shepherd is six blocks south and the last time it was in the news was the Frank Sinatra funeral there. Whatever. It doesn't matter.
Actor Michael Caine tells of seeing John Wayne land in a helicopter in this park, then watching the Duke head across the street to the Beverly Hills Hotel - while wearing his cowboy duds! (Caine was surprised that John Wayne recognized him, but apparently he had just seen Caine's hit movie, "Alfie.")
This is the park where rock singer Rod Stewart proposed to his wife, model Rachel Hunter back in 1990. They were later married at the nearby Good Shepherd Church.