All in the Neighborhood…Squid’s Friday night proclivities normally include hunkering down in the lair with the DVR, maybe a book, and lots of shrimp-flavored popcorn. Once in a while, Squid feels inspired to go out and rub tentacles (and/or elbows) with the neighbors at an event or a happy hour. As a translucent cephalopod, Squid is good at blending into the background, but Squid sees some VIPs trying, with varying degrees of success, to blend in. That’s because there are a bunch of VIPs who call Monterey County home, at least part time: former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Beach Boys guitarist Al Jardine, retired baseball pro and car collector Reggie Jackson, financial exec Charles Schwab, Mike Nesmith of The Monkees, screenwriter Graham Yost (Speed, Justified), composer Alan Silvestri, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen.
And yes, of course there’s filmmaker/director/actor/one-time Carmel mayor Clint Eastwood, who made an appearance in an Aug. 23 story in The Hollywood Reporter. Not as a film celeb, mind you, but as someone who set out “to save the land that he cherished.” That is, naturally, code for “developer,” in reference to Tehama, a residential community and golf club perched in the hills between Highway 68 and Carmel Valley Road. Squid was surprised to read that only 30 homes have been built so far (Eastwood’s included) on the 90 lots planned, and 30 lots are still unsold, with asking prices of $1.5 million to $6.3 million—for just the land.
Squid knows there’s a luxury housing market and wasn’t surprised by that price range (suffice it to say it’s more than Squid pays for the lair). What did surprise Squid was real estate agent Rick Ojeda of Compass reportedly dissing neighboring Carmel: “[Ojeda] says comparing the property to other parts of Carmel is like comparing the celebrity-packed enclave of Beverly Park to Bel Air. ‘Don't get me wrong—they're both great,’ he says. ‘But one is of a different caliber.’”
Ojeda, who is based in Los Angeles, tells Squid's colleague he feels like he was misquoted—he didn't mean to sound negative about anywhere in Monterey County, and he uses a more local metaphor. "Monterra is directly next door to us," he says. "It's not Tehama. But you can't say Monterra's bad. It's not, it's beautiful. It doesn't have the same-sized lots, or the double gates."
Squid's lair also doesn't have double gates, so maybe Squid is in good company.
Then The Hollywood Reporter goes on to dis Squid’s other celebrity neighbors: “Other than Eastwood, the area around Monterey hasn't drawn a huge number of A-listers.” Ouch.
Squid is going to work on getting a laminated banner for Squid’s block: “Welcome all B-listers.” As for Squid? Squid will happily claim Squid’s place on the C-list, as in cephalopod.