Thursday, May 04, 2006

Carlsbad In China?

In my previous post about the boorish North County Times columnist and president of Barratt American, Michael D. Pattinson, we give him grief for his new found love of communist China. He makes mention of "California" style homes. I did a little searching and found out just what the heck he was so slap happy about and it'stasty!

Just like the Imagineers at Disneyland recreate the old west via Frontierland the plucky Chinese have recreated a faux Carlsbad! (Actually, the development is called Orange County, China. But since Carlsbad is now a Xerox of the OC the name fits).

Yes folks, this is globalization at it's finest. The blandness, boredom and repression of your typical Stepford wives style southern California gated community has been rebuilt in oppressive communist China. The circle is complete.

From Boing Boing
Posh American neighborhoods recreated as Chinese burbclaves
Orange County, China is a gated community modeled on the posh neighborhood south of Los Angeles of the same name -- it's one of many recreated US neighborhoods springing up in China, including "Soho, Central Park, Palm Springs and Manhattan Gardens." According to the NYT, the houses are "designed by Southern California architects, with model homes decorated by Los Angeles interior designers. The basement pool tables are American. The appliances are imported. The tiles, wood siding and wall sconces are from the United States, too."

There is Sun City, a half-built gated community with echoes of the desert. Then the tidy homes of Orange County come into view. Finally, you drive through a stone portal, past advertisements showing men fly-fishing in cowboy hats, pulling up before the impressive mansions of Watermark-Longbeach, the epicenter of faux L.A. in China.

"I liked it immediately it is just like a house in California," exulted Nasha Wei, a former army doctor turned businesswoman, sitting on a white suede banquette in the four-bedroom home in Orange County (China) she moved into this year.


click for more photos
Photo gallery 2
Communist yuppies with new faux Tudor style homes being built in the background. NO SKATEBOARDING signs to be added later.

Pattinson in China, NCT
And Californians are helping. Chip Pierson of the Solana Beach architects Dahlin Group opened a Beijing office four years ago. They are designing housing projects and winning design competitions across the country. Their most popular homes are exactly the same as those you would see in North County: classic California designs with family rooms, large master suites, exotic bathrooms and high ceilings. Even their real estate ads feature sandy blond models living at the beach.

The Chinese like California homes more than Californians do. The only thing missing is the three- or four-car garage. The Chinese make do with a single garage and a bicycle.

Chip's associate, Miss Lie Fei, showed me three projects named Napa Valley, Yosemite and Forest Hills. Model decorations were designed by Ryan Young Interiors of Chula Vista. Beijing home builder Kum Dai told me he is selling homes for $250,000 to $1 million, and many of his buyers pay cash ---- no mortgage.

Welcome to San Elijo Hills, China. Enjoy your new home but do not attempt to Google Tiananmen Square

Does all this remind anyone else of the tv show Arrested Development when the developer father of the dysfunctional Bluth family sells mini-mansions to Saddam Hussein in Iraq?


  1. Our accountant moved from Encinitas to Carlsbad. Found the new office finally, its in this really surreal office/industrial park. Mentioned to the wife that this place is so out of place it could have been built by Barret America. Looked up and there it was Barret America Headquarters.

  2. No. Way.

    That is a real trip, JP.

    Full circle, down the drain.

  3. I always thought "Mello Roos" had a commmie tone to it.

  4. We do NOT look like Orange County, China or otherwise. We are a Village By The Sea. If you’re going to be insulting then don’t come crying to us for desalinated water in the next drought.

    But seriously, American builders have been making bad copies of European architecture for many years and consumers snap them up (my favorite are those 50s/60’s single level ranchers with the faux “Swiss” adornments). So why shouldn’t Chinese builders and consumers snap up copies of our copies? But don’t get too upset. In 50 years those communities will disappear when the Chinese government builds another giant dam and floods them.

    PS – gotta love the hand cart landscaping ornament!

  5. The desalination plant in Carlsbad will be the biggest white elephant since the still unused recycling plant in San Marcos.

  6. That white elephant will be followed by a new airport. The heyday of frequent air travel is over. Fuel prices are going to be nutz and technology reduces the need to travel for biz.

    Want two runways? The LA basin has several two runway airports, but it doesn't seem make anyone want to move there. Maybe we shouldn't have two runways.

    Wanta bet the BIA doesn't allow a no airport expansion option in the upcoming vote on the airport expansion.

  7. I live in Carlsbad and I've got to say that I'm truly sad that these places are being built in China. If only we still had pre WWII cities still. =(


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