Reports have recently come out that Meghan Markle and her husband, who were part of the English Royal Family, are living in a rented mansion in Los Angeles. That in itself isn't what's newsworthy -- they're rich, she's a former actress and actually, you know, from Los Angeles. What's interesting is that they've apparently rented a place that prides itself on being, quote, "paparazzi-proof." Shitty press and paparazzi being their main reason behind leaving England in the first place.
Once you hit a certain level of famous, you begin frothing at the mouth and cursing the minute you see a camera flash, and that's lucrative for housing developments that pride themselves on protecting the residents from unwanted photo ops. So what goes into designing and building one of these places?
Well, if we're talking about Los Angeles, we can't not talk about the local geography. Most of the densely-populated part of town is built in the near-sea-level area in case of, well, pick your natural disaster. It's California. Luckily, there are mountains galore for you. But the more up in the hills you are, the worse the already-godawful cell phone reception gets, and getting in and out of cramped, hilly roads is like the worst level of Mario Kart imaginable. Please enjoy the extra 40 minutes it takes for your pizza delivery to find you.
You wanna live in Malibu? Please do remember that most of Malibu's beaches are public, it's right next to Point Mugu Naval Base, and the Pacific Ocean is absolutely frigid all year round. Beverly Hills? It's right around the corner from Brentwood, and just remember how quickly people knew exactly where OJ's house was. It's also worth remembering that the farther you live from these main drags, such as Santa Monica Blvd. running through Hollywood and Beverly Hills, the more annoying your commute to literally anything is going to be.
And seclusion in New York City? Yeah, right. What are you gonna do, live under a river? Well, close. The trick there is apparently secure underground entrances. That link right there is to an Insider profile of 443 Greenwich in Manhattan, and all the pictures are standard HGTV house-flipping fare. But the realtors know the marble tables and extreme amount of square feet for NYC isn't the selling point. It's the private elevators (one per unit) and wackadoodle entrances you have to go through underground -- the stuff that makes it paparazzi-proof.
Ultimately, the whole private elevator thing seems to be the biggest draw. 443 Greenwich has them, and so do condo projects in Beverly Hills and even this private elevator specifically for your car in Miami, and New York (where one designer calls it "primitive technology"). But aside from the obvious benefit of not having to lug furniture up the steps, which is usually a 1-2 time thing for most people after initially moving in, that elevator shit has to get annoying fast. The place Meghan and Harry are renting supposedly has multiple security gates you have to get through before reaching your own residence. Imagine having to go through TSA before going to your own home.
Everybody has their own individual idea of what price they put on safety and security for themselves and their family. For some, it's a free rock from outside; for others, a $500 handgun; for the rich, it's apparently a $50,000,000 penthouse designed to irritate you every step of the way.
Top Image: Shutterbug75/Pixabay