February 24, 2013

The Big Unsort: Bradbury, California

Looking around for the richest municipality in America, I stumbled upon one candidate: the tiny town of Bradbury, CA, which sounds like it ought to have its own soap opera: "Dallas" as directed by David Lynch. 

Bradbury, population 1000+ is mostly two gated communities in Southern California's San Gabriel Valley, in the foothills beneath Mount Baldy.

Bill Bishop's 2008 book The Big Sort documented the trend that Americans are sorting themselves out geographically by social class. But Bradbury seems to consist of people who are filthy rich (one Bradbury home is on sale for $79 million), like riding horses, and haven't been rubbed smooth by modern America's class-formation process: drag racers,  televangelists, civil rights entrepreneurs, hamburger heiresses, Saudi princes, Dominican sluggers of uncertain age, racehorse trainers, Chinese exiles, jockeys, Caltech geniuses, and faith healers.

Here's an augmented version of Wikipedia's list of prominent Bradburyians:
  • Yang Rong, billionaire Chinese automotive tycoon, formerly third richest businessman in China before his hasty departure [13]
  • Peter Popoff, televangelist and faith healer exposed by James Randi, now focusing on African American market[14]
  • Babe Dahlgren (deceased), baseball player, replaced Lou Gehrig after 2,130 straight games at first base for the Yankees[14]
  • Mickey Thompson (deceased), drag race driver, murdered at his estate in Bradbury in 1988; 19 years later his business partner was convicted[14]

Stan Williams is the winner of the 2000 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology. I think Richard Feynman would have liked this place.

52 comments:

jody said...

i think atherton was the wealthiest zip code, for a while anyway.

Anonymous said...

Televangelists, so-called 'civil rights' professional bullshitters.

The dark,dark ugly underbelly of criminal America.
I'd rather have John Gotti as my neighbor - he's cleaner, but, mind you, don't what ever you do drive carelessly and accidentally run over his son.

Anonymous said...

Melissa Scott is kinda hot.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Ok, this is completely OT. Well, maybe a little on-topic since this blog post is about neighborhoods.

Anyhow, I've got a neat little trick to make disingenuous white liberals get really uncomfortable with unavoidable crimethink but leave no fingerprints that I'm a heretic.

Whenever the subject/topic (or even the term) of "dangerous neighborhoods" or "dangerous areas" comes up, I always, quite innocently, say something like:

"Jeez, you know one of the things I really like about East Asia is that this idea of 'bad areas' doesn't even exist".

Maybe even drive home the point noting that in my neck of East Asia (Japan), that you can pretty much go anywhere in a nation of 120 million just about any time of the day or night and not have to worry about getting slaughtered randomly on the sidewalk.

Pointing out that having no-go zones is actually the same as having combat areas in your cities...

I present this like an abstraction, not a resentment, like, wow, isn't that cool that some people can live without this millstone of "bad areas" hanging over urban life all the time.

This really gets the white liberals confounded, as they start thinking guilty thoughts. And even worse, they'd love to have cities that are perfectly safe - typical Japanese city makes Portland look like Detroit.

Anyhow, I've refined this over the years, and it is murderously effective. And I've never had anyone even think to try hanging the racist tag on me or the comment.

Anonymous said...

Funny, you refer to "In-n-Out-burger". I never knew about the chain until I saw it on a social media site as a 'like' by one of the Brenninkmeyer's, a famous Dutch Catholic billionaire family. He mistakenly added me as a friend. I thought it was weird for someone so upper class to like something as prole as a fastfood chain. Anyway, I figured everybody must like a snack.

I guess, now I got a hint what he liked about it, the "in-n-out-burger" chain's got some good old money attached to it, young heirs like him. He basicly befriended a friend. It might be coincidental, but I don't think so.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Those people are so wildly different from each other I can't imagine them interacting outside owners' association meetings (which are probably done via e-mail). It's just a place where the super-rich build their dream crashpads and can helicopter their friends and family in.

stari_momak said...

" Dominican sluggers of uncertain age"

OT, but there's this station in the LA area called 'THIS', Cox carries it as a substation to KTLA. The show a lot of B movies from the 1960s and 1970s, which I think are actually better for social analysis than 'A' movies. Anohoo, they have been running a add for Testosterone replacement or supplement or something featuring Hose Canseco. I thought that was pretty funny and appropriate.

Gene Scott was great, a giant in Southern California of 20-30 years ago.

Truth said...

Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Steve-O?

UPROOT THE SAILERS AND RE-LOCATE, BAY-BEE, FINANCIAL LEMARCKISIM!

Alfa 158 said...

And this is in an area that does not have the best climate and air quality. Imagine what any of the Palos Verdes communities with their climate and views would be worth if they had come up with the same formula of multi-acre lots plus gated community. PV properties are already getting their own influx of expatriate Chinese doggy chew-toy tycoons even though the parcels are smaller and generally non-gated.

Svigor said...

Gated communities are almost certainly on an upswing in America. Even if just in the sense that as we import Mexico's population, we'll become more like Mexico, where gated communities are very popular.

The Wikipedia entry on gated communities is pretty interesting. Choice quotes:

Mexico

Mexico has both the largest population of gated community dwellers in the world and the largest number of gated community dwellers as a percentage of national population. It is estimated that there are 56.8 million Mexicans living in gated communities as of 2010. Gated communities in Mexico are a result of the huge income gap existing in the country. A 2008 study found that the average income in an urban area of Mexico was $26,654, a rate higher than advanced nations like South Korea or Taiwan while the average income in rural areas (sometimes just miles away) was only $8,403. This close a proximity of wealth and poverty has created a large perceived security risk for Mexico's middle class. Gated communities can be found in virtually every medium and large sized city in Mexico with the largest found in major cities, such as Monterrey, Mexico City or Guadalajara.


What with all the beheadings and such, I think the lefty scum at Wikipedia can drop the "perceived" part.

United States

Most gated communities in the U.S. are unincorporated—some, like Indiana's Briar Ridge, may even span more than one incorporated municipality—but uniquely, there are several incorporated gated cities in Southern California, namely Bradbury, Canyon Lake, Hidden Hills, Laguna Woods and Rolling Hills. To meet legal requirements, the city halls and municipal facilities are public, and private corporations own parks and other facilities within the gates. By 1997, an estimated 20,000 gated communities had been built across the country. Approximately 40% of new homes in California are behind walls. In 1997, estimates of the number of people in gated communities ranged from 4 million in 30,000 communities up to around 8 million, with a ½ million in California alone.


[...]

Hot Springs Village, Arkansas is the largest gated community in the United States with over 26,000 heavily-wooded acres. HSV is governed by the HSV Property Owners' Association (POA), a private, tax-exempt home owners association.

Anonymous said...

at least it's richard mandella & not his brother nelson :)panjoomby

Reg Cæsar said...

"Lynsi"? How shallow must a family be to bestow a name like that?

Lindsay may be approaching Michaela and Madison as the most often and ridiculously mispelled name.

Oh, well... At least it isn't Quvenzhané.

Anonymous said...

Why so many drag racers? I thought that was a low tech prole hobby for junk yard rats. You just patch a supercharged Cummins engine onto a go cart, find a mile long paved flat surface, and trust to luck.

Fun said...

Bishop thinks people are sorting themselves by common interests, beliefs, and ideology; these things are related to class origin, but not identical. There are a lot of nouveau riche occupations in your list. Maybe that's the commonality. These people might feel out of place in some east coast WASP enclave.

Teddy said...

Gosh, sounds like an anti-white paradise.

Anonymous said...

http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2013/02/25/donald-richie/

Anonymous said...

It would be even funnier if some of these millionaire televangelists had writers of "blasphemous" fantasy literature and role-playing games as their neighbours.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit I don't get Bradbury. It's hell and gone from any place interesting, it's in a section of the San Gabriel front range that isn't even that pretty, and you're still in California and forced to pay ungodly state income taxes unlike all those rich enclaves in Florida or Nevada.

If you want to live in California and have an ungodly huge estate and ride horses, you're better off in Agoura Hills or Monte Nido with Will Smith and Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson as neighbors. It's prettier and much closer to decent restaurants and entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Drag racing started out as a low buck prole hobby but is now Big Money and has been for decades. Bonneville salt flats speed competition is still largely low buck prole, though. As is, bizarrely enough, air racing-the Unlimiteds are seven figure but F1 and Sport Biplane are campaigned by union workers and retirees.

Steve Sailer said...

There used to be 2 dozen drag strips in Southern California, but now there are 3 left, Pomona, Fontana, and Irwindale, all more or less in the San Gabriel Valley.

SoCal was pretty much the home of drag racing in the postwar era. I was a big fan when I was about 9 -- Big Daddy Don Garlits going 240.00 mph in 1968 was very exciting.

Anonymous said...

the "in-n-out-burger" chain's got some good old money attached to it, young heirs like him

The In-N-Out heiress doesn't count as "old money".

Steve Sailer said...

"It's just a place where the super-rich build their dream crashpads and can helicopter their friends and family in."

No doubt, but it would be fun to imagine them all in constant contact with each other. TV writers -- feeling inspired?

Always Helpful said...

@Truth:
"FINANCIAL LEMARCKISIM!"

Truth, it's at least the second time that you misspell this name (probably more). This is not good for your image of an intelligent and well-read black guy. Get it right! It's "Lamarck".

Anonymous said...

"There used to be 2 dozen drag strips in Southern California, but now there are 3 left, Pomona, Fontana, and Irwindale, all more or less in the San Gabriel Valley."

That's consistent with the transformation of drag racing from prole hobby to elite prestige sport. Probably has everything to do with the devolution of car mechanics from tinkerers and machinists to DeVry technicians and parts hangers as auto systems became increasingly CAN bus controlled.

Kaz said...

Haha oh wow televangelists are up there huh..

Looks like religion is still good for one thing, fleecing stupid people.

carol said...

This really gets the white liberals confounded, as they start thinking guilty thoughts.

Oh, BS. If they think about it they can no doubt blame the white power structure here for causing the problems of the underclass. IOW "us."

E. Rekshun said...

In the early '80s some of the teens in my middle class Boston suburb raced our 60s muscle cars at New England Dragway on Wednesday night street-legal night. I was somewhat of a star among my peers for turning a 14.0 flat in my '69 Camaro.

Anonymous said...

Televangelists, so-called 'civil rights' professional bullshitters.

The dark,dark ugly underbelly of criminal America.
I'd rather have John Gotti as my neighbor - he's cleaner, but, mind you, don't what ever you do drive carelessly and accidentally run over his son.


But at least John Gotti minds his own business if you mind yours. Can't say the same about TVangelists and anti-white fascists.

Truth said...

""Jeez, you know one of the things I really like about East Asia is that this idea of 'bad areas' doesn't even exist".

Maybe even drive home the point noting that in my neck of East Asia (Japan), that you can pretty much go anywhere in a nation of 120 million just about any time of the day or night and not have to worry about getting slaughtered randomly on the sidewalk."

LMAO! Yeah, but you can't do it in London or Moscow!

Dsgntd_Plyr said...

Why so many jockeys? You can make more money in other sports. Do jockeys just hang-out with the right sort of wealthy people to know about this town?

Mike said...

""Jeez, you know one of the things I really like about East Asia is that this idea of 'bad areas' doesn't even exist".

That's honestly hard to even comprehend. I go almost everywhere in LA but I am aware when I'm in Watts that I may need to fight and when I'm in Santa Monica I don't even think about it.

Anonymous said...

"LMAO! Yeah, but you can't do it in London or Moscow!"

I don't believe the example of London really helps your argument.

Gilbert P.

josh said...

Melissa Scott widow of televangelist Gene sScott. Man,I LOVED Gene Scott. hhe was completely out of his mind.sad that he is dead,and his widda living on the cash he made with his "teachin's!!"

Geoff Matthews said...

""Jeez, you know one of the things I really like about East Asia is that this idea of 'bad areas' doesn't even exist".

There were unsafe areas of Glasgow 20 years ago.

Back then, the immigrant neighborhoods were safe. Mainly Pakistanis/Indians with small businesses. Middle-class folk. Don't know if this has changed.

Anonymous said...

"LMAO! Yeah, but you can't do it in London or Moscow!"

London, no. Moscow, yes. But we may never know why...

Truth said...


I don't believe the example of London really helps your argument.

Well, London is 15% black and Harlem is 77%, you tell me:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-111162/Now-mugging-worse-London-Harlem.html

Anonymous said...

"Well, London is 15% black and Harlem is 77%, you tell me:"

Add 5% mixed-race (Afro-White), plus 20% South Asian (according to Wiki). Hardly Whiteopia.

GP

Anonymous said...

"I don't believe the example of London really helps your argument."

Nothing helps his argument.

Truth said...

"Add 5% mixed-race (Afro-White), plus 20% South Asian (according to Wiki). Hardly Whiteopia."

...And add 22% Afro-White (Caribbean) mix in Harlem

Truth said...

"London, no. Moscow, yes. But we may never know why..."

London, no; Moscow, no, and no, maybe not...

http://themoscownews.com/crime/20101206/188259382.html

Ex Submarine Officer said...

That's honestly hard to even comprehend. I go almost everywhere in LA but I am aware when I'm in Watts that I may need to fight and when I'm in Santa Monica I don't even think about it.

That is the reaction I got a few times years ago when I brought up this subject innocently....

Educated Americans can't even envision a life that doesn't involve having a hostile other in their midst, either locally or at least in the big cities of their country.

Really doesn't even compute for some people. Having spent a lot of time in Japan, etc, from a young age, I took this for granted, but I was surprised to find that many seemingly educated Americans actually found it hard to believe that place as large as Japan, nearly half the population of the U.S., really didn't have anything that amounted to a "dangerous area", at least to the extent that we Americans understand it (i.e, for some people, there is a non-neglible risk to their lives by residents of a "bad area" just walking down the street).

Anonymous said...

Ex Submarine Officer, I live in Hong Kong, and I know *exactly* what you mean. Several responses on this thread are cases in point, i.e. in that commenters don't quite seem to grasp the essence of what you're saying. I've seen it when I try to explain to visitors to HK that they really can relax and not get worried if they get lost or take the wrong bus or whatever -- no matter where in the city they end up, they'll be just fine, even in the middle of the night. They really don't need to 'put their guard up' at any point.

I sometimes also try to play up this same line of argument by asking fellow Americans what price they'd be willing to pay for the kind of street-level safety the better Asian cities such as HK, Singapore and Tokyo/Osaka have to offer.

Another good entry point is when a visitor expounds on how wonderful the public transport is here (and it is really good). You can then talk density, government regulation/subsidy, etc., but it's also an excellent time to ask just why Americans cling so bitterly to their cars, even when taking a bus might be more convenient, and certainly cheaper and more environmentally sound and . . . and a lot of conversational non sequiturs then tend to crop up.

Anonymous said...

"The In-N-Out heiress doesn't count as "old money"."

The internet is a rich resource to find large masses of people who never fail to miss the point.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Another good entry point is when a visitor expounds on how wonderful the public transport is here (and it is really good).

Oooh, yeah, that's another one. The Japanese train system is, IMO, one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

They tell you, and apologize, if the train is going to be even 1 minute late. And that doesn't happen very often.

But beyond that, about the worst thing that might happen on a train there is a drunk salaryman nods off and leans on you.

People don't even smell bad there, everyone bathes and most people seem to have enough consideration to not wear too much perfume, unlike certain Americans who seem to put it on w/a paint roller.

And they keep quiet and subdued.

Then I come back and ride Wash DC metro - loud, obnoxious swearing by smelly people in cars that are disgustingly filthy. I think the people in DC get used to it, but when I first come back, it is a total shock for a while, I feel like I've entered a dystopia.

Anonymous said...

"What with all the beheadings and such, I think the lefty scum at Wikipedia can drop the "perceived" part."

the beheadings will continue until morality improves.

"Educated Americans can't even envision a life that doesn't involve having a hostile other in their midst, either locally or at least in the big cities of their country."

it doesn't make for good cinema, media, soaps; do you think the weird japanese fetish for animes is just a co-incidence?

Svigor said...

Nothing helps his argument.

Not making arguments helps his argument, a fact he's learned well.

Anonymous said...

Steve, how can you mention Big Daddy Garlits without bringing up "Snake" Prudhomme and "Mongoose" McEwen? I remember the epic Hot Wheels battles with my brother based on that Sixties rivalry, his Barracuda against my Duster.

Anonymous said...

"London, no; Moscow, no, and no, maybe not..."

Throw in Detroit, and we're good to go!

the high cost of being left alone said...

I can't see how it fits into the Robin Hanson farmer/forager dialectic but I also doubt Sailer can successfully shoehorn this into his Old Weird America notion of how CA (particularly the southern valleys & basin) is somehow by natural disposition supposed to be.

In the past 2 decades it's been transformed into something like an EU member state except with a lower-quality work force. Then these oddballs in Bradbury, who are merely the local variant of South American-style kleptocratic tycoons or "minor celebrity" gentry.

Truth said...

"Not making arguments helps his argument, a fact he's learned well."

Yep, but that doesn't stop the Right-side-IQ-curvers here from constantly challenging the arguments I haven't made!

Anonymous said...

There is a large very expensive assisted living community in Bradbury (I'll never afford to live there). I suppose that boosts the percentage of white folk in the community.

scott davidson said...

How about this for a design for a wall painting, in the tried-and-true Art Nouveau style?: http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8BWN3L, by the famous English artist, Audrey Beardsley himself. You can also order a canvas print of the picture from wahooart.com.