Show Me the Money
By Chris Connolly
(page 1 of 2)Rich is a state of mind. Okay, it’s also a state of bank account—but just because you’re currency-challenged doesn’t mean you can’t live the good life. If you’re slightly morally bankrupt, you can really cash in. So what if you don’t actually have a million bucks? These tips will get you through until your “lottery investments” mature.
Clothes Make the Mansion
When you dress like a million bucks, people think you have a million bucks. So the first thing you’ll need is some affluent attire. Buffalo Exchange (619-298-4411) and Wear It Again Sam (619-299-0185), on Hillcrest’s ultra-fashionable Fifth Avenue, are two of the best used-clothing shops in San Diego. (Bonus: They’re across the street from one another, so you can save gas money. Cha-ching!) Sift through the racks until you find some vintage eveningwear. This will give you that “old money” air, and throw the glitterati off your cent—or lack thereof.
Of course, once you’re all dolled up you’ll need someplace to go. Not that we’ve ever done it, but we hear nursing a drink at the Four Seasons Resort Aviara is a great way to see and be seen without spending too much green. After taking a tipple, see if you can score some $20 “rush tickets” to the opera. Sure it’s upper-balcony seating on the side. But since people only see you at, um, what’s it called? ... oh, yeah, halftime, no one can tell you have a lousy seat.
In California, you are what you drive. And since you don’t wish to be perceived as the 1972 orange Chevy Vega that you are, you’re gonna need some real wheels. Symbolic Motor Car Company (inside tip: It’s symbolic of $$$) in La Jolla (858-454-1800) stocks Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini and more. Cush Jaguar (858-541-0200) stocks, well, Jaguars. While you obviously couldn’t acquire so much as a windshield wiper from one of these cash wagons in any permanent sense, that doesn’t mean you can’t borrow one for a test drive. Head down to the dealer, introduce yourself as Blaire Winthrop Thurston IV, and off you go. Who knows, if you make it big in real estate, next year you might buy it. Then you’ll need to go...
Pull up to any real estate agent’s office in your shiny new Bentley Arnage and you’ll get faster and friendlier service than at any In-N-Out drive-through. But where does a moneyed monsieur like you look for his château? Personally, we’d go see Alain Perez of Coldwell Banker (858-342-4169). His company is handling the hot $24 million 7-acre estate in Rancho Santa Fe. It’s the most expensive listing in the area’s history and, if one of your chums from the club hasn’t already snapped it up, would serve nicely as a weekend getaway, or a place to store your art and stuff.
A Rich day at the Hotel Del
If you happen to be in the hotel bar during the ides of February, there’s the possibility of insinuating yourself into the annual Charity Ball. No reason, of course, other than the fact that it’s a benefit for Children’s Hospital. Come on, man, that’s low even for you. (You should send some sort of donation, at least.) In fact, you’ll feel richer, and won’t go straight to hell if you...
Go to the Polo Matches
Nothing makes you look richer faster than leaping astride your steed and galloping after a little ball with a giant hammer in your hand. Nothing, that is, except for sitting on the sidelines complaining about your gout and watching other people leap astride their steeds and gallop off after a little ball with giant hammers in their hands. Fortunately, watching polo is one of the easier affectations we recommend. From April to October, for only $5 general admission plus another $5 in parking, you can view the games in Rancho Santa Fe. (Hey! That’s near that house you almost bought!) For all you first-time polo-watchers: Popular activities include clapping sedately with your gloves clutched in one hand; shouting “Well struck, Chester!” whenever a player hits the ball; and fervently hoping someone falls off his horse and breaks his rich-guy neck.
Until your ship comes in, yachting will probably remain a prohibitively expensive hobby. Fortunately, California Cruisin’ (800-449-2248) will be glad to let you glide around the glassy waters for an afternoon at an affordable one-time cost of $250 to $300 per hour (two-hour minimum) for a 12-person motor yacht. Split the sum with some fellow faux fat cats and you’ll even be able to afford some champagne. Talk about smooth sailing!
There’s nothing rich folk enjoy more than wearing funny pants and banging balls into the Pacific Ocean. And there’s no better place to tackle this time-honored tradition than San Diego’s own Torrey Pines Golf Course, site of the 2008 U.S. Open and occasional stomping grounds of loaded über-golfer Tiger Woods. Luckily for us commoners, Torrey Pines is a public course, so the experience of slicing a ball into the rough and then flinging your club off the Pines’ majestic, austere cliffs is available to anyone. Just make sure to get there early. The course’s avid addicts often arrive at the crack of midnight to ensure they get a tee time.