THE BLOG
01/03/2014 02:21 pm ET Updated Mar 05, 2014

A Skewed Realty Reality, In Northern California

Be It Ever So Humble

My Santa Cruz dwelling is a two-bedroom, one-bath town home, with 950-square feet, which is sufficient for my wife and me.

The affluent city of Piedmont is about 75 miles north, and it is surrounded by the not-so-affluent city of Oakland. A wealthy Piedmont homeowner commissioned a designer to create a 1,500-square foot, sports man-cave playroom in his home. Within this one room sits a pool table, two flat-screen TVs at both ends, baseball stadium seats, framed sports jerseys, baseball caps and other memorabilia. This should help the Yankee fan owner to diffuse any ennui he may have, and be able to entertain his friends in a suitable fashion.

Room with No View
A parking space in an enclosed garage near the Giants AT&T baseball park in San Francisco, recently sold for $82,000. The alternative is to spend the going rate of $400 to $450 a month, for such a space in the trendy area.

At a Loss for Words
After Twitter's IPO, 1,600 workers became instant millionaires, its CEO's stake was worth in excess of $300 million, and its co-founders became billionaires. Twitter has never made a profit, and its losses in the third quarter totaled $65 million.

Brother Can You Spare $8,000
According to Forbes magazine, the highest median home price in the nation is $6,665,231 in Zip Code 94027 in Atherton, just north of the Silicon Valley. Seven other cities in the area are listed in the top twenty-three rankings, and that's perhaps why Barak Hussein Obama makes frequent fund-raising forays to the Bay Area. When he stopped by for two such events in April, Atherton ran up expenses of $8,000 to cover protecting the President. The town sent invoices to the White House, the Secret Service and the two Atherton households that hosted the private fundraisers, but have received no reimbursements. Town officials say although there are many fat cats in Atherton, its government budget is lean.

It's Only Money
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, with a net worth of $19 billion (give or take $500 million), bought four homes adjacent to his own 5,617 square foot pad in Palo Alto, for more than $30 million in total. He did so to maintain his privacy after learning that a developer was going to buy one of the properties and build a large house, and market it as being next to Mark's.

Along with Zuckerberg, Northern California is the home of Oracle's Larry Ellison, third on the Forbes list of the richest Americans with a net worth of $41 billion, but may be worrying a bit about the rising price of a gallon of gas. His pay package for fiscal 2013 declined 18 percent to $78.4 million. Google's co-founder Larry Page has a net worth of $24.9 billion, and co-founder Sergey Brin is at $24.4 billion. Here's a question that a gas station attendant may want to ask, "How did Page get $500 million up on Brin, and will Brin do anything about it?"