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Victoria & Oprah
updated: Feb 17, 2013, 12:00 PM

By John Wiley

Flying over town yesterday, I checked on the changes to Victoria Hall and Oprah's cottage in Montecito. Now that they're working on the Hall's theater stage, the parking lot is even more disrupted. You can also see that things are moving along at the project across the street next to the Arlington. I did the Oprah remodel in 3D so you can see all the scaffolding (if you can cross your eyes to see 3D). The last pic is before the remodel for comparison, back in January 2011.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 12:34 PM

Thats the thing about Flying you see it all..


 COMMENT 375419 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 12:43 PM

Considering you can do the same thing on Google maps or Bing maps, I don't really see the harm.


 FIRST DISTRICT agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 12:56 PM

I appreciate the info.


 COMMENT 375433 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 01:15 PM

I never tried that 3D thing before! Neat trick!

As for privacy, not only can you see the same things on Google Earth, you can see them when flying in an airplane or helicopter. Perfectly legal.


 JOHN WILEY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 01:33 PM

I figured there would be comments about privacy, and am glad to see it mentioned due to my own mixed feelings on the topic. As noted in this and many other Edhat discussions (and global dialog), we're already well into a new era. It seems to me that we've already changed more than just the definition of privacy in terms of photography. It's relatively easy to intercept our conversations, and by monitoring our activities and locations even predict our thoughts and actions. How many of us read the terms and conditions of our purchases and online activities?

Back when satellites first crossed national boundaries, cold war tensions were reduced because military capabilities and movements could be monitored. The project that periodically photographs our coast has stopped illegal projects. Are there benefits to our redefined privacy?

Both fixed and mobile a/v recording devices are everywhere including in UAVs. By not challenging the pervasive and massive changes brought by countless new technologies, have we relinquished control over our evolution as a species? Is privacy (and thus individuality) an illusion?


 COMMENT 375445P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 01:36 PM

Was at the cell phone store and was told "privacy is an illusion." Or is it a delusion? Don't know the difference. Am appreciative of John's owning up to this issue and also expanding the discussion.


 JOHN WILEY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 01:47 PM

For anyone concerned about Edhat aerial photos showing too much detail of private homes, you might want to learn about an online service named Google. Type the three words "oprah montecito home" into the search bar (or for your convenience, click this).

Helicopters have basically no distance restrictions and some are equipped with video cameras that can read your lips from a mile away. UAVs can fly even closer, completely undetected.

My own concern is not about people flying over in planes or helicopters (tho the noise of helicopters bugs me, when they circle low over an area). I'm worried about UAVs, hidden cameras, and what happens when control of our lives is given over to corporations, governments and individuals because too few of us question the changes.


 JOHN WILEY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 02:00 PM

445P, there was a campy (especially in light of today's technology) sci fi movie in the 1960s named Colossus that ended with a computer voice saying, "What you call freedom is an illusion."

As my daughter used to ask on long journeys, "Are we there yet?" :)


 COMMENT 375468P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 02:11 PM

That is cool to see Oprah's now & then photos, the 3D new one seems prettier, looks like copper on the roof and a changed front.

I also appreciate seeing the Victoria Hall - yeah it sure messes up the parking lot.

The old Von's area next to the Arlington is interesting too, since we can't see any of it from the street easily. OK, we can't see Oprah's from the Street at all! Thanks for our expanded viewing from your plane :)


 COMMENT 375470P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 02:17 PM

John - Thanks for your thoughtful discussion and for brining this to the attention of others. We really are losing our privacy in numerous ways - most of which the general public have no idea about.


 JOHN WILEY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 02:31 PM

468P, I wondered if anyone would notice the copper. I'm curious what it's for, since it probably won't be visible except from the air. Maybe something related to a solar installation? I put a larger version on my Photo Page where you can get a better look at the copper.


 COMMENT 375551P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 09:26 PM

JW: You really shouldn't be telling people there is copper on Oprah's property. Isn't that an invitation to rob the joint?

Also: Thank you for telling us about the choppers with lipreaders and such aboard. All these years, I thought my middle finger efforts were only for my own satisfaction. I hope every single one of those jerks flying over my garden can see me telling them to f--- off!


 COMMENT 375564P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 11:33 PM

551 - LOL, Ya, they are going to rob her house for the copper, and not the priceless artwork, jewelry and other items in the 50 million dollar house.


 COMMENT 375577P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-18 06:30 AM

There seems to be excessive air travel over the city of SB. The noise from helicopters and small private aircraft has really become a problem. For a city that supposedly restricts leaf blowers because of noise and pollution, I am surprised that noisy aircraft are not kept out of the airspace. I think the mtns./hills make the sounds even louder. SB City should become a 'no-fly' zone so we can restore some peace and quiet for its residents.


 COMMENT 375618P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-18 08:50 AM

The author's defense of his own behavior is interesting. Doesn't like the noise of helicopters, etc. but ignores that the noise of small planes is offensive as well. Thinks that privacy has disappeared in modern society so he might as well give a final push? I used to live near the Oprah house and I am not a celebrity but was abused by the helicopters and planes which were constantly over the neighborhood to convenience real estate agents and tourists as well as the super rich who liked to fly home and avoid the nasty streets we used. Now I live in SB and on weekends when I want to enjoy my backyard I regularly find I cannot listen to my radio for long periods of time as small loud planes and helicopters intrude. Certainly some public good comes from the use of emergency air but mostly it is just self-indulgence that is served. In my view it is pretty much the same as farting in an occupied room just because you are too lazy to walk outside.


 COMMENT 375671P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-18 10:08 AM

Biily G might be pleased to see the creeping fig banished from the retaining walls of the rear courtyard!


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