Palm beach Luxury Militarization

The picturesque island of Palm Beach is a playground for the richest of the rich. 3.9 miles of high end designer shops, resorts, restaurants, and million dollar homes make up this tiny island which attracts billions of dollars of wealth each year. Growing up just twenty minutes West of the island I often explored the beaches and gardens watching the snowbirds and tourists come and go with the season, nothing could be farther from a war zone, but the nuanced militarization of the island and similarities to the middle age's feudal system have always been interesting to me.

Hedges as Barricades

The beautiful barricades of Palm Beach and the protective walls and sandbags of conflict.

These hedges are everywhere on the island concealing homes, country clubs, and golf courses. They are so expansive and detailed that at any point of the year the people you'll see most of on the island are landscape workers maintaining them. The interesting thing about these hedges is that they are beautiful barricades protecting those on the inside from the outside. They are agents of privacy while also providing security in an attractive way.

Gates and Checkpoints

The gates of Palm Beach homes, U.S Military bases, and a fort in Belgium.

Gates on the island are another way to show off immense wealth and status. Ornately designed and imposing in person, these gates, like the hedges serve the double purpose of privacy and appealing design, they are reminders that there is something on the inside to protect from the outside. Though not pictured, gates are usually supplemented with high end security cameras or even a small guardhouse with a small security team.

Moats and watchtowers

Lastly, I couldn't help but notice the similarities the Okeechobee bridge had to a moat and castle from the middle ages, reinforcing the idea that palm beach was, separate, unique, and more valued than the land to the west. The Mar-a-lago tower also resembles the tower of an ancient castle or a lookout point. A luxurious paradise for the wealthy utilizes militarization to protects those on the inside from the outside.

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