Crazypants translator, or Alba Elephantis

January 18, 2021 § 11 Comments

Cyclists who remember the anti-cycling campaign by divorcee-hermit-turned-pariah Robert L. Chapman, Jr., are now getting the last laugh as they watch his white elephant languish on the real estate market for the absurd price of $9.5M. The fun is even better because he’s been trying to unload this stinker since shortly after buying it, with what appears to be at least one failed attempt in 2011, when the owner sought a whopping $10.9M for one of the few properties in Palos Verdes Estates that continues to lose market value as time goes by as compared to appreciation of prices in PVE as a whole. Needless to say, there were no takers.

An objective observer might think the owner has been desperate to get out of this gilded dump for going on ten years. If the house was bought in 2007, that means it took a mere four years for Chapman to presumably sour on the crowds, the police reports, the problems with neighbors, and the ongoing party palace down belowr, all “extras” that a buyer can expect with the purchase of 612 Paseo del Mar. Savvy buyers have taken a pass on this overpriced lump of garish bad taste, and there’s no suggestion that what was ugly then has somehow become beautiful now.

Lonely old man’s best friend! Also note, $9.5M home with $50 Salvation Army decor, replete with sag-bottom chair.

Doesn’t look like 2021 is going to be any better. Now, mired in the muck of a collapsing market, this albatross of a fixer-upper which is too expensive to tear down, too expensive to remodel, and too ugly to live in, is struggling in the one market that always seems to win. Exceptions prove the rule …

In an attempt to get some sucker to bite, a failed real estate copywriter, perhaps Chapman, has penned this write-up of what Chapman has laughably named “Villa Activista,” but which the market refers to as “Alba Elephantis.”

To protect the public from the silliness with which Alba Elephantis is being marketed, I pulled down sections of the the website and have provided a handy translator for the crazypants marketing hokum used to lure unsuspecting sods into buying this millstone.

 Villa Activista is a trophy property located at 612 Paseo del Mar – the intersection of Bluff and Malaga Coves in Palos Verdes Estates, California. This absolutely authentic French-Italian villa was built sedulously upon nearly an acre on the prime block of the most prestigious street in the city … Villa Activista’s fortunate owners look out unobstructed upon spectacular natural scenery but remain inconspicuous to the outside world.

Crazypants translator: Has CP ever seen a French-Italian villa? No? Let us help! View the photos below and compare with CP’s “absolutely authentic French-Italian villa.”

CP Translator: “Spectacular natural scenery” in this case means “gorgeous ocean view with ringside view of endless traffic jams, stripping surfers, and party house down below regularly filled with partying rentals.” Another hilarious word he uses is the “Acropolis effect,” emphasizing that in Alba Elephantis you will be perched above the teeming masses. That is actually true. But he neglects the other half of the “Acropolis effect,” which is that sound waves travel up, so you get to hear all the fascinating conversations down below. Morning coffee with a cursing fistfight? Check. Glass of wine in the evening hearing people talk about their epic surf sesh? Check. All-day-long prattle by the public wafting up through your open windows and doors? Check, check, check. So exclusive and privy to start your day with “Fuckin’ killer shit man!”


In the case of Villa Activista, this ocean view mirroring Italy’s Amalfi Coast is the focal point from nearly every room in the house.

CP Translator: Ah, yes, mirrors the Amalfi Coast … What he means is “apes, and fails to copycat Amalfi.” Folks, the PV Peninsula is pretty, but it’s hardly a world-class destination. Comparing this heavily developed, tiny stretch of coastline replete with eyesores, no culture, no cuisine, and the hideous traffic getting in and out of PV with the Amalfi Coast is hucksterism of the worst sort. What the author means is “another faux Italian home designed to fool people who’ve never been to Italy.”

The real Amalfi

Horcada Hill homes’ [sic] have a front-row seat to an everchanging [sic] show of sea life, boats and paddleboarders.

CP Translator: Fucking surfers and traffic everywhere, morning to night, whenever there’s surf. Which there usually is. Note: Who in their right mind wants a front row seat to boats and paddleboarders? Isn’t the point of expensive homes to have “unobstructed views of nature”?

Ever changing scenery!

Privacy and Peace Perfectly Protected:  612 Paseo del Mar’s massive land size of nearly one acre, combined with its landscaping and dwelling’s positioning on a sloping lot, gives its residents the ultimate in peace and privacy on top of privileged vicinity to Bluff Cove … The Palos Verdes Estates Police Department headquartered a mere two minute drive down Palos Verdes Drive West deepens one’s foundation for peace of mind.  Unlike other neighborhoods further away, squad cars patrol this neighborhood with frequency akin to a private security force.

CP Translator: The area swarms with outsiders, so it takes every bit of design to screen out the saggy tummies and jockstraps. Years of reports to the police department have resulted in constant security patrols due to constant fears of crime. The privacy is a fantasy and the fear of intrusions are real. Also, Alba Elephantis has a public-access dirt path that leads from Via Horcada down to the bluff, a handy shortcut for surfers, visitors, amateur photographers, gawkers, and others who want to park in front your home and easily walk to the “surfers paradise.”


With real estate being all about “location, location, location,” from Villa Activista one goes from gazing at to [sic] splashing inthe [sic] ocean after merely a skip across the street.  Imagine not having to load the car to hit one of L.A. [sic] “raddest” surf spots:  Bluff Cove.  Also known as Little Waikiki, the Cove is famous for its long rides both left and right as swells pushing east break upon the rock reef just offshore.

CP Translator: Imagine everyone else in SoCal loading their car to park in front of your home so they can enjoy public access to hit one of LA’s “raddest” surf spots. Also known as “Police Patrol Central,” the massive weekend surf crowds are famous for parties, good times, and a dawn-to-dusk party looking up at your jacuzzi.

Rad surf spots rock!

If the surf is flat or blown out, peel off your wetsuit and lace up your hiking boots 


CP Translator: Peel off your wetsuit because SO HAS EVERYONE ELSE. Learn to teach your small children how to say, “That is a hairy penis” and other fun educational projects from the deck.

I love Bluff Cove!


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