Most of the neighborhoods in Carmel are made of modest size houses, only a few have houses that one would consider "huge". You will also see a lot of Mercedes and Jaguars around town, but don't be fooled because most of these cars are leased. If they are not leased, then they probably require the last few cents of their paycheck to pay the bill for it. I say probably because like I said earlier, there are a select few in Carmel who can afford to write a check for a S600 Benz.
You will be able to tell who is living paycheck to paycheck in Carmel by walking inside their home. Even if it is a large house, look at their furniture. Does the house seem empty? Does the couch look 10 years old? If you get the sense that the furniture doesn't match the house, they are most likely in debt up to their eyeballs.
Carmel is a very materialistic community. You are defined by what you posses. For this reason, Carmelites find the need to buy a nice car. Since most of the people who live in Carmel are not capable of purchasing an S-class or a 7 series, they opt for the bottom of the line C230 Benz or the 325i BMW.
For some reason, there are a lot of "Wiggers" that go to Carmel high school even though there are almost no black people living in Carmel. The kids also like to talk about money. You will often hear "I just bought a $300 dress at the mall yesterday" instead of the modest phrase, "I just bought a dress at the mall yesterday". They think the more something costs, the more important they are as a person. This is the general mentality there.
Zionsville is a neighboring suburb also considered "wealthy", but you won't find many people in Zionsville acting like it. They have been taught the importance and respectfulness of modesty. You would never know the difference between the kid in school who drives the 750Li BMW and the one who drives the 1999 Camry. Zionsville has always been "old" money and Carmel is considered "new" money. This shows by the way people act. Old money has no need to prove their wealth, they have grown up knowing they have money and so have their parents and so on. In Carmel, the people go to college and get a good job then fall into money. They feel the need to show everyone that they now have a 6 digit paycheck.
Bottom line is if you want to put yourself in huge debt to keep up with the neighbors, move to Carmel. If you want to retire early and leave money for your kids, move to Zionsville.
Zionsville - $150,000 paycheck. $90,000 after taxes. $0 mortgage because they already own the house. 1 $600 car payment x 12 = $7,200 (they already own the other 3 cars in their garage). This leaves $82,800 for other bills and necessities. See the difference.
Person 2: "You know, all Carmel people aren't rich"
Person 1: "Whatever"
2. A city in fast-growing Hamilton County, Indiana (pronounced CAR-MUHL)and a posh suburb of Indianapolis. It is much larger than the California city with the exact same name. It is one of the fastest-growing communities in Indiana (above 30,000 that is) and one of the fastest-growing in the Midwest. It had a population of just 28,000 in 1990, up to 38,000 in 2000, and a special census in 2007 recorded approximately 85,000. The city is experiencing growing pains. Carmel is in the process of annexing Clay Township, due to heavy growth. Its population growth requires its sewers to be upgraded. It was considered just a bedroom community for Indianapolis for many years, but things are quickly changing. It has gained thousands of jobs and population in just a few years as companies expand or even relocate to the area. It was ranked as one of America's top 25 best places to live according to Forbes Magazine in 2006.
Carmel is most famous for its beach, which is one of the few left in California that allows unleashed dogs. This results in a large number of territorial, dog-obsessed old ladies walking the beach at all hours of the day, screaming at tourists/adolescents who use the beach for non-dog related purposes.
Carmel is also known for its shopping. Its main street, Ocean Ave, is packed full with art galleries and jewelery shops: the only shops capable of supporting the city's expensive rent. Nobody who lives in Carmel can afford to shop there, instead going to Monterey or Seaside for those things that Carmel lacks, such as food or clothing.
Carmel houses a number of special events that always attract a fair amount of tourism. The Bach Festival celebrates great musicianship and is held at the gorgeous arts theater, the Sunset Center. In July, rich men come from all parts of the world bringing their never-driven, hourly waxed, and extremely loud antiquated cars for Carmel's car show and race, the Tour de Elegance. Carmel's Forest Theatre runs performances throughout the year, and has remarkably excellent shows, considering the Monterey Bay's small population.
With all this in mind, it is surprising to think that Carmel has such things like a city council, church, school, local newspaper, and local radio station (AM 1416, KRML). Clint Eastwood was once the mayor of Carmel-by-the-sea, giving Carmel's undeserved reputation of being packed with Hollywood celebrities. More notable figures in Carmel history include San Junipero and Bill Bates, who draws cartoons of Carmel but can't afford to live there.
Carmel has been compared to paradise, and given names such as "the jewel of California," just like all the other expensive, boring, beach towns in California.
Tourist: Which way's the beach?
Local: Up this very steep hill.
Beach walker 1: How dare you bring a pit bull down to the beach?!
Beach walker 2: She's a boxer!
Beach walker 1: I won't stand for any aggressiveness down here, do you hear me?
Beach walker 2: You're a dog-nazi!
Tourist: How much is the lemonade?
Seller: That'll be six dollars.
Tourist: That's outrageous! Do you take 100 dollar bills?
Tourist: Do you live here?
Local: Yes, ma'am.
Tourist: Oh, and you're a student, at the local library, with a backpack and everything! How cute! Can I take your picture?