How big is your gilded cage?

An anonymous benefactor offers to give you enough money for you to live in luxury for the rest of your life. The only condition is that you have to accept a permanent restriction on how far you can roam. The question is: What’s the smallest chunk of real estate that you’d be willing to be confined in for the rest of your life in exchange for fabulous wealth? A single room? A city block? The state of Rhode Island?

You can pick anywhere on Earth to be your permanent home, but once you’re there, you’re there for good. People can come and visit you. You just can’t leave.

I think I’d be willing to be confined to a major city like L.A. or New York for the rest of my life. But anything smaller would eventually feel oppressive.

How big is your gilded cage?

Tough choice if I would do it at all. I might be willing to stay in the USA as long as I had access to all the coasts. The US interior has a wide enough geography that it would be hard to be bored, and I could visit my friends on their own turf.

If I had to make the area smaller, I would say California. It still has mountains and good coast line.

As much as I love living in Colorado, I need the ocean once and a while.

I’d build it around the entire solar system. I doubt that I’ll ever make it farther than that anyway, plus it would have the added benefit of reflecting some potentially killer asteroids (and aliens).

Tough one. I left a home long ago that doesn’t really exist now and I would not choose where I am now to live for good so that leaves it open. I don’t want to leave the U.S. permanently either and I don’t tolerate cities for too long.

You left your question open for the person to say what they want so it sounds like you could just say North America or the Western Hemisphere and still be within the rules but I assume that isn’t what you meant. Maybe it is a contest where the person who bids the smallest area is the only one that gets it.

The smallest I would go would be about a 5 mile by 5 mile area in one of the prettiest parts of the world. The first things that spring to mind are a house on the island of St. Croix just outside of Christiansted in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a section of one of the Hawaiian Islands, or the entire grounds of the 5 star Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, CO plus some of the city itself. I think the last one may be the most luxurious and practical if money isn’t an object because it is set up to cater to every whim, it is huge, there is plenty of outdoor activities, and there are always new people coming and going.

Phoenix would do nicely.

What I meant was: What’s the smallest “gilded cage” an anonymous benefactor could offer that you would take? At what point would you say “No thanks, too small.”?

San Francisco. I haven’t been out of the city in just over 3 years (Bus trip to Reno). I don’t like to travel anyways.

I doubt I have been more than half a mile from home since Reno.

I love traveling. This would be ripping my heart out. I might do it for the entirety of Switzerland. Might.

Probably Manhattan, since I barely leave it as it is. You can leave out the other boroughs–can’t stand them.

I could cheerfully stay in my own house, provided it was a really nice house with a well kept garden and enough room to play with my dog. A beachfront house, maybe. Doesn’t even have to be big - just big enough for the exercise equipment, the tv room, the computer room and the library.

I assume the benefactor would be supplying groceries and a gardener. Internet access, cable tv, Netflix & Amazon (plus UPS delivery) would pretty much keep me going indefinitely. If I have that much money I assume I could hire a housekeeper/cook too.

I would be perfectly happy there, too.

I think it should be set up on a bidding system. Whoever is willing to live in the smallest area wins the money.

I also think it should be based on population not physical size. Plenty of people who might be willing to spend the rest of their life in Manhattan, NY (23 square miles) wouldn’t do so in Riley County, Kansas (610 square miles).

Good question - I do like to travel a bit, but I’m also a total homebody, and with good internet and a good media set-up, I’m good to stay in for a long, long time. I think I’d have to go with three provinces - BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. I can get pretty much everything I want out of those three.

If all the bills are paid, if my kids have their college paid for, if I have a good computer/entertainment system and a way to buy books, I don’t care if I ever leave the house. I am an exceedingly lazy man, and i use the word “man” very loosely…


I could probably do it in a closet as long as it had plumbing, a working computer, and Internet.

Splendorously superb question! I’d settle for a cage the size of our planet minus the boring parts. For instance I could do without bits of the Sahara Desert, some of the more repetitive stretches of our poles: North and South; and Belgium.

(Actually I quite like Belgium.)

The Cape Peninsula for any humdrum “live in luxury” - finest wines, foods & clothes kind of luxury.

For higher levels of luxury, of the “snorting coke off Scarlett Johansson ass-crack whenever I want” variety, I might be willing to settle for the City of Venice.

it’s the “for life” bit that does me. Like I said in a previous thread, I’d put up with a lot less for a shorter time, for the right payoff.


The Americas.

Since I think its kinda a cool variation on several of our “gilded cage” hypotheticals, a city or state to me would seem to be cheating unless it was all part of your property.

My initial thought was that this should be one single contiguous property and that the “city block” and Rhode Island were just as points of reference. So living in NYC would most likely mean not leaving a single building.

From that angle: get me a chunk of property say 10 acres, Mid Washington state would be fine.