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Dear Apartment Building–
It’s been three years since I first arrived in LA and you were there to greet me when I hopped off of the I-10 (we both know it’s called a “highway” but if you call it anything other than a “freeway” these Californians will verbally punch you in the face).
3 years in one building is the longest I’ve lived in one place for probably my entire life. We moved around quite a bit when I was a kid, due to one circumstance or another. From my birth in Spain, to Puerto Rico, to DC and then 5+ moves to different apartments and houses in the Old Dominion, I can’t think of a single place that holds the title for longest stint over you.
I had a different dorm building every year in college, lived in DC for 1.5 years, back in my hometown for 6 months, and then it was off to La La Land.
For the first time, I’ve got an emotional connection to the place I’m living and it’s both infuriating and comforting.
You see, you’re rent is way too high for my delicate sensibilities.
Yet, according to real estate websites and the general chitter-chatter of the people of this city, you’re rent is actually incredibly cheap.
Since I moved in in July 2012, the rent estimate has spiked over $1,355. That’s $451 a year. A YEAR.
And the crazy thing is that the building company is actually getting people willing to pay the new insanely high price without batting an eyelash.
Add that to the fact that you have rent control and that’s two huge pros to negate almost all of your cons because my rent will never skyrocket at an uncontrollable speed.
Based solely on those numbers, I will completely ignore the fact:
–that I don’t have a dishwasher, garbage disposal, AC, or in-unit laundering machines,
–that you’re plumbing is constantly malfunctioning due, in large part, to the fact that you’re nearing 100 years old,
–that I don’t have a parking space which sends me into spirals of anxious terror when I’m walking home alone at night (even with mace and a taser). Yes, the neighborhood is statistically safe, but YOU NEVER KNOW. Thankfully, I’ve got a very tolerant significant other that will walk me home over the phone and will quickly alert the police should I drop the line for some reason.
There are tenants in this building that have lived here for almost 20 years, so I’m not the only one that thinks that there must be something about you that just won’t let us quit you.
Maybe it’s because what you do have is an immense amount of character. Your architecture is beautiful and the interior of my apartment is kinda pretty. I don’t feel like I’m living in a quickly manufactured box like most of the new apartments being thrown up all over this city. You don’t have pests or rodents to make me gag a little when I see them scurry across the floors of other places. In every other season, besides the end of summer, your temperature is not only bearable, but pleasant.
Most importantly for me, you have the ability to make me freak out a little less about the future because I know I have you to count on (as long as I’m making money, that is).
You, so far, have been the one unfailing constant in my life as an Angeleno.
So I’m going to crank up my fan, remember that I can’t shower between 10am and 4pm today because the water to the building will be shut off for maintenance, and refuse to shed tears while writing my rent check (again). Because you’re worth every penny.
Short and Feisty