Saturday, September 09, 2006

Move It

Moving around in Los Angeles is difficult. Traffic, freeway congestion, no parking, resident parking, metered parking, tow away zones, traffic, traffic, traffic. You might as well find an apartment with a driveway and work from home. And until a few weeks ago, I honestly thought that would be a better use of my time... the noble pursuit of the perfect LA abode. A gorgeous little one bedroom-- sunny, sweet, tree lined street, plenty of parking... maybe a window seat with an ocean view. How hard could it be. Urban sprawl is LA's middle name. I have miles and miles of city just WAITING to rent me an apartment.

So I started calling landlords with a full heart an open mind. And the following are reconstructed conversations:

Landlord 1: Hello?
Ivan: Hi, I'm calling about the apartment listing.
Landlord 1: ummmmm, yeeeahhhh. ::llloooonnngggg pause:: it's available..... ::heavy breathing:: just... ring the manager.
Ivan: and what apartment does the manager live in?
Landlord 1: The manager.... is in... apartment... 4. wait. 8...
...15. Definitely 15.
Ivan: How about I just run my fingers up and down the buttons and wait for someone to buzz me in?

Landlord 2: Hello?
Ivan: Hi, I'm calling about the apartment listing.
Landlord 2: ohmygodican'ttalkrightnowihavetogetoutofhereohmygodcallmeback.
Ivan: I'm guessing you're being pursued. Possibly with a chainsaw. I'll call back later.

Landlord 3: Hello
Ivan: Hi, I'm calling about the apartment listing.
Landlord 3: what's your name
Ivan: Ivan
Landlord 3: and when's your birthday?
Ivan: August...
Landlord 3: August what?
Ivan: 22...
Landlord 3: Ah, I see you're a Virgo.
Ivan: ...
Landlord 3: I see a lot of change for you in the next year. This year is all about partnership-- in work and in your private life. It's going to be a tough year for money. It will come and go. And... what's this... I sense you'll be moving at least once this year. Maybe twice.
Ivan: ...
Ivan: yeah, about that moving part. Is the apartment still available?
Landlord 3: The planets will align when it is time. Call back in three weeks. ::click::

And that's how my search for the perfect apartment began. Since then my criteria has been downgraded to "something that doesn't resemble a crack den in an area that doesn't resemble Compton" And it's still proving impossible to find a place. Hopefully those planets will align in the next three weeks or else we'll finally get to see how comfy those fridge boxes are.

Hey, at least I'll be my own landlord.


Katie P. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Katie P. said...

Wow. I was also contemplating living in a nice cardboard box in an area of town that was crack-less, gun-less, and with some nice free wireless access and a l,ong extension cord for my laptop. Unfortunately (fortunately?) that did not transpire.

Here, however, was my typical conversation:
Me: Hello, I'm interested in the apartment that's advertized.
Landlord 1: It's rented.
Me: But you have a sign.
Landlord 1: Oh. Bye.

Me: Hello, I'm interested in the apartment that's advertized.
Landlord 2: ok. When would you like to see it.
Me: How's tomorrow morning at 9?
Landlord 2: Sounds great. See you then.

(The next morning at 8:50)
Me: Hello?
Landlord 2: Is this Simon P?
Me: Yes.
Landlord 2: Yeah, so we rented that apartment and have no others available. Enjoy living on the street!

I hate renting!

Katie P. said...

It keeps screwing up my comment.
Oh well. The story flows even when it's wrong :)

Just.Megan. said...

I have also found that simply moving around LA on foot can be quite an ordeal, whether you have to dodge the crazy man doing his Olivia Newton John DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION routine with a chair outside the Starbucks you have to walk by EVERY DAY or whether, despite the freakish adherence to pedestrian traffic rules, the ever-present possibility that you might get run over by a Hummer or a Prius.

That was a long sentence.

Ivan said...

Megan, you're not really WALKING around LA are you? You have a small car or a segway or something, yes?

Just.Megan. said...

Well, I walk around Westwood, which is rather liking taking one's life in one's hands. But I absorbed the societal norm about not walking more than 5 feet in one go pretty fast!

Matthew said...

Segways are funny. When I have my feet amputated, I'm having a segway added on in their place.

I was going to wish you good luck Ivan, but I hear instead CONGRATS are in order! :D

And IDK if it's the same for you, but your third experience with the gypsy is similar to what it sounds like when I talk to Simon on the phone ... You can decide whether she plays you or the gypsy landlord. :P