Monday, July 15, 2013

Vacant, Nevermore

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The apartment sat vacant. Two months. The landlord was quick to cash our rent check this month. He had lost two months of potential income in the empty unit above us. Every day he failed to find someone new to move in, that was money out of his pocket. Two months flew by.

There were better places but for much less.... both here in the Slums of Beverly Hills and elsewhere.

The Slums of Beverly Hills is an eccentric neighborhood mixed with octogenarian cat ladies waiting to die, devout Orthodox familes (roving tribes of "Men in Black"), a smattering of Persian Jews, and more hipsters you can shake a stick at. This hood is a rather un-hip transient section of L.A. for 20-somethings waiting to move to some place nicer, once their financial situation improves or they can move in with their significant other who lives in a much cooler part of town. Shit for this price, you'd might as well have a much nice pad in the Valley, where you could live like a king.

If it was truly cool and trendy, then we couldn't afford to live there. Hence, one of the main reasons I don't live in San Francisco anymore. Maybe I can afford to return if I strike it rich in a new poker/sportsbetting boom, but until then, I'm stuck in the Slums of BeHo1.

The former tenants abruptly left. Those fucking hipsters never said goodbye. One day, violin girl and her husband (who Nicky was convinced was full-blown candelabra) were here and putting me on tilt by giving violin lessons in the space right above my office. Next thing... she was gone. Packed up and left the Slums of Beverly Hills. She came to Hollyweird on the aspiring musician trip. Instead she humped a couple of shitty jobs and gave hourly lessons to snooty kids from Hancock Park and Beverly Hills and Brentwood. They never practiced which is why it sounded like shit. Maybe that drove her crazy and she snapped?

Within the same month, violin girl and struggling actress across the alley both moved out. This is a tough town that is stained and rusted by decades of failure. The pressure got to them and they often snapped. It was better than watching reality TV. I should have set up a webcam and made a couple million. How am I going to be entertained now? How are you going to be entertained without me writing about their exploits? Both 20-something girls were full of nonstop drama. The new neighbors have big shoes to fill.

The actress had a volatile relationship with an alkie out-of-work actor and they had frequent screaming bouts that were something out of a Tennessee Williams play meets a cat-fight episode of the Real World. The violin girl and her hubby fought every few weeks, but most of the time, it was her screaming at him and saying things like "Why can't you be normal?" Yeah, deep down she knew she married a gay guy. Man, she must have been miserable and living above me was not helping anything. I'm a good neighbor because I leave you the fuck alone. I won't butt into anyone's business and I expect my neighbors to do the same. That's the thing about LA... most people are so self-involved that they don't give a shit about you. Of course, the down side to that is you can get a self-absorbed neighbor that won't stop talking about themselves. Luckily we haven't had that interaction. Mostly everyone we encountered just wants to be left alone.

The apartment sat vacant for two months. It felt good not to hear anything in the last few weeks. I was able to get a ton of reading and writing done without any interruptions (save for the fucking gardeners and landscapers with their leafblowers and hedge trimmers)  The former tenants were loud, especially the fucking cat.

For the same price, you can get something smaller (one bedroom versus two) in a hipper neighborhood on the other side of town where all the hipsters congregated. If you wanted more space, you could find a cheaper neighborhoods a few miles away in Koreatown. The vacant apartment was overpriced and without a parking space. At least a dozen other  dingbats on the adjacent streets in my neighborhood had vacancies. Every morning on my walk, I'd see new signs. Tons of places available.  Similar shitty building, similar layouts. The best units with a parking space(s) went quick, while the places that stayed on the market a little longer had some sort of problem with it (like lack of parking, or no windows, or next to a cat hoarder so it smelled like you lived in the backyard of an ammonia factory.
I heard the comings and goings of people looking at the place. The landlord failed to find someone for several weeks until one morning I noticed the FOR RENT sign was removed. He found a new tenant. Who would it be?

New neighbors is like gambling. You never know if you're going to get a neighbor from hell that plays Taylor Swift songs on repeat, or one of those silent but deadly psychopaths... you know... the "he seemed like a quiet guy... never expected him to go on a rampage like that" type.

Someone moved in. Finally. But who? I don't really know much. What I do know (20-somthing female with a cat) is not enough to fill in a post, so I'll save that discussion for another time

I haven't written much about my neighbors recently because there's nothing to report. BMW douche's mom still comes over once a week to clean his apartment, and the other neighbors are pretty quiet. The artist lady is still painting, yet I still can't remember her name. The Indian students from UCLA often cook some delicious dishes. They contribute curry and other spicy aromas to the alley, while I contribute that ole-down-and-dirty bacon smell.

Maybe the new neighbor will do something blogworthy? I hope so. I'm sure you're fucking sick of me writing about the Eagles.

1. I know it should be BeHi for Beverly Hills, but BeHo sounds much... hipper... and more hip-hop.


  1. Wait, whaaat? In BeHo, women in the arts biz marry closet cases (and vice versa)? Is this 1963? Or maybe you're living in Beverly Hills, Ala-fucking-bama?

  2. More Eaglesis sure OK with me.