L.A. Apartment Shopping Hell: The Griffin on Spring

So, recently I was in the running for a job in Los Angeles and, while I didn’t get the job in the end, it resulted in me being passed along to another organization with whom I’m interviewing now. Will anything come of it? Can’t say. But in the event that something does–or in the event that I more aggressively pursue a move back to Los Angeles–I’ve been looking at apartments as I’ll be likely apartment-bound for at least a year if I do relocate. And, dear God, the crap I’m seeing realtors try to pull is amazing. Today, let’s look, together, at The Griffin on Spring, a high-rise apartment building in downtown Los Angeles. Downtown Los Angeles–the most soul-sucking part of the city, by the way, where not only are the majority of streets unsafe to walk in broad daylight but where a one-bedroom apartment–YES, JUST ONE–will run upwards of–NO JOKE!–$3,605 monthly for a hellhole 723 square feet.

Yes. Three thousand, six-hundred dollars. A month. Known in some circles as “Imbecile Dollars”.

And knowing LA City officials, this building was likely built with taxpayer-funded subsidies and the developers promised to include “affordable rental units”. (Meanwhile, the city is suffering with a massive homeless population that keeps getting wrongly blamed on mental illness. Not the insane rents most working class people can not afford.)

So, let’s take a look at this apartment building, shall we?

First up. . .perhaps it’s me and my outdated design sense. . .but when I look at a kitchen. . .the last thing I expect to see. . .is a living room. Sketch (95)

I mean, did the photographer even TRY to make this “open concept” look even a tad separate? That couch is UP AGAINST THE SINK. Which, I admit, is wonderfully convenient if, for some reason, you’re on the sofa and have a sudden urge to wash your hands. Or, if you’re in the kitchen, making a gourmet dinner for one and you need a soft, pillowy surface on which to lay a hot tray fresh from the oven. (As one does. How often I’ve cried, “Jesus, I wish there was a sofa in this freaking kitchen! Why all this counter space?”)

Next up: The bedroom. And that view! That wonderful, wonderful view of. . .a manilla colored building? Sketch (100)

You have all of Los Angeles’s dramatic skyline to show off and you choose, as the model for your apartment ads, the one with the view of an ugly building? (“Just imagine mornings where you awaken to a building of bricked-over windows, painted a pleasing cream hue. ‘Good Morning”, indeed!”)

Of course, if you’ve ever looked at an apartment complex, you know what offsets all that “cozy” (i.e. “cramped as hell”) apartment space: THE CLUBHOUSE!

Sketch (99)

Can I ask those of you who live in apartment complexes. . .when was the last time any of you used THE CLUBHOUSE? I never did. Never. Never at anytime in my life in apartments did I ever step foot in THE CLUBHOUSE after my initial tour of “the community”. So why do they even use this? How many bachelor parties do they think I throw? But what I love is this one here apparently has snooty residents (left) gosspping about the single woman leaning, butt-out–at a cocktail table, as if waiting for the neighbor of her dreams. You can virtually hear them bitching, “There’s that tramp from 517-B.” “I hear she’s as easy as a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.” “And just as fast.” “Oh, girl! STOP!”) So, really, the building is filled with MY KIND OF PEOPLE but really? There are much nicer parts of the city–WALKABLE PARTS OF THE CITY–where the rents are far more reasonable. Now, true, those apartments in those nicer neighborhoods may not have parking, air conditioning, a view, or even a washer and dryer–but that’s what the laundry place around the corner is for. True, you’ll get bedbugs from there eventually but, what the hell.  At least you can walk to the CVS.

L.A.? I may be coming home at last! Onward to another apartment building!

DISCLAIMER: I am not fully serious when I say it is completely unsafe to walk in Los Angeles’s downtown. I’ve walked many blocks and have only been molested at a busy intersection once.  And it was fabulous.

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