The internet (and sometimes Curbed!) is packed with home tours showing off high-priced, designer-decorated, ruthlessly-curated, frame-cluster-and-Noguchi-coffee-table-packed, delusionally-aspirational homes. Fuck that. This Renters Week we're touring the apartments of the non-wealthy, non-professional-decorator set to see how the rest of us live. And now: a unit at the Pacific Electric Lofts Downtown.
Who lives here?
What're the stats?
958 sq ft studio loft 1 bathroom
What's the rent?
$2,098 including onsite parking garage (and amenities I havent used since my second week there)
How long have you been here?
Just over a year and a half
What's the best feature of your apartment?
The buildings age - they just dont build them like they used to! Most everything original worth keeping has been restored. The hallways are wide and covered in carrera marble, the ceilings are ridiculously high - probably 15 feet, huge windows with ledges you can crawl out on (if one wished), concrete floors, open floor plan, and I really love the entry doors on the apartment. I believe they're original and they have that frosted glass with the wiring going through it reminiscent of a private eye's office you'd see in an old movie.
Also heard the location has a great walk score (thank you Curbed LA). I can walk to breakfast at Nickel Diner, Sushi just about anywhere, Bottega Louie, Terroni, Egg Slut, Seven Grand...Mario downstairs at Artisan House takes pretty damn good care of the residents too.
Undergound parking's nice too...I fly in and outta there like batman.
What's the worst feature?
You could see this coming...also the building's age and location. Those large windows I love have ZERO insulation and are very single paned. Also, I don't think screens had been invented yet...at least thats what I tell myself when Im shooing out flies. They also do nothing to curb street noise; I can also tell you when there's police activity (sirens) and that the cities buses do not run on time and need new brakes. And every one of my friends leans just a little too far out the window the first time they come over...
And the street people can be pretty aggressive. though some are more like street performers - seems like each one of them has a schtick, pretty interesting survival mechanism.
What's your approach to decorating?
When I moved in, I had hardly any furniture at all - I think I literally had maybe a drum throne, so I started from scratch. Instead of going the IKEA route and getting stuff that isnt designed to endure even one move, I wanted to get stuff that had quality crafstmanship and style that fit the space and went pretty mid century modern with everything. It was cool finding stuff on ebay and craigslist and meeting all kinds of interesting people in the process. Everything is vintage save for the mattress and couch - who wants to sit on 50 year old stains?
You end up paying a little more but hey, if the stuff is 60 years old and looks brand new, I figure it'll outlast me...or at least hold its value if I ever had to have a fire sale. Downside is that the stuff weighs a ton and doesnt break down; try moving a 400lb piece of marble in a 100 year old freight elevator with two drunk band mates.
Any crazy/interesting stories about it?
I remember hearing on the radio that a Canadian tourist had gone missing...next thing I knew there's a 24 hour vigil next door with news vans and helicopters and [I heard] that Hotel Cecil was changing its name to something much [more] generic sounding. Good thing I never drink the water, eh?
I also get to watch just about every car commercial and music video get filmed from the comfort of my living room. One time they were filming this Michael Bay-esqe movie in the middle of the night down the street replete with mock futuristic tanks, explosions, and megaphones...no need to rent that one.
How'd you end up here?
I was living in Orange County with my ex...we broke up so I moved back up to LA - I had gone to college there - to start my band, Cotillon, with my brother. He lived next door in Santa Fe Lofts but it felt like he lived at my place because we were always jamming at my place. It was a blast...unless you were my neighbor.
How's your landlord?
Non existent hahahah. No, its some big corporate, property trust...theyre pretty hands off. I pay my rent on time, they leave me alone...guess its a good thing nothings ever broken down on me, knock on wood.
If you could have any living situation in LA, what would it be?
Tough call...I feel like East Hollywood is on the rise but who knows with the economy - wouldnt want to have to wait things out there for 5-15 years. Probably in Griffith park in the hills. There's also some rad spots up in Silverlake. Anything with a view, a yard, and privacy.
· Home Tours For The Rest Of Us: Alex's Apt. in Pico-Robertson [Curbed LA]
· Home Tours For The Rest Of Us: Megan, Nana, And JP's Two-Bedroom Apartment In Koreatown [Curbed LA]
· Touring John F. Kennedy's 1960 Hancock Park Rental Today [Curbed LA]