Along with reuniting lost pets with their owners and alerting residents to suspicious characters, it seems NextDoor.com is useful for solving mysteries. Earlier this month, Silver Lake resident Barry Isaacson shared with his local NextDoor group a rather curious letter that had been left in his mailbox, which read:
"Dear Sir/Madam: My name is Rem D. Koolhaas, I'm an architect/designer from the Netherlands. My family and I (wife, 'Ferrari' and 3 children 'Mano 8, Liz 6 and Mila 3') are moving to LA this summer and we are looking for a home in your wonderful neighborhood. Please let us know if by any chance you would either want to rent or sell your home."
To Isaacson—the owner of a handsome Harwell Hamilton Harris house—the letter seemed more likely to be the shady tactic of a real estate agent trying to scare up new business than a legitimate overture from "Rem Koolhaas," world-famous, Pritzker Prize-winning architect. Some NextDoor posters concurred: "I can understand why one might be suspicious of an architect named Koolhaas who is looking for a cool house," wrote one. Others were less skeptical: "I'm not sure it's a scam. Rem has a nephew, also named Rem and the information fits his profile," another commenter noted.
Soon, a poster by the name of Rosa Max entered the thread: As luck would have it, her father happens to be a Dutch filmmaker and former classmate of the starchitect. Max wrote that she had enlisted her father's assistance in getting to the bottom of the situation and would update the group with any information. A few days later, the report was in: architect Rem Koolhaas's nephew, also named Rem Koolhaas, is in fact moving to Silver Lake. "He was trying to go personal about [the house hunt]," Max explained. But real estate agents shouldn't get their hopes up—evidently, the less-famous Koolhaas's unconventional search tactic paid off, and the family has lined up a place to live.
In addition to being an architect, the younger Koolhaas is the creative director and cofounder of United Nude, which is described by its company website as "the world's top expert in technically advanced/architectural ladies footwear." Sounds like a perfect fit for the neighborhood!