Thursday, February 21, 2008

Take Your Medicine (part 2)

It's time for another installment of "Take Your Medicine" -- where Chip and Sally tell you what the Park LaBrea advertising banners along 6th and Houser Street really mean.

Million Dollar Views = Yes, our apartment does have a million dollar view, but others not quite so much. Configuration of the towers and their rooms are arranged in a way that maximizes the view out from and sunlight into each apartment, the “x” shape layout of the rooms works out fairly well in that regard, in my opinion, however, this means lots of the rooms look out at another tower (which is great for any voyeurs out there, but not so million-dollar-ish). Just make sure you actually see your view before you move in and sign the lease (as opposed to just looking at the view in the model apartment they show everybody on the tour at the beginning.)

Oh, and just one more thing. . . Chip and I received a bill from Park LaBrea management last month for $4,500.00. The management "informed" us that we hadn't paid for December's rent and we were being tagged with a steep late fee and extra penalties here and there, that, in our view, didn't add up. Since we're smart people, however, we were able to copy all of our cancelled rent and fee checks and deliver them to the management office -- proof we were neither late on our rent or delinquent in terms of any fees. Here's a word of caution. Park LaBrea management is and is run like a large corporation, they will loose track of you and will try to get money out of you without the slightest hesitation. Keep copies of every transaction you have with Park LaBrea management if you move here and, if you can, keep those copies in a safe place off the Park LaBrea premises. Serious. And we're not conspiracy people. We're hoping this "confusion" doesn't happen to us again while we're here. Stay tuned . . .

Can You Guess What This Is?

Around the perimeter of Park LaBrea you may notice these curious metal columns that look like a lamppost, but that have vents a the top instead of a lamp. What are they? They are methane vents, as Kevin Roderick recently discovered in the course of writing a book on L.A. There’s a note about the vents at this page his blog, down in the comments section.

The vents exhaust the methane so that the gas doesn’t build up underground (remember, we’re across the street from the bubbling, belching, geologically active TAR PITS and we’re sitting on top of an oil field). This was supposedly the same underground methane that blew a hole through the basement of the Ross Dress-for-Less (next door to PLB) in the 80s. But a 1992 report on the incident connected the explosion to a type of oilfield wastewater disposal popular in the 50s. Either way, these little vents remain reminders that everyday, as we move through our routine, we are smack in the middle of L.A.’s strange geologic circumstances.