Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Best Friend

The metal cart with wheels is a mandatory investment for our neighborhood; for trips to the Farmer’s market, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or getting loads of random stuff out to the car, laundry, etc. this little blue cart is indispensable. This powder-blue beauty came from Bed, Bath & Beyond for $20.

Look Familiar?

Preservationists in Germany are seeking Historic World Heritage Site-status for six 1920s-era, modern-living housing projects (like the project in Berlin shown above). This story in Der Spiegal points to the “cream of the crop” of European Architects and builders who sought to provide a “utopia in bricks and mortar” – decent, comfortable, functional social housing for ordinary people.

Even today, 80 years later, these complexes continue to provide convenient places for working class people to live comfortably, amidst green lawns and groups of apartment blocks, near transportation and shopping and jobs. Sound familiar?

From the article:
"The settlements are something really special, not just in Germany or even in Europe," says Annemarie Jaeggi, director of Berlin's Bauhaus Archive museum, "The quality of the building is so high and the architecture has spread right across the world -- it was really one of Germany's contributions to the 20th century."

Monday, January 7, 2008

Take Your Medicine (part 1)

Let's make this clear - we really like Park LaBrea so far; the experiment is going well, BUT life inside is not all the leasing office cracks it up to be. I let out a little snicker each time I drive down Hauser Ave. (the public street that cuts through PLB) past the lamp post banner advertisements for the various amenities offered inside the gates of Park LaBrea. This post will be the first in a series "Take Your Medicine" where we post the truth behind what the banners say and what they really mean.

"5 miles of running trails" & "bike trail" -- The Park LaBrea management company issues a small map to all new residents on their orientation day. The map is of the streets inside the complex which includes dotted lines showing 1-mile, 3-mile and 5-mile round about and doubled-back routes through the sidewalks and streets. In other words, there are no separate tracks dedicated for jogging or biking, it's just a planned out route through the place. Good news is, Pan Pacific Park is across the street – it does have a jogging, walking & biking path . If you circle enough times, I’m sure it adds up to 5 miles.


Elevators in Park Labrea are slow, rickety, often broken (thank God each lobby has two) and now, apparently, late for inspection. I normally don’t approve of tagging, but I would like to thank to this observant tagger for their well-meaning graffiti; hopefully the maintenance staff doesn’t just spray off this note with cleaning fluid (as has been done before to a similar note). This keen tagger has noticed that A) the elevator is to be inspected once a year and B) the last time the elevator was inspected was in 2006. This means the elevator is past its inspection date. There's even another note below where some other elevator rider "agrees." On the other hand, it’d be great if someone actually reported this maintenance issue to management. Note to tagger – next time use a non-washable Sharpie pen. And thanks for your continued support for safe elevators in the Park LaBrea towers !!