Ray and I have been finishing up work on a big estate in one of the high rises in the Wilshire Corridor near Westwood. The 24th-floor condo where we’ve been working has 3200 square feet, a view of the ocean and just sold for a little over 3 million dollars. It is located in one of the poshest buildings in a stretch of extremely posh buildings and here are a few things I’ve learned from working there for the past couple of months.
1) People who live in expensive buildings become very friendly with the people who work in the buildings.
2) The view from the 24th floor in Westwood never gets old.
3) People who live in those buildings feel safer because they have so many ways that uninvited guests have no access to them, i.e., entrance only with permission from someone at the front desk, elevators that will not move without an access magnet or permission from the person at the front desk.
4) Condos such as these have no noise from neighbors, upstairs or down. It is very quiet as long as the windows and sliding doors are closed so that outside noises don’t disturb.
5) The trash shoot in a back hall closet is a little bit creepy since anything that is dropped in there must fall 25 floors down before it hits a waiting bin.
6) When an elevator opens directly into the foyer of your condo, there is not much occasion to get to know your neighbors on your same floor unless you meet in the lobby.
7) There is a hallway that goes between the condos that is the “back way,” and that is where the trash bin and the service elevator are located.
8) The security man who determines who has access to the service elevator has the possibility of unfairly wielding his tiny bit of power.
9) Men who work in the building – valets, desk clerks and/or the building “engineers” have been known to actually ask the widow women out on dates. The men’s level of success is undetermined, however.
10) There are pros and cons of living 24 floors up. The view is the pro; the lack of access to grass is the con.
The building where we’ve been working is one that I have always admired. It is old style beautiful with a cobblestone courtyard and valets in uniforms. Having worked there a great deal over the past couple of months, I now know that high rise condo living just isn’t for me. I have a profound need to step outside and have my feet feel grass. This is a fundamental need on my part perhaps because I grew up in Texas where we always had a lawn. Plus, I prefer freedom over safety; presuming wherever I live is relatively safe. Third, I prefer the hub-hub of fellow humans around me; the hustle-bustle of a busy street versus the quietness of a condo in a tall building.
So much for my dream of living the posh life up in one of those gorgeous buildings. Instead, I elect to live down on the ground, where I have outdoor access to soft green grass that can tickle my feet.