I live across from a fourteen-story condo building here in Los Angeles, and sometimes I feel as if I’m the Jimmy Stewart character in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Rear Window. No, I haven’t seen a Raymond Burr equivalent dragging out a dismembered wife, but I did see a man walking around naked in his condo one evening and he had no idea that I could see him from my den window. Occasionally, I see people sitting in their kitchens or walking around their very posh places, again with no awareness that they are in my sightline. For example, right now, I can see a woman working at her kitchen counter – newly redone in the past few months – and she has no clue that I am sitting here in my den and not even trying to watch her. She just happens to be right in the middle of my rather large den window since she is on the second floor of the building. I am not stalking her. I am not staring. I am simply sitting and looking up periodically and seeing her in her kitchen. Weird.
I wonder if the condo residents can see me? I don’t think so since we have some rather tall nandina growing in front of the ground floor windows. I am making these observations through the gaps in the branches of the bush.
The naked fellow was on a higher floor and I was slumped down in my chair. Oh, dear..not that I would ever recognize him if he came out fully clothed – or not – into the garage where a valet would be waiting with his car.
There is one condo where the television stays on all evening, every evening, and it’s a huge tv. I could practically watch the programs from here in my den if I just had sound to go with the picture.
I guess you can tell that we have returned from the orange grove, where the only things you can see at night are the moon and the stars and lots of orange trees.
It’s just funny that these folks across from our house don’t consider they might need a curtain on their windows. But, then again, I may be the only observer since I’m the only one who sits this much in this room, and, let’s face it, I’m not that interested in their comings and goings. I just happen to notice their presence when I happen to look out.
I will say as a group, no one is especially loud and there is almost never any issue with noise except for the occasional party where people have poured onto one of the balconies. But there is a strict noise ordinance in the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills neighborhoods so even partygoers are quiet by 10 pm. The noisiest it ever gets around here is on Halloween night when people from all over the city pour into the neighborhood to attend the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval or else Gay Pride weekend. Both events draw thousands of people so Doheny Drive is definitely hopping.
But tonight, life is calm.
On that note, I’ll say goodnight. I will go upstairs now and watch television instead of my neighbors.
The View from My Chair