Differences, Observations

January 8th, 2005 · No Comments · Los Angeles, Writing

Our two weeks in Texas was mostly time with family, but we also worked in trips to galleries and the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meadows Museum of Art, and we toured lofts (for kicks) in the happening newly re(re)vitalized Deep Ellum and Fair Park areas in Dallas.

While touring the lofts, we accidentally talked the real estate agent down on her price because she misinterpreted our astonishment. “I can give it to you for $1.25 a square foot,” she said. “Good grief! That’s ridiculous!” said Murray. “Okay, if you sign today, I can do $1 a foot.” I laughed and said, “I can’t believe this.” She scribbled on her notepad. “Alright, alright, if you go for the largest loft, I’ll give it to you for 90 cents a foot.”

Last summer when we were touring lofts in downtown LA, we hadn’t been able to find anything for less than $2 per square foot. And some of those didn’t even have kitchens. This loft was plush: refinished hardwood floors, a wall of windows overlooking the skyline, a premium kitchen, a two-person tub, a rooftop deck, nearby workout facilities, gated and covered parking, a pretty decent art gallery in the lobby and free Starbucks coffee to residents 24/7. But we weren’t serious, so we left, marveling at the Porche parked carelessly on the street. That puppy would be jacked in 2 seconds flat in front of some of the lofts we’ve looked at in LA and Long Beach.

We also snuck off to Fort Worth, which for my money is one of the coolest, most underrated cities in Texas. It’s only 30 miles from Dallas (just the next neighborhood over in LA terms), which takes a mere 30 minutes of driving. We delighted over free premium parking in Sundance Square, just a few steps away from a Starbucks with internet access and a beautiful old movie theater, which just happened to be showing The Life Aquatic.

By the way, we loved this film in a way that we have not loved a film in a very long time. Others, however, might not like it at all. We recognize this. Our aesthetic sensibilities are sometimes not so universal.

After our movie, over $7.50 margaritas (which we rationalized because the parking had been free) at Mi Cocina, we talked about how easy it is to wow us when we’re not in Los Angeles. Everything is so cheap! Look, we can drive right up and park the car for free! It only takes 20 minutes to get clear across to the other side of the city!

It’s funny how different the American experience is from state to state, from city to city. The things that wow us don’t necessarily wow others, and so they’re having a hard time filling up those lofts in big D. The beautiful old buildings in Dallas and Ft. Worth from the 1920s are still deserted, as if no one’s quite figured out how to repurpose them. In the meantime, we toured around marveling at the possibilities.

Los Angeles is a city where someone has figured out how to work every single angle imaginable. If you can think it up something undiscovered, you better think again: someone else has probably already capitalized on that very same thing the week before and now the prices have gone sky-high. And so it goes.

Category: Los Angeles · Writing

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