But when I started telling friends about the new apartment their attention shifted to the size. I knew it was small but my thought process was much like someone in a toxic relationship, who thinks; “I can make this work”. So my co workers started sending me links to other apartments in the area. I thought if I could hold off the manager of the shoebox sized apartment I could find something better. And I did, a studio apartment in the middle of Culver City and Mid City. It was a palace compared to the Miracle Mile apartment; faux wood floors, closets, actual closet space, and a full kitchen. I dropped my deposit and ghosted the prison cell apartment.
Aside from my usual life filled with work, LA ass events,
stalking my Twitter crush, and pretending to be a writer, I’ve been looking for an apartment which is a full time job in itself. And not just any apartment, but an apartment on the westside which is arguably the hippest/most sought after area to live in nowadays. My quest to find the perfect apartment started after my roommate and I decided to ditch our cushy 2bedroom 2 bath apartment in Westwood for our own places. I mean we’re both in our 30s and one day one of us would get hitched or decide to quit their job on some Eat, Pray, Love ish (probably me). Looking for an apartment in LA is a lot like dating for me in that it requires a lot more effort than before and the pickings are slim.
In the beginning I decided to do what everyone does when looking for an apartment, check Craigslist religiously and purchase a Westside Rentals account. Which, by the way, Westside Rentals is free now courtesy of apartments.com. But they sure didn’t stop me from purchasing that useless $55/mo. membership! Anywho, first thing I noticed is that the rent is WAY more expensive than when I got my first LA apartment in 2011. So when you do see a reasonably priced place on the westside people descend upon it like vultures. I went to an open house that no lie had like 30 people there for the shittest smallest studio I had ever seen. I watched as everyone tried to sweet talk the realtor into renting to them. Another LA dating analogy, shitty options with lots of competition. So I started to get more aggressive with my search upping my budget and expanding my desired living area to K-Town and I even looked into some spots in the South Bay. Which is sad because I wouldn’t even date someone who lived in those areas much less live there myself. But I was getting desperate.
Then there were the managers you had to contact to see these properties. Maybe it’s just me but are you required to be an old eccentric weirdo in order to manage properties in LA? Because every single manger I met with was weird AF. There was the old man who showed me the Westchester apartment that was great at ‘selling’ me on the apartment; “No kids, No AC, it’s not that big, there’s no pets, oh and did mention NO KIDS”. I don’t have kids but he sounded like he’d shoot one if he saw them on the premises.
Then there was the old half senile half racist Asian lady I called to view the 1 bedroom in West LA. The conversation went something like this;
Me: Hi I’m calling about the one bedroom for rent, is it still available?
Asian Lady (thick accent with abrasive tone): Yes! How old?
Me: I’m 33.
Asian Lady: Oh you are YOUNG! No pets, no kids, no boyfriend, no girlfriend, no music!
Me: Okay I’m single.
Asian Lady: No pets, no kids, no boyfriend, no girlfriend, no music!
Me; Got it, I’m single.
She then asks for the spelling of my first and last name. This took a full 5 minutes.
Asian Lady: Garner? Where you from?
Me: I’m from LA.
Asian lady: No! Like you French, German, etc?
Me: I’m black.
Asian lady: What!?
Me: I’m African American, black.
Asian lady: Ohhh black..
It goes on for a while like that, needless to say I didn’t end up viewing that apartment. Then I started to lose hope. Would I have to settle? I wanted to move by June 1st but there were no viable options. So I decided I was moving out no matter what. I went even harder on my search and decided to show up to these viewings prepared to show these managers that I was about this apartment life! With my pay stubs, banking statements, and application fees in hand, I went to see a cute studio in Miracle Mile. This time there was only 3 people waiting to see it. When I saw it I realized I had paid no attention to the square footage, 275ft to be exact. It was by far the smallest apartment I’d ever seen in my life but it somehow managed to have a full kitchen and no closet. But in my desperation and determination to find a place asap, I filled out an application on the spot and was approved! I think I was more excited about the location than I was about the actual apartment; walking distance from the LACMA, bars, and a health food market. The neighborhood was like the Manhattan of LA.
Now that the apartment hunt stress is over, work has calmed down (barely and only momentarily), I can channel that same determination I used to find an apartment in writing!