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November 17, 2011

The building of dreams

I live in the building of dreams. I did not know this when I moved in, of course, I thought it was just another Los Angeles box with bad countertops but it was move-in ready and I needed a place yesterday so I signed the lease.

After a few months it became clear that I had stumbled into a little pocket of the city where everyone has a budget and a dream. The building itself is squat and bland and is surrounded on all sides by equally generic apartment buildings. The neighborhood straddles the space just between the Valley and Hollywood. It's the building of dreams. Location is everything and parking sucks.

The hippie downstairs is a musician and he walks home from gigs with his guitar on his back and a new girl on his arm. He's got wild, unruly hair and wears sandals, but every night he has a new love interest. When he's entertaining he plays Old Crow Medicine Show and you know it's on. A few weeks back he was entertaining an older woman -- perhaps my age -- and his lovin' music was Pink Floyd's "The Wall." I appreciate a man who adapts.

The pretty lesbian in 2B is a stand-up comic. She does shows in North Hollywood and once appeared in a club in Calabassas, and her girlfriend is an actress. There's an actor next door, he drives a Prius and wears plaid and we often pass in the garage, he has a face made for the big screen with wide, high cheekbones and a perfectly straight nose.

It's not just this building, the whole neighborhood is a block of dreams, my neighbor in the building next door sits out on his patio with a pack of New Spirits and a bottle of wine and pitches endless scripts to unknown listeners. He's hilarious, what he lacks in creativity he makes up for in charm and enthusiasm. He could sell ice to an Eskimo. I love the nights when the weather is mild enough to keep my windows open, and I listen to him talk on the phone and pitch his future.

There's a woman I've never seen who lives in the building across the alley. I wouldn't be able to pick her from a lineup but I can hear her every day, she sings in the shower and she's loud and her voice is so pure you wish she'd just get a record deal already.

Los Angeles is a hard city at times, superficial and extreme and lonely. But my God it's hopeful, filled with desires, and this is a town where you can change your life. Everyone here wants something. This is where you come to make your wild ideas spring into reality so the whole city vibrates with a feeling of longing and desire and possibility.

And dreams, of course.

Posted by laurie at November 17, 2011 12:51 PM