my new place

In November of last year, Kenny and I agreed that if we found the right place at the right price, fuck it, we'd move in together. He'd ditch his NoHo studio and I'd ditch my Ktown one, and we'd join forces and finances on a two bedroom. 

A couple weeks after that, a one bedroom opened up in my building. And though it was tiny, the rent was amazing. We talked and agreed that it would be worth it to shack up someplace much smaller than we wanted, temporarily, to give us time to find the perfect two bedroom. I knew that if we changed our minds and I had to pay for the apartment myself, I could - so I jumped on it.

Then (and I've no plans to delve into reasons beyond this), he and I realized we aren't ready to live together. So the place became mine alone.

I never took any photos of it, but it was pretty cute. Nicely finished like my studio, and I made it super cozy with rugs and whatnot. But the building was truly terrible. My neighbors were trash. They treated the property like garbage, and my landlord didn't care, even before COVID hit. I fought the good fight, but Ktown is thoroughly infested with roaches - ask anyone who's lived there. It was depressing as hell, but cheap, and I was quickly paying off my credit cards. So I stayed. 

Then COVID hit. And at some point I'll circle back and tell my pandemic story, but suffice to say my very crowded neighborhood, the constantly fighting, non-socially distancing tenants in my building, and my daily subway commute all became suddenly very scary.

Now, one of the crazy silver linings I experienced because of COVID was financial, insanely enough. I was allowed to work as much as I wanted - and I was still an hourly worker. I worked every single day, for weeks and weeks. Every single day. No days off. I crushed overtime. I was given a bonus and then hazard pay. I obliterated five figures of credit card debt in a few months. I completely turned my finances around, while most of the world was losing their jobs. It was surreal and I am endlessly indebted to my amazing company (again, I'll tell the whole story later) for their generosity.

I started to make a plan to get the fuck out of Koreatown. I was originally thinking fall; I had a certain number in mind that I wanted as a savings cushion, when I moved. I already knew the place - one of my girlfriends had just gotten an apartment there. It was built in the 80s, just on the other side of the freeway, in "Downtown West" as it's called. It has massive, light-filled lofts at a fraction what they cost in the financial district just a few blocks away, a pool, a fitness center, and tenants who've been there decades, they love it so much. 

I reached out to the leasing agents, just to start the conversation and get on their list (I wanted to find exactly the right unit), and one thing led to another. In July I signed a lease and moved in. It was a sped-up timeline, which made me nervous, but it proved to be one of the best decisions I've made in years.

I'm a 12 minute walk from my work. I don't have to get on the train at all anymore. But if I want to, I'm a 10 minute walk to the downtown hub of 7th St./Metro. From there I can get to Hollywood, Santa Monica, Pasadena, the Valley, the airport - pretty much anywhere I need to go. I'm a ten minute walk from Whole Foods as well as a regular grocery store (though there's actually a really nice Grocery Outlet across the street from me). I'm an eight minute walk from Target, Fig & 7th, and the Bloc (shopping/dining complexes). Plus, obviously, all of downtown - bars, nightclubs, restaurants - is literally at my feet (I live on top of a hill - more on that later). 

The change in my lifestyle was so abrupt and so vast I honestly didn't know what to do with myself, for the first few weeks I lived here. My place is easily twice the size of the Ktown one bedroom, and probably four times the size of my studio. I went from having no AC, no dishwasher, a bullshit tiny fridge and a shit building with no amenities - not even functional laundry, at the end - to having central AC and heating, a huge fridge with an ice maker, a dishwasher, a microwave, a pool and jacuzzi, a fitness center, a washer and dryer in my unit, and a balcony. Absolute fucking rags to riches for your girl. 

Blogger's new formatting is totally wack, and I can't figure out how to add captions. And believe it or not, as bright as it looks, this is actually on a very dark day - because, you know, all of California is on fire.

My balcony isn't finished and the bathroom is huge and has a wall-spanning mirror I'm not in the mood to try and hide from - so here's my place sans balcony and bathroom: