Roughly three years ago my husband and I were looking to buy property. The recent launch of my kid's tee shirt/ clothing line, Learning Tees, was my focus. I found this building listed for $640,000. It's located just east of Chinatown, across the street from the LA Transportation Dept. Not a luxurious or hip part of town but I felt then and still do now that this will change.
I thought getting an industrial space was going to be heaven, better than a house. It would allow me to create a home/work environment perfect for raising a family with room for creative personal and business ideas. This property was actually two buildings with a loading dock and outdoor space in between the two buildings. Can you see it now? A grassy "atrium" with cool shades hanging overhead nestled between buildings with large sliding or folding glass doors. Tire swings hanging from the inside that swing to the outside. Who wouldn't want to grow up there?
Today, as I was on my way to music class with P I got lost and ended up driving past the building. If you had asked me to find it, I couldn't have. I don't believe in consequences. I had to stop. Now, three years later I can't imagine living in an industrial space secluded from parks and other families. Again, I feel there are no consequences. I think we ended up in our home because it is the place that best suits our family's needs.
I thought our current living space was going to be more devoted to work. I pictured it 50-50 family-work. It's more 80-20 and if possible I want it to go 90-10. But the thing that makes our house so ideal for P and us is not so much what's inside it but what's just out side of it....our neighbors. There are 10 other children who P sees often and she knows as her friends. I've been through some rough events in the last two years; the near loss of my marriage, the loss of a child and the loss of my father and the hardest transition of all: motherhood. People have asked me what has gotten me through all this with such ease. (It always looks easier from the outside). Without a doubt it's been my neighbors.
When we knew we were moving to the Valley, my husband and I also planned to move back to the west side as soon as it was financially possible. The plan has changed. Great real estate is hard to find but great neighbors are even harder to come by. Although it sounds cliche and dorky it's true.
I drove around the building's neighborhood today to see if my gut instinct about the area was right. And sure enough buildings that look like this have started to pop up. Now, if only I could use that gut instinct to milk a few lucrative investments then I could make our house the vision I've been dreaming about.
Labels: neighbors, reference, work space