Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It isn’t just me

So, it turns out I’m not the only one watching the Kavach Building. 

I hadn’t been over there in a while so I headed over and checked on things.  The gate was closed and locked as always.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a building that consistently has its front gate closed like this.  You always find them propped open now and then.  There’s some paper balled up in the latch or a rock at the bottom of the frame or something.  Not here.  Always closed.  Always locked.

There aren’t any spikes on the actual gate.  I’ve thought about climbing over it a couple times.  Don’t think I’ve hit quite that level of building-stalker-dom though, even after all this time.

I turned around to head back to the subway and noticed the guy in the car.  He was parked in the space closest to the car wash, but not the one lone one down by the corner, so he had to twist just a little bit back to look at the building.  At first I thought someone had come out behind me that he was looking at, but there wasn’t anybody there.  He was just watching the building.  Not just—he was watching it.  He just looked a little too intense or focused, if that makes sense.  Like an undercover cop or something.  That Kavach Building wasn’t going to pull anything while he was on the job.

I hope I don’t look like that when I’m out there. 

I looked back and forth between him and the building a couple times.  I must’ve looked pretty dumb because I was standing in the middle of the street.  He saw me and made a big show of looking away and stretching.  It was kind of lame.  I walked past his car and saw he had a laptop and a pair of binoculars on the passenger seat.

I asked him if he was waiting for someone.  He nodded, said they were due out any minute.  Never asked if I lived in the building.  I tried to be subtle getting my phone out but he spotted me.  Gave me a really harsh look and didn’t stop staring at me until I was at the end of the block.

Part of me thinks I should call the cops.  For all I know he’s a stalker or something.  I’m pretty sure the blue-haired girl (from Valentine’s Day) lives in the front.  He can probably look right in her apartment with those binoculars, although I don’t know if he’d see anything from this angle except her ceiling.  He could see down the side of the building, too.  Not the best sight lines either way.  But what would I tell the cops?  While i was lurking outside this building I think I saw a stalker?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Locke Management???

Okay, new oddness.

I finished classes and decided to go over to the building.  I really didn't have time but I had a pile of undergrad quizzes to grade and felt like putting it off a bit.  I justified going over there because I don't have anything to drink at home (AUD 110 quizzes require alcohol of some kind) and there's a liquor store about half a block from the Kavach building.  I could look at the building for a minute, maybe on the off chance the gate's finally been left open, and then buy a bottle of two-buck Chuck or its local equal when nothing happens.

I parked over on Heliotrope and walked up the street to the building.  There was a Korean woman there, just unlocking the gate to go in.  I'm guessing Korean because it's right by Koreatown, but I guess she could've been Japanese or Chinese or Laotian or something.  I wish Alice had been there.  Alice claims she can tell Asian nationalities apart on sight.

I'd never seen her before.  She was about my age, maybe a little older.  Great body (the bitch).  She was wearing really sharp clothes.  I'm not much of a clotheshound but I could tell they were expensive.  A lot more than an Architecture grad student can afford, anyway.  She had an iPad and she was chatting away on her phone.  It all said professional.

She saw me standing there, hung up, gave me this big smile and asked if she could help me.  We talked for a few minutes.  I was going back and forth between elated and shocked.  I can't remember all of it word for word, but here's the jist of it.  Her name's Toni (got a glimpse at her business card) and she works for a company called Locke Management.  They run the building.  Or maybe own it.  I wasn't sure.  The angry German guy, Oscar, he works for them, too.  They've got a website (business card again) and everything.  I already glanced at it--its pretty slick.  She was there to show an apartment to someone.

So I asked if I could see the apartment too and she got kind of weird.  Just a subtle thing.  It was like I'd gone from harmless to annoyance in half a second, but she was too professional to actually show it.  She kept smiling, but she was pretty firm that she only had the one apartment to show and she'd already made arrangements to show it to "Mister Tucker" who was going to be there any minute now.

I asked if I could just look around anyway and explained that I was an architect (small lie) and really interested in the building.  Toni got even more intense that i had to leave.  She did not want me in the building.   She said it would look bad for her if there was someone else there when her potential tenant showed up.  I pulled out my phone and tried to take a picture of the KAVACH over the door and she got super insistent.  Put her hand over the lens and everything.

I said okay and put the phone away and she relaxed and smiled the big smile again.  She offered me a business card, but it was kind of automatic, like a closing she'd rehearsed a lot and couldn't stop herself from doing.  I got one good look and she took it back, apologized and said it was her last one.  She needed to save it for the potential tenant (Mister Tucker).

I went down the corner so I was kind of hidden from her by some of the trees and stuff.  About ten minutes later a Volkswagon Bug pulled up.  Mister Tucker was some scruffy looking guy around thirty or so.  They talked for a minute and went in.

Something I thought of once I'd calmed down.  I've been checking out this building for almost two years now.  Taken at least a hundred photos of it (I took one more while they were talking, but tried to be subtle about it).  I've never seen a sign for Locke Management anywhere.  Nothing on the fence or the lawn or the door.  I've been in LA for almost six years now, moved four times since I got out of the dorms, and I have never even heard of Locke Management.

And who carries only one business card?
Toni is behind the sign post.  "Mister Tucker" is behind the tree.
I think it would require serious effort to take a worse picture.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Maybe I am a peeping tom

Alice and Trish and I went out tonight to celebrate Black Monday, as Trish decided to call it.  Valentine's Day sucks and it sucks more since Jim decided he wanted "time apart" over the Thanksgiving break and it really sucks since I figured out "time apart" meant "shag the redhead from his undergraduate lecture class often and loudly."

But, that stories been told many times on my personal blog.  And Twitter.  And Facebook.

So the three of us went out to dinner (packed and loud) and then out for drinks at some place on Sunset (more packed and louder).  One of those pick up bars Alice is always trying to get us to go to.  We got a table, let a few guys buys us drinks, and made stupid small talk until they left.

When the waitress came back with our second round I started staring at her.  She had bright blue hair.  Somewhere between electric blue and flourescent blue.  Her eyebrows, too.  Tattoos on the arms poking out from under her sleeves.  She kind of pulled it off, the whole punk-tramp-sexy thing.  She looked really familiar and I couldn't figure out why.

Anyway, she gave me this look and then I realized I was staring a lot so I apologized and said she looked familar.  Which sounded even worse.  She gave me this little wink and after she left Alice and Trish accused me of switching sides and we all laughed.  I looked at her a couple times across the bar and then i knew where I knew her from.

She lives in the Kavach Building!  I've seen her on the street there once or twice.  i think I even saw her in an upstairs window once (she lives right above the left shield, I'm pretty sure).  God, what if she recognized me as the weird girl outside who's always taking pictures?  She might think I'm stalking her or something.  I kind of hid my face for the rest of the night whenever she came to our table.  

I thought about taking a picture of her for here with my phone but the light sucked and I don't have a flash.  And then I felt kind of creeper-stalkery again.  Why do I need a picture of her just because she lives in a building I'm obsessed with.

God, Valentine's Day sucks.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Building Plans

This is kind of old news to me and I had it all written out on two of the other blogs.  But they're gone now and I haven't written anything here in a while, so i thought I'd put up this little tidbit again.  This was one of the first things that really got me looking at the Kavach Building.

You can go to the Department of Public Works and see the blueprints for any building in your city.  Just like you always see in the movies and on television shows when people go get the blueprints for a skyscraper or a bank they're going to break into.  I do it all the time for class stuff or general research.  They know me down there and they like me and try to help me out.  Having boobs is definitley a plus.

Plans for houses and residences don't stay around for long, but major buildings like hotels, restaurants, and other businesses are kept on file indefinitely.  If the building still exists, Public Works keeps the plans on file.  Even indefinitely only means so long for the government, though.  After 75 to 80 years, a lot of older building plans get moved to files at local museums.  I've never been clear how they decide what goes where.

About two months after I first saw the Kavach Building I was down at Public Works checking some specs on the Bradbury Building (which is my favorite building in Los Angeles that I don't keep an obsessive blog about).  I thought about looking at the Kavach plans and figured I could learn who the architect was and maybe some clues about the design.  So I asked Nick if I could see them and gave him the address. Nick is the guy I usually deal with there.  He's a few years older than me and fashionably bald.

Five minutes later Nick came back looking kind of freaked out.  He said he couldn't show me the plans.  When i asked why, he said he couldn't say but I shouldn't ask to see them again.  I remember what he said next.  "Don't worry, I covered for you.  You won't get in any trouble."  He was really close-mouthed about it and all my best begging and nagging and flirting couldn't get anything else out of him.  It seemed to freak him out a little more, honestly.

The next time I went to Public Works was seven weeks later.  Nick was gone.  The new woman told me he'd been promoted and was upstairs somewhere now.

I never saw him again.