Thoughts on loft life, updates on projects. I've been enjoying living in my loft here in Oakland. Cindy told me this evening that she finally associates my new residence with me, a sign that my friends are finally starting to let go of my old place in Noe Valley ("Why did you move? It was so nice!"). Funny that it can be harder for friends than it was for me to adjust.
First, some bitching:
If you do a web search for the loft complex I live in, you will find nothing but wonderful words about life here, and while I agree that life here is indeed very nice, what isn't spelled out is that this loft building is still shared space, and that people living in close quarters are going to disagree about things.
Personally, I've been attacked on the public list more than once (so far). The first time, it was for fairly legitimate reasons -- although, the message was rude beyond belief because the guy didn't bother to read my original message in detail. It is my perception that the guy doesn't have a sense of humor, and takes everything literally.
Here's what happened: after trying really hard to collect information about processes here in the building (it's not easy to do), I e-mailed four people with plans to replace my water heater. As far as I knew (at that point), it was ok to do such things, mostly because I had heard of other people doing the same sort of thing without board approval. As a response, I received three nice, helpful e-mails and one horribly rude one. There was no reason to assume that I wouldn't be receptive to suggestions, and the guy's rudeness was neither required nor appreciated. The fact that he was offended by my original message while three other people recognized it as affection and a genuine attempt at neighborliness says a lot.
The second public attack was because he (the same guy) chose to (incorrectly) read into my announcement about the Vienna Teng show at my place being a "benefit concert," in a way that violated some part of the CC&Rs. I clarified, and he withdrew his objections. But -- why assume the worst, and why try to fight this contrived battle using a public forum?
And at the Saturday Vienna Teng show, we had a loud demonstration of discontent at 9:20pm from the guy above me. 9:20pm on a Saturday! What. the. fuck. I wasn't even being that loud. If it had been a "normal" party, the music would have been just as loud -- but that's not even the point. The point is that one is allowed to make some noise on Saturday nights. I even gave notice!
I *know* that there are a whole bunch of totally interesting, cool people living here, and I can't wait to have more interaction with them. Many have come out over e-mail to tell me that not everyone in the building is like the two people I mentioned above. I'm trying to have a good attitude and to stay positive.
Enough bitching! Now, for projects:
Below are some photos for my BOARD APPROVED (heh) water heater removal and replacement. The old water heaters in the units are something like 13 years old, and mine nearly fell apart when the plumbers tried to move it. I figured that it was better to replace it now instead of waiting for the bottom to rust out of the thing, which would be disastrous. As a replacement, I installed a Bosch tankless water heater, which uses natural gas to heat up water as it moves through the unit. No tank! I love the new heater, and it tucks away on a wall-mount, freeing up valuable floor space. I used Harry Clark Plumbing & Heating to do the installation, and while they ended up doing a good job, they were utterly disorganized and wouldn't have arrived for the job if I hadn't called to remind them (they had me on the schedule for the wrong day).
I'm also taking on a project to photograph the construction of the new building at 4th and Alice using time-lapse. The 4-megapixel images I'm capturing are twice the resolution of 1080p, so I'll easily be able to stitch together a High Definition 1080p movie of the building's construction over the next year (or whatever). I'm not really a garage & tools kind of guy, so I impressed even myself by going to Home Depot and collecting enough parts to mount a camera to my wall/window. :)