Please Note: This blog was published before it was completed. I was bloggin’ away and just happened to hit “PUBLISH” instead of “DRAFT”!! (This latter effort freezes and updates each draft — while “PUBLISH” sends whatever’s blogged to that point — to the public.) This is the second time that this has occurred — and I have not touched the tequila yet today. But, I will now take a sip and re-read this sterlin’ piece of prose — ‘n if you take a-likin’, you might give the ole guy a comment or so — I’m thick-skinned enough to handle it — remember the Alamo — whoops, I meant I now have the tequila!! So, read on ……….
That’s right!! The remainin’ residents at the senior-citizen “independent-livin'” facility at 947 Tiverton Ave in the Westwood section of west Los Angeles — will finally vacate said premises. It’s called The Watermark at Westwood Village, ever since the end of 2016 — but the new owners don’t call it by that name — except on their stationery. And, I can understand why — since our 14-story, ex-UCLA dormitory still has the look and feel of a college-housin’-residence — and accordin’ to the engineerin’/buildin’ inspection reports, it is somewhat of a “danger-to-residents” — lackin’ earthquake/structural protection and with elevators that need safety upgrades (whatever that means). Well, within California law — we had a year to pack up and move out — there were 121 residents at that time (that’s accordin’ to my in-house source who has kept me updated on our “remainin’-number” of very, very, very elderly tenants) — durin’ this period of “wait-‘n-see-what-happens” — to the folks that did not want to — or were hesitatin’ to — locate elsewhere!!
Some wanted to stay close to family — with daughters livin’ only blocks (not miles) away. Some are just enthralled with the location with every type of store for food, medicine, etc., etc., etc. — from Trader Joe’s to Coffee Bean! -from Ralph’s to a RiteAid Drugstore! – and a Target housin’ a CVS pharmacy and a Starbucks coffee-house. Then, there’s the UCLA campus — beginning’ just a half-block north ; and that’s where the wife ‘n the “ole guy” have our doctors — takin’ advantage of their nationally acclaimed Geriatric Division — and top-ranked medical staff in every specialty — affordin’ a great deal of peace for aged minds. And since the two of us are movie buffs — we have walked the 3 1/2 block to the Regency movie houses — recently seein’ “The Post”, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, “Dunkirk” and are plannin’ to see “Phantom Thread” this comin’ week. And finally, some us just couldn’t afford to move — the Westwood Horizons senior citizen facility (formerly owned by Vintage) — was a real honest-to-God price/performer. A comparable facility within five miles would have cost the wife and me close to 2-grand additional — that’s 2000 smackeroos per month!! That’s for the same offerin’s — without location, location, location — so maybe you blog-readers can understand why we did not want to leave our happy home. Yep, in our case, it was a matter of economics (and for sure, the “location” advantage plays a very huge roll!!) And I’m not ashamed to say that after servin’ in the US Navy for 12 years and workin’ for IBM for thirty years — personal finances were a huge factor in our decision of “waitin’ out” our new owners at 947 Tiverton Ave in the Westwood area of Los Angeles (now represented herewith as “947-TA”).
So, actually, the residents had a whole year to move out due to the major construction planned — re: unsafe livin’ conditions. (aside: This included financial assistance and an agreement to move back at the same lease rate under price control. Plus, the ones that moved could return at any time for meals at no cost — which was a generous offerin’ by the owners.) It is my opinion, that very few (if any) of the extremely aged folks that moved to other senior-citizen facilities will move back. They will become “settled” in their new environment and will not want to leave their close friends — breakin’ up is extremely hard to do — especially, when one is in their nineties and is afflicted with the penalties of very old age. But back to the situation of us tenants that did not desire to move. Durin’ the summer, the Los Angeles City Housin’ Commission, at the behest of Bet Tzedek (our amazin’, pro-bono, legal advisors) and us tenants, that did not want to move out ever, granted us a change in the buildin’s status — such that there was no requirement for all residents to ultimately move. So, by law, while construction is in progress, the new owners are required to furnish equivalent or better temporary housin’ (with benefts)!! And they have agreed to furnish all the “extras” that are now offered here at “947-TA” — for us very, very, very senior citizens who do not want to leave — for whatever reason — this area — so this will be our final nestin’ place!!
And guess what!! The place we will move to on or before March 1st — is located just across Weyburn Street from where I’m bloggin’, right now — it’s the buildin’ we can view through our floor-to-ceilin’ dinin’-room windows. We will stay in this same neighborhood (HAL-LE-LU- JAH!!) — the wife and I can take the UCLA shuttle to all doctor appointments — we’ll be just a “hop-skip-and nooooo!! we can’t jump — from Trader Joe’s to our buildin’s entrance — and just across the street from that Target which houses the CVS Pharmacy and Starbucks. Yeah, that’s right!! We ain’t goin’ no-where, no-how, no-way!! It’s a very modern apartment buildin’ with a humongous “infinity” pool and a very chic-and-upscale gym — and rumor has it that there are lots of UCLA grad students who live there. What a mixture — millennials and very, very, very ole f**ts — a few of the latter in wheelchairs with care-givers, many with walkers, ‘n the “ole guy with his cane (and/or, a hospital-provided-aluminum walker). There’ll be only about nine of us — the wife and I, bein’ — the only couple remainin’. Also, we will be the only two folks not dinin’ in a “communal dinin’ room ” — an apartment devoted solely for us Watermark tenants — used as an “activity room”, as well as a dinin’ room. Jeez, it might be so good at The Glendon (its official name) we ole-timers may not want to move back to “947-TA”!!
So, Harriette and I will take up livin’ and survivin’ the same way we did in Mexico — in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, where we were residents from October ’90 to July ’14. (We moved to “947-TA” on August 1st, 2014!) As I have previously blogged, the wife ended her cookin’ career in the summer of ’83 — when after only a couple of weeks in Paris, while we were still livin’ initially, and temporarily, at the Paris Hilton. We were in the process of spendin’ “mucho francs” on remodelin’ a very, very, very old French kitchen in our newly-found 3-story apartment — it was at the end of a wonderful Parisian meal at a local dinin’ establishment — she just stood up and announced at the table “I’m not cookin’ anymore — I am retirin’ from the kitchen”! What I have failed to mention is that a young French waiter had just placed a large crock at her end of the table (maybe 18-inches-tall ‘n a foot-in-diameter) and with a huge dipper, he placed a mound of chocolate mousse on her plate. She meant it, and that’s why — while we lived almost 2 1/2 years in the Paris 16th arrondissement — the only three items one would find in our fridge were wine (both white and red — the latter should be chilled, too!); fresh ham from the three street markets nearby; and lots of chunks of fresh parmesan cheese (which my Italian co-worker taught us — that it made the best “nosh” when eaten in chunks — at cocktail parties, or just before goin’ out to dine at a Parisian café or bistro or brassiere!!
So, if you are ever in our neighborhood — maybe, just passin’ through — you might see this beautiful brunette strollin’ along Glendon Avenue with — what looks like her “anciano” male escort and his squeaky and inexpensive walker. They’ll probably be headin’ for the Boilin’ Crab, or Tender Greens — or just maybe, for Mexican tacos with freshly-boiled ears of corn covered with their ever-present, red pepper at “PINCHE” Tacos Restaurant. Just give ’em a wave — and they just might wave back atcha!! ‘nuf ………
Post Script: Well, this blog was published — maybe 4 hours ago — and I have just corrected a rather “unappetizin'” error. In the next-to-last paragraph in which I mention the dessert’s name that we were bein’ served — I described it as a mouse — that would have shut down that French bistro immediately. Fortunately as I re-read this blog, I noted my error and changed to the correct spellin’ — mousse!! Forgive me, there will be no rodents mentioned in any of my blogs in the future, especially in connection with a restaurant. Finally, with a nod toward cleanliness and a germ-free dinin’ experience, I’ll end this add-on!! Except to explain to frequent readers of “ole guy’s ramblins”– that the shortened method of describin’ our current livin’ facility has always been the CAN (Casa de los Ancianos del Norte), but in this blog, I wanted to associate the facility’s title with our current address at Tiverton Ave! Truly, I can do this if I want to, ya know!! Finally, ‘nuf …………