An update in five scenes

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TD on the ones and twos.

In case you missed it (and you probably did), after the most exhausting build up in renovation history, we finally moved into Via Corona on Monday, September 26th.  More specifically, we moved into two rooms upstairs.  The downstairs still looks like sunny, downtown Aleppo.

Here are some general updates from previous posts . . .

Scene I: Three Signatures 

Our traipsing through the neighborhood in search of signatures for our expansion plans turned out to be – and I think I’m probably understating it here – a complete and utter waste of time.  In their infinite wisdom, Torrance’s five families decided our plans needed to undergo a “full review” which means approval will be granted sometime between Monday, October 3rd and whenever the hell they feel like it.  It’s now October 6th…still no permits.  I prevaricate here because there are no actual answers.  The approval process was, is and remains opaque, abstruse and much, much more depending on exactly what some of those words mean.  Thus, if there are to be eight more weeks of renovation, we should be shooing workmen out of our house just as Santa slides down our cracked and inoperable chimney.

We could whine and cry I suppose and belabor the point (I mean, more than we have to date) or we could allow Don Corleone summarize:

Scenes II & III: The Week Long All-Nighter

Just days prior to our move in date it was fair to say that Via Corona was not accepting visitors.  No flooring, no paint, no baseboards, no electricity, no running water.  At these points if you’re like me (and I know I am), the inclination is to go on a rant reminiscent of Howard Beale in Network – raging against the machine and all that.  Feel free to watch this in case you are unfamiliar. (Also, true fact – Peter Finch, an Australian, won a posthumous Oscar for Best Actor for this performance here.  The only other actor to win a posthumous Oscar was Heath Ledger for one of the Batman movies – also an Australian.).

Of course, channeling your inner-Peter Finch does no good because in the contractor-contractee relationship, power is illusory.   Complaining only makes it worse.  It’s basically the DMV covered in gypsum dust.  And to keep our Via Corona omelette spit-free, and to keep this tortured analogy moving, we must think happy thoughts and maintain a pleasant persistence.  Mustn’t we?  TL/dr: Know your role and shut your mouth . . . lest you anger the monster and end up in a cornfield in Ohio.

Scene IV: It’s Not What I Want,  It’s What I Can Give You

Thus far in our residence, we’ve met two new neighbors.  Both were nice enough, although each came with an agenda.  One wanted our workmen to stop parking near the turn off to our street.  The other wanted us to cut down some trees (which we may or may not own) so as not to obstruct their view of the Southland.  Time was, neighbors welcomed you with apple pies and invitations to block parties.  Instead we’ve gotten the smarmy rebel without a clue from Die Hard.  Suffice to say my reaction to both “neighborly visits” was similar to the befuddled look below on the face of the late, great Hans Gruber (RIP Alan Rickman).

Scene V: Dig If You Will The Pictures

Finally, it seems cruel, Dear Reader, after you’ve come this far, to not reward you with a few photos.  I warn, there isn’t much to see at this point–from a stuff to look at standpoint we’re only about a third of the way through the game (but trust us, the new plumbing and electrical are top notch even if you can’t see them).  Suffice to say we’re happy in our new home and looking forward to life in the Hollywood Riviera.  Of course, you’re all welcome, just not anytime soon unless sleeping in a cardboard box is your thing.

Guest bath (currently everyone’s bath): Just pretend there is a cool frameless shower door already installed and finished baseboards.  Squinting helps.

Floors and doors: Behold the splendor that is an eight-foot ceiling (they started at 6’8″)!  Cool new doors, hardware. LED lights and European oak floors.  Filthy attic hatch.

Al fresco dining: Haves:  fridge, grill, view.  Have Nots: kitchen, any means to prepare food other than the grill.  At this point the haves are the clear winner.

Views:  Speaking of.  This was shot off the deck on the day we moved in (quite possibly the hottest of the year).  Shannon doesn’t have a long lens so this is pretty much as the naked eye sees it.

There you have it. Us, living the dream. Or more appropriately, the cat nap.


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