Oh for fuck’s sake.

There is a grassy area a block wide and half a block long about five blocks from our house. Sam and I have gone there to play at least once a week for several months, sometimes daily. It’s where I took this picture. Also this one, and this one and this one. It’s in front of this building (which is open to the public), obviously part of the same property. There is a security guard who is usually in the lobby, and who I know for a fact has seen us there. We have seen other children playing there, adults playing frisbee, people with dogs, and skate boarders. People lay in the grass and read. Will once saw someone flying a kite there.

Today we stopped there for Sam to run off some steam. The security guard came out and told me we could not be on the grass. I doubt I can recount our exact conversation, but the basic gist of my response was, “Isn’t it public property?” He said it’s private property, so I asked why there was no sign stating as much. He told me they put up a sign (note: I have never seen any such thing, and we pass by very frequently) but someone stole it. I said that was not my fault, and he repeated that we were not allowed on the grass. He then walked away and we continued to play. Sam eventually went back onto the grass and I didn’t stop him. The security guard didn’t come back out.

Am I in the wrong here? There is no fence up, and the grass is very easily accessible to the public. There is, as I said, no sign (though I’ve never been under the impression that one could enforce a “stay off the grass” sign anyway).

Why now? And can he even enforce it? It really seemed like he was just being a dick, but I’m not keen on breaking the law, or on being a cunt in response.

13 thoughts on “Oh for fuck’s sake.

  1. Sara

    February 11, 2009 at 4:16pm

    That is ridiculous. Even if it is private property, who the heck objects to a young child running and playing?

    Sara’s last blog post..Lump

  2. Katherine

    February 11, 2009 at 4:20pm

    I didn’t say any of this in my DM, but here are reasons that the buildings owners might have liability issues. Should someone have an injury on the property, they could be liable.

    They could call the cops and claim trespassing, BUT without a fence or clear & permanent signage combined with the general expectation that the community seems to have about it being public space, I doubt the cops would give shit.

    And ornamental lawns are meant to be used for play. It’s why they were invented.

    Katherine’s last blog post..Lisa Simpson, I love you.

  3. Laurie Ann

    February 11, 2009 at 4:38pm

    I believe the security guard was just being a jerk. While the lawn may very well be private property, the size and location of it invites public use. It looks like a park. The owners have to know this.

    Laurie Ann’s last blog post..Just to let you know I’m still alive

  4. KS

    February 11, 2009 at 4:39pm

    I bet you the security guard got told to try to keep people off, and once he told you he’d done his job, and he’ll leave you alone. I don’t think you’re in the wrong, and the worst case scenario is that they’d call the police, in which case you’d leave, you know? What a pain though, hunh? I hate stuff that makes me feel unwelcome in a place I previously loved!

  5. Will Campbell

    February 11, 2009 at 5:51pm

    I know that building. It’s on Wilshire. My mom used to work in it waaaay back when I wasn’t much more than Sam’s age.

    Big welcoming happy greenspace not withstanding it is private property and even though you’ve witnessed others enjoying its park-like setting and you and Sam yourselves have played there on a regular basis, the security guard was well within the rules and probably his directive to confront you.

    Not that I condone it. In fact, I’m a firm believer that contracted security personnel — whose main gig is to OBSERVE and REPORT — are far better seen and not heard.

    PS. If there’s a next time you go there, you might want to walk along the sidewalk around the perimeter of the grass. Chances are there are little plaques embedded in the concrete that read something like: “Private Property: Right to pass by permission and subject to control of owner, Sect 1008 California Civil Code.” That’s really about all the signage they need.

  6. Lucretia

    February 12, 2009 at 12:50pm

    He sounds a little officious to me. Still – difficult job.

    However, the rules should be made clearer.

  7. Bart

    February 12, 2009 at 7:34pm

    Does anything nice ever happen to you? Does anyone ever compliment you or your child? I notice that many of your posts are about something unpleasant or bad or hurtful or unfair happening to you. Have you thought about just letting that stuff go and writing about the positive things? Just a question, no need to get all defensive.

  8. Annika

    February 12, 2009 at 9:58pm

    Well, with that lead-in it’s going to be awfully hard for me to say anything that won’t be taken as defensive, whether I mean it that way or not.

    So I will simply remind you that there are plenty of blogs written by people who sugar-coat everything and pretend life is one giant happy fun land, and you are welcome to read one of them. Because when I have a crappy week or two, I am going to write about it whether you like it or not.

  9. Dreamybee

    February 13, 2009 at 1:29am

    Perhaps the building has just changed ownership or management and the new directives are to keep people off the lawn. As others said, it’s probably a concern about liability, and the security officer was just doing as he was told. The whole thing is unfortunate.

    Dreamybee’s last blog post..Happiness A-Z: B

  10. Bart

    February 13, 2009 at 4:39pm

    BUt writing about your unhappiness and grievances just breeds more of the same. You really do seem to attract and welcome slights, injustices, and such. I don’t care all that much. It’s your blog and your life.

    But here’s a challenge. Accept it if you can.

    I challenge you to write about positive things in your life for two week. Not sugar-coated, because that implies fake. But real, honest, “count your blessings” type actions/people/insights in your life.

    I have a feeling that you don’t want to. You’d rather express your “crappy week” feelings than pay attention to the other stuff.

  11. Annika

    February 13, 2009 at 5:11pm

    Bart, I think it is ridiculously ironic that someone who only comments to criticize is accusing me of being too negative.

  12. Diane Dawson

    February 14, 2009 at 10:59pm

    Clearly Bart enjoys your “negativity,” as he’s been keeping such careful track of it..

  13. Diane Dawson

    February 14, 2009 at 11:59pm

    Also – I guess some people just see dry humor as negativity. See, I think you’re one of the positive people I know. And I should know. ’cause I’ve been there when you almost died and you still saw the funny side…

    :)

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