Doan Chung-Hernandez

The blog about the life of Doan

Archive for the ‘ Charles Hentrich ’ Category

In March of 2006 Ray and I moved to Oakland California from Vacaville. We had only lived in Vacaville for 3 months before we realized the commute was killing us. I would drop him off at work, drive back home and then drive back to the bay area and pick him up, a total of a 4 hour commute, without traffic each day. Anyhow, while looking for a place to live in the bay area we stumbled upon this building. It was an old warehouse that use to be a French Fry Factory. I would of never, ever, ever, even considered living in here, but Ray, well, lets just say he has more vision than I most do. At first I thought it was asinine, I mean have you guys seen the photo above? But I have always been one to just go with the flow, and Ray is what I like to call a hopeless visionary.

But you got to admit, it totally has potential. Even I could admit that. But again, did you see the photo above? It was taken through a hole in the front door. The building was 8000 sq ft. Uh, no that’s not a misprint, there was not an extra 0 put in by accident. Yes, we lived, worked, renovated, bled, sweat, cried and even threw a few parties in an 8000 sq ft building for an entire year. Crazy kids, I’m sure that’s what everyone was thinking.

The pile of trash we had hauled away almost reached the second floor.

It even had two walk in refrigerators, one of which I was planning on turning into my walk in closet.

We flew dad down because there was no way we could of done all this work without him.

We put a lot of work into this building. In the beginning it was scary, but I got over it and soon it was as though the Universe had answered our dreams, but with a little sacrifice and hard work on our part. Ray had always dreamed of renting out a huge warehouse that had a urinal from a rich old man that gave him a super cheap deal and turning it into his modern urban living dream. Yes, our warehouse even had a urinal. And I had always wanted to have my own massage business, with 4 rooms, one for myself and the other 3 I would hire or rent out to other massage therapist. The front of the building on the second floor had 4 rooms. The more we thought about it the more uncanny and perfect it seemed.

But soon, life just took a toll. Ray detested work and the more he saw his boss the more he loathed him. I was getting burnt out on massage. What once was filled with passion and energy fizzled and soon I felt like a well paid slave. Ray and I decided to call it quits and tackle yet another dream of mine, to live in Hawaii. Somehow, this dream seemed so much less painful and stressful. We had a 3 year lease so we took on the role as property managers and sublet the building for the remainder 2 years of our lease and for over twice what we paid, split the rent with Mel, the nice old man Ray dreamt to life, every month and started a new chapter of our lives in Oahu Hawaii.

Hawaii was a totally awesome experience. Every month we used the money we made from the building to pay off the debt we put into it. I’d like to say it was easy but it wasn’t. I can say it was a huge learning experience. This last trip to California was to find a way to come to an agreement with Kevin, the man we rented the building out to. He ended up subletting the building to Raphael, a total pathetic douche bag that couldn’t pay rent on time to save his life and couldn’t move out when asked to leave. But our main concern for coming out to Cali was to make sure we uphold our contract with Mel and leave on good terms with him. When we got to the building it was in shambles. All the hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and money we put into it seemed wasted. Did I mentioned that Raphael had secretly turned the building into an illegal club/bar he called the Radiance Factory. Just a word of advice for Raphael, it’s not smart to advertise an illegal club. Fucking retard.

Here’s a before us and after us photo.

And after then after we did more work and started to settled in. In the very back behind the glass windows is where where the 4 massage rooms laid.

From the opposite direction. Ray loved his pool table.

A closer look further back. To the left was our bed room, middle was Ray’s desk and to the far right was our closet.

A better view of our closet. I had a lot more shoes back then.

Our living room in it’s earlier stage.

The kitchen area and dining area. Ray and I built that wobbly table one night when we had nothing better to do. He swears one day he’ll redeem himself.

Here’s what the building looked like on our last visit.

Looks like they built a kitchen room.

We turned this room into my workout/yoga room.

This is what it looks like by the time we were done with it.

And this is how it looks now.

This was suppose to eventually be a massage room #4, but in the mean time we just made it a guest room and it was also Chris Miller’s room when he stayed with us.

And this is how it looks now.

A before and after of Massage Room #3.

Same room, present day.

Before and after of Massage Room #2.

Massage Room #2 today.

My Massage Room before.

My beautiful massage room after. I actually worked countless hours in this room. It was the perfect massage room.

And this is how it looks like now.

A few before and afters of the lobby we fixed up. We were planning on getting more furniture to fill it up but I think we did a pretty spectacular job.

And here it is today. Animals.

We took back our blinds.

A before and after of the mens restroom. Behind the wall next to the sink was where the men’s urinal was. I forgot to take an aftermath photo but it’s probably for the best because it was bad.

They badly built what looks like lounge rooms downstairs. But the whole are downstairs area was pretty muck a junk yard.

Oh, our mistletoe was still hanging up. I bet it launched a lot of kisses.

I’ll never forget the day we lifted the super industrial air condition unit up on the rooftop. It was insanely crazy and scary. We had to set it on top of a shit ton of pallets in order for Ray and his dad to reach it. Ray had originally wanted to tie the heavy unit to a rope and pull it up. That made no fucking sense to me so I walked over to the Chinese produce factory and asked if they would help us out with their fork lift. It took some per swaying but my charm won in the end.

There were more pallets than what you see here. Trust me, people came out of their buildings to watch. It was totally wobbly and insanely scary.

Oh course it wasn’t only us that sweat for this building,

we put our loved ones to work too.


Kola did a lot of supervising.

Of course it wasn’t all hard work. I miss our parties


Drinking wine on the rooftop.

Having friends over to play pool. Hell, I miss having friends.

I even miss the skaters.

It was definitely an experience. But I gotta tell ya, I’m so glad it’s over.

The End.