This might be as good a time as any to talk briefly about the time Scott and I moved to the Crossroads Art District, took over and renovated what was basically a large garage, and turned it into a live-work gallery space.
First of all, we were young and we didn’t know any better ;) We knew we wanted to move out of our downtown loft and into something with a little more freedom where we could play music and Scott could paint without worrying about space. We drove around the Crossroads district, which at the time was very up and coming, and the Eastern side was very undeveloped. Think lots of commercially zoned, super cool old buildings sitting empty. For awhile artists had been renting spaces down there on the cheap, and showing their work in the galleries below. We did not have a big budget, but we had lots of raw materials and a little savings, and struck a deal with some landlords to rent a space from them for dirt cheap in exchange for renovating it—they would handle the plumbing and electrical and we would do everything else.
So we dove in. We painted the loft ceiling, built a wall, a loft space for our bedroom, a closet, and a library/study. We cooked using a microwave for way too long. We felt dirty most of the time because we were living in a construction site. It kind of sucked. But we also were the only people I know who had lots of square footage downtown and dirt cheap rent. We even had a stage in our place for bands.
One night in a fit of creative rage, Scott began building a giant tree in the space out of left over dry wall, wood, and anything else that could be nailed down. We painted it white, but over time it’s evolved into a fabric-covered Alice in Wonderland style installation.
We really only stayed a year…I was tired of the constant noise and discomfort of living in such a space, and the gallery never took off in a big enough way to help supplement other expenses like we had hoped. But it’s still fun to go back and visit—it’s now the HoneyTree Gallery (named after Scott’s giant tree), and every owner who lives there has made cool changes to the space that we love to see.
Sometimes when we feel too suburban, with our little house and toddler and SUV, we think back on our time as bohemians in the cozy little art district. There were late night shows at Grinders (we became friends with owner Stretch), walks around the neighborhood, which we shared primarily with artists, homeless people, and small business owners. But it was a real sense of community, and we belonged. I’m not sure why I’m even bothering getting into this now—maybe to give you guys a little glance into my past? Probably just to try and prove to Ev later that we WERE cool J PS: I am thankful every day for our little house! We learned after years of apartments and lofts that we really love porches and cookouts and backyards. So things are different now, but I really think they’re better. And if we miss that lifestyle too much, we can always go visit, right?