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Sunday, March 1

catching up and gearing up

What can I say? It's been cold, I've been working a lot of hours at the theater, Quincy the pup needs a lot of attention. But this week my supplies started coming in and I have my first show of the year Friday so it's time to end the hibernation.

I haven't exactly been idle since last season ended. I got my web site up and running. 3 applications have gone out. I redesigned my business cards and packaging. But I haven't been in the studio except to clean and THAT was a massive job. So yesterday I went up and got 3 miniature books ready for the press. It felt good. Like stretching after a good night's sleep. Like walking off sore muscles. Like that first cup of Love Buzz in the morning. I remembered that I like doing this stuff.

Friday is a small show in a small gallery. Just 8 of us, but there is something special about the venue and the group. The group running the show is Urban ARTisans, 5 excellent artist/craftsmen who market themselves and their work by setting up in unexpected places to the delight of the people who find them in office lobbies and hospitals and, like Friday, in galleries. I am delighted to be among them this week, especially since a few of my favorite people are part of this group.

As for the venue, this is a story, too. The corner upon which it stands had been, shall we say, less than glamorous? Grant and Lafayette is a gritty urban corner in the middle of a poor, hard knock neighborhood. The main attraction had been Guercio's, an old world style Italian market that draws the "yuppies" from adjacent neighborhoods who drive or bike in to get good prices on truffle oil and imported cheese and scoot right home. But a year or so ago, a woman, grieving for a lost son, looked at this corner property that had been many things over the years and decided it was speaking to her. She made a coffee shop, a gallery and studios. People scoffed. Not anymore. Here is the story. It's wonderful:

Sweetness 7 and Grant Street Gallery

We went to the coffee shop yesterday morning and loved it. We saw a lot of people from the neighborhood there, people that you would normally see at Spot, the coffee shop in the "good" neighborhood, the trendy neighborhood. They were staying this time, not scooting home with a baguette and a chunk of fontinella. They were greeting friends and drinking really good coffee. You get no choice here, it's one coffee and it's really good. It was strangely relaxing to be free from deciding between Kenya and Zimbabwe, between vente and tall, "One coffee please". It's great. We had gone to Guercios for avocados and stayed for breakfast at Sweetness egg sandwich on a big, soft English Muffin roll, cheese oozing from the sides, a big sloppy slice of tomato. Yum.

So, one more coffee and then I go to work. It will feel good, I think, to shake off the Winter haze that has been clouding both sides of my brain, to think forward to Spring. I'm tired of being cold and I realize now I'm also tired of being lazy.

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