Saturday, July 1, 2017

gentrification on a shaky waterfront

See the short building, painted blue, to the left, That is where my studio is. The building has now been painted beige. It has always been called the BLUE MILK building for generations because it was blue and it is a dairy building out the back. With the granery across from my studio getting reborn, the entire water front is becoming gentrified, as predicted...

Of course the character has been removed, slicked back, windowed and sided. 
Getting made ready for an influx of high end  offices, retail, restaurants, along the waterfront , in old town. 
 The cool funk removed entirely.
This rather bland shot is from my studio window now.

Ivy heart torn out entirely.
replaced with a sad little wire frame.

The frame intended to be a trellis for wisteria , but every time one is planted it disappears.  A homeless man, who speaks loudly to himself - always shouting to the folks only he can see. is the thief. 
At least there is some character left here, in old town. 

This is a helicopter   view of studio building (blue), and the granery in process of renovation, the heart still there for this shot. Georgia Pacific plant all but gone. Glad to see that go, it poisoned the sound and the city for decades! Along with the good comes the not so great, I guess. Most people are stoked with the "improvement".


 So these are the mock ups for the new life across the street...
I miss the character, the funk, the loveliness of weathered wood , the soft lighting of the old street lamp, and the activity of gulls in and around that cool building.
I assume Starbucks  and other cheesy corporations will move in soon, and it will become just another white folks hang out. Safe and sterile, predictable, except for ....

- global change and the unpredictability of flooding- The above "mock up" of disaster may occur. Highly likely if the waterfront is not dealt with sensibly, what ever that may be, Some say a walking park is the only option. The land is not stable, the sea -a force.
The geology department at the U. on the hill has painted a grim picture of what may happen, and of course there is the fact that we are on a shifting fault, as well as the entire downtown area being honeycombed beneath the streets due to old mining shafts. Shaky at best, but the millions of dollars poured in to renovated the granery continues.
I have paid my studio rent well into next year even though I will be gone for four.5 months.
Who knows what I may come back to. For now, it is all OK, and NOW is all we have, really.


  1. Excellent commentary and visuals of the change we are seeing. I miss the wabi sabi-ness of it all. I sometimes fancied I'd create an abstraction of the building that's now missing its heart. Might still, who knows. But in the end, Mother Nature says it best and loudest. She determines the end, in fact.

    1. karen, true dat! Mother nature could be a muthahfockah in the not so distant future. I am not enthralled with the granery, though I did want it saved from demolition, but now it looks so...unfriendly.

  2. gentrification steals the heart out of buildings and neighborhoods. it ate up my old city neighborhood which is all shiny and bright and white white white now, fake quirk after getting rid of the real quirk.

    1. Ellen, it is a thief dressed up , white, clean, sterile

  3. Oh, it's too bad they took out that ivy heart. I wonder why they couldn't preserve it? Work around it? Or even regrow it? That little metal frame is a sad substitute.

    Gentrification does some good, in removing hazardous or unsightly structures, but it also sanitizes neighborhoods and out-prices many of the original occupants. It's definitely a mixed bag.


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