New Orleans With any luck the nice thing about moving into new space is that it forces you to get organized at least a bit, make some decisions about random items, and, heck, maybe even knock a few layers of dust off. Better yet, when you own (in the sense of paying the mortgage, so to speak) the space and the tenants make up a special kind of collective of joined-at-the-hip nonprofits, it also is fascinating to see how people jump at the opportunity to express their own identities through their choice of palette and special touches.
Of course first there is the eternal problem of moving. Having bought a $550 “dump” trailer that is easily hooked to my ancient 1998 Suburban meant saving a $1000 or more now in U-Haul charges, which felt might good. Luckily moving only a dozen locks closer to the CBD also meant that no one really minded our driving 20 miles per hour. Having a giant carport and the old snoball commercial space meant that we could get rid of the Arabi storage bin that was home and hearth to the biodiesel operation, coffeehouse equipment and espresso machines, and Social Policy Press cartons of books.
It also meant we had a “staging” area while painting was happening and internet and phones were coming on line over the weekend.
My office was electric blue and white. Though my colleagues tried to convince me that I would learn to like it, I also knew it wasn’t “me” and that I would never be as easily able to paint again once the work bell rings on Monday for the new space. I went with cheery and colorful, having spent too many years in beige and gray. I may not be able to live in Latin American, but I can feel like I’m working there now!
I’m not the only one. The Local 100 space is getting new walls after the kitchen cabinet was torn out and some of the sheetrock was pulled down for replacement. They are even debating figuring out a way to continue to expose the lathe. Their debate goes on!
A Community Voice and S.U.N. went with yellow and pink, which somehow seems right for them at the dawn.
The space for Fair Grinds Coffeehouse on St. Claude is still a work in progress. The offices had to be ready first, and the coffee operation opens after the first of the new year.
It’s not together yet, but with people working everyday including Thanksgiving and weekends, I get the feeling that great work will happen here soon since all of these organizations are clearly excited about getting organized!