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New painting for me

Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:17 am
by TheCollector
So I live in a neighborhood called Ballard, a great neighborhood with a lot of small shops and bars - very walkable. We moved into the neighborhood 5 years ago with visions of late night bowling, sobering up at the 24 hour Denny's after some serious Friday night drinking and whisking ourselves to downtown Seattle in under 7 minutes with the soon to be built monorail.

My first inkling that something wasn't quite right was the week after I moved in when I walked over to the local Chinese buffet for dinner - the parking lot was empty and a note was on the door that the business had lost their lease and a condo development was going to take it's place! Ugh!!

Ballard was (and still is) a very popular neighborhood to live in, and with the housing boom in full swing it turns out rents were going up and building owners were selling out to condo developers. It came to a head about 3 years ago.

The Denny's closed amid a whole flurry of community outrage (to a Condo developer)
The Bowling ally was torn down (again for Condos)
Old businesses like the neighborhood bookstore and camera shop closed or were forced out with higher rents

There were some "success" stories. One old lady refused to sell her house to developers looking to raze an entire block for development. Despite offers of over 1 million dollars she refused to sell and forced the developers to build around her house.

Shortly after all these buyouts the bottom fell out of the housing market and many of these projects stalled. So we're left with empty parking lots and for lease buildings.

Not to say my neighborhood is a wasteland there's still tons of stores, bars and even movie theater, but some of the most prominent landmarks of the neighborhood are gone for good.

Anyway, I've been very passionate about the changes going on around here and this month a local artist put up a show called "Bearing Witness / adaptation" that focused on this issue. It captures many of the landmarks as they're in the process of being developed.

We were fortunate enough to snag one of the pieces from the show, it shows the location of the former bookstore, now sitting empty.
Also, due to a miscommunication about when we could take the painting home we received a free print of one of the other pieces, showing the bowling ally right before it was torn down.
All of the pieces can be seen here Unless you happen to live in or around Ballard these will have much less meaning for you then me, but I wanted to share my new additions anyway!

Re: New painting for me

Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:03 am
by jhanic
Tomas, I'm very sorry to hear how your neighborhood was changed so drastically. The lady who refused to sell her house and forced them to build around her was lucky--in some parts of the country the city would have forced the sale under eminent domain and then sold the property to the developer.

By the way, those pictures are fantastic! It's hard to tell if they're photographs or paintings. How big are they?


Re: New painting for me

Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:19 am
by TheCollector
Thanks it's acrylic on wood! The Epilogue bookstore is 18x20. The Sunset Bowled is around 30x40 although the print I received wasn't life sized just a small 10x12...of course having even that small of a print matted and framed turned "free" into $90 (sigh)


Re: New painting for me

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:10 am
by Fsmdr
They look amazing, Tomas!. Thanks for sharing them with us.