Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Deconstructing the world they had created

When I get to the church, Sarah and Danielle are in the sanctuary running the Forgiveness film and making sure that everything is set for tomorrow night’s screening. The rest of the church is filled with a beehive of activity by Woodshed, only this time it is deconstructing the world they had created.   Bathroom sinks, bedoom dressers and kitchen appiances fill the sanctuary.
Already, the small platform in the basement I had wanted for a cabaret stage was gone before Danielle even arrived this mirning. The courtyard in Mc Alpin is being dismantled, though we’re keeping the cafe  bar. 
Earlier today she went on a building heating systems tour with the man we’re tryign to close a deal with to do the boiler.  And she had to deal with one of those neighbors who think its awful that we be allowed to keep a building in such a state of disrepair, an eyesore to the community. That it should be given to someone who could take care of it. (Like what, a bank? A festival market place? A private school? A fundamentalist church? A giant nail salon? Like what, exactly?)So she now asks if it was fair to landmark the building and make it financially impossible for us to carry out the restoration plan we had created. And her complainer  admits that those who pushed so had for landmarking  should have contributed. And they still can, she said. But it gets tiring, wears the soul.
RL comes by. He’s looking  for a place to rehearse for his next cd. As soon as Woodshed has cleared out, we can see what would work for him. And we need to get back to his bathroom and basement ceiling project as well. But the boiler is first. 
Next to visit is Coach Nelson. He is young and well muscled. And wants space for his boxing program. ( What is it with this boxing?) Interestingly, many of his clients, trainees, are women. Wanting to learn self defense. I mention luta por la paz from the Brazilian favelas and he speaks of his familiarirty with and respect for capoeira in both its dance and competitive martial arts forms. Again, as soon as Woodshed has cleared out.....
It’s time for a late afternoon break. We go to Barney Greengrass for bagels and coffee.  Gary is swamped by his usual high holy days deluge of demands for sturgeon, white fish, nova...His workers slice with the careful precision of surgeons, of diamond cutters. There’s no rushihg it. The Yom Kippur Break Fast may be his busiest day of the year. We’ve stopped taking orders, he says, it can make you meshuggah, as the French say...We wish him well and back to work. 
Time for one more tour to see what of our furniture we may want to send out to Materials for the Arts when they come by. We look through drawers. There’s my old clerical collars. And there my business cards. Photos of Roberto Clemente. Things I haven’t seen in years. 
And it’s once again plain to see what had been so depressing for Andrea. The   chunks of plaster pulling away from window frames, the see through holes where as Danielle puts it, you can see daylight. As the Tenant’s Parisian aprtment building disappears, the old building reemerges in its nakedness, its woundedness. (Here we are in ruins, sang Amanda last December. People were upset, but....) Times like this I hate it. Wish we had torn it down. But then I have to remember it made this experience possible. And like the Eldridge Street Synagogue, it’s a long process. A long process. Maybe twenty years. And takes patience. More patience than recovering from spinal surgery. Patience. 
Ted has come. And is waiting for his son Jon. And Lia Ganitano of Partipant, Inc. gallery on East Houston Street. They’re looking  for a place for a major winter fundraiser for PI. We show them all our spaces.  Looks like it could be just right. The kind of work they do very much in line with our vision. 
Woodshed is moving out. What’s next?

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