And I stop the photograph many of them, I'd stop to photograph every single one if I had the time. Each one with character, life, and unique quirks. The ones that drawn me in the most are the unfinished ones. The shabby, old ones with cracks, boarded windows, and graffiti. Each perceived "flaw" a story, each odd exterior embellishment a unique imprint telling us about its heydey in history. If I have time I stop my ride or walk and take pictures. And dream.
I imagine excitedly buying the property and first going through and scrubbing from top to bottom, accessing any damage that needs to be fixed post haste and assigning it to the correct contractor, installing a vibrant garden, painting, and turning the property into something new. Back to its former glory, with my personal kitsch-touch. If I had my way and unlimited disposable income, I'd take every sad home, lot or space I could and transform it into something new. I'm a maker. I see potential in the old, neglected, rusted, thrifted, discarded, and unwanted. I think their tales are more fascinating than focus-group curated conventional retail shops filled with object made by sweatshop labor overseas.
Every time I see one of these houses I think there are two types of people in the world. I have a dickish, snobbish, arbitrary way of diving the population, obviously. The people who see the potential with me, that see the junk piles as an opportunity are fellow makers, often trailblazers. They work hard to find their own path. They see the beauty in the ugly. The others who see an old house as a pile of crap are the buyers. They support the Gucci luxury retail stores of the world, they believe the $1,200
If you're here, you may have found me from a google search about crafting, reselling, or thrifting. If you've been here long enough you're likely creative and you see the potential in the rubble. So what are you waiting for, if you're not already blazing your own trail?
Do what you want for a living, buy where you want, live where you want, shop where you want, but don't do it based on a preconceived notion of what you "have" to do. Of course, buy Gucci if you want, there's nothing wrong with it. Buy the big new house if it makes you happy. But I often encounter people working on a proverbial life checklist (new car, nice clothes, new house, family, kids, degrees, debt) that doesn't make them happy at all. They work job they hates to satisfy the list, they work on the list because it's what they're 'told' to do. Why do it if it doesn't satisfy you? "New" isn't the only way.
I believe everyone is creative and yearns for expression. Express. Make. Paint. Write. Be you, do you. Don't hold back. If the office life isn't for you, skip it.
You only have one life. Are you the maker or the buyer? The trailblazer or the follower? Do you see a beautiful historic home with potential here, or a pile of junk? Yes, this is what crosses my mind nearly every time I pass a gorgeous, neglected home and engage in fixer-up fantasies. Thanks for listening to me sharing it; even if it's judgy, hypocritical and dickish. (Because after all, I do buy new things too.) This is just something that's been swirling around in my head lately as I explore my dizzyingly beautiful old neighborhood these days.
By the by, I'm actively working behind the scenes on the blog. Making a new archive system, changing subpages (about is evolving) and forcing myself to let loose more with posts. I have a strict, stifling system. I'm working at it. Expect to see little changes pop up in the next couple of days.