Well, this is awkward. To be writing about something that happened to me several years ago... in blog format. Blogs are for current things normally, no? Anyway, it suits me to write this short narrative now and with 2 prior posts, my blog is in desperate need of more stuff...
I have fond memories of open mic night at crunchy, homey Java Joe's in funky Ocean Beach. I had my first Vietnamese Coffee there and remember bouncing off the walls, into an older woman's lap and then down the street into the ocean at the end of the pier. That tomfoolery all came to an end back in 2010 when Starbuck's Coffee won the lease bid for that space which hadn't been on the market in 30 years.
OB had changed a lot and the community was outraged to lose Java Joe's and have it replaced with the Devil, err... a Starbuck's Corporate Coffee Chain store. I've never lived in OB but have always felt a part of me belongs there. It was one of the first communities I hung out in when I first moved here in 1995, and I couldn't help glomming onto the anti-Starbuck's sentiment. Until, that is, I met the store manager accidentally at the dog park. She turned out to already be a great fan AND she invited me to create a photo installation in her store!
"You can have the entire wall behind the condiments and knapkins" she told me. "Everyone will see your work as they put cream and sugar in their coffee. We'll even let you hang an artist's statement and happily hand out your business cards to anyone who inquires. Just choose somes which tie our store to the community". Call me a sellout, but it was my first year in business and beside being severely flattered, it was a great business opportunity (which in retrospect paid off in spades).
Together we chose three pieces that did a great job of tying the store to the community. Here's a snapshot:
The first image, "Pocket Commander", could have been titled better, but we felt that even without showing the beach, the photo screamed OB DOG BEACH!!!
The second shot, "Pug Jester" was also very OB, what with the jester's collar and her happy smiling face. It's been shown that seeing a smile will evoke one and this was hands-down the store's favorite shot.
Finally, "Bella Bell Tow ow ow oooooher" oozes old San Diego including the Laurel Street Bridge, The Old Globe and the California Tower. I convinced her to sing by singing to her. Since she absolutely had to be on leash, this image caused me to learn how to use Photoshop to remove leashes and other restraints.
My work hung there for 3 years. Old news today, but again, I needed a blog post for testing purposes and knew I could write something quick and engaging easily and 10 minutes later I'm bringing the blog post to a close. As far as tying the store to the community... well, the store is still there, so our efforts were successful! It was a win for both businesses. A greater one, methinks, for the little guy.