Sunday, October 14, 2007

Real Estate

York has changed hands many times through the centuries...

...Now YOU can own a piece. Kitty corner to the Coleman Center stand the four buildings in the below picture.

The blue building, the white building and two large sheds on the side plus 2 acres of land were once part of a car dealership. All of this is now for sale. Try to guess the asking price. I'll give you multiple choices. See answer below.
Property down here is ridiculously cheap. There's potential around every corner. Coleman actually wants to purchase these buildings eventually. maybe put in a black box theater and a restaurant and more. Reminds me so much of AS220 in Providence and the art empire Bert Crenca built from nothing. I should call him and Richard and all those dudes to get down here and give these Coleman folks some serious support.

The children of York are polite and shy and they still fear adults.

I wonder if they know how good they have it, cutting through quiet woods, fields, and pastures every morning on their way to school? Probably not. They're most likely just bored and want to leave this place.

The antique shop down the street is closing down. They had a public auction Saturday morning. As they set it up at the crack of dawn, the auctioneer guys were practicing their rapid cadences right outside my window. This is the sound I woke up to. It was surreal.


I love the vultures that feed on the abundant roadkill. They look like dinosaurs and fly oh so beautifully. They own the sky and everything that walks the earth because everything's a future meal. I was shocked to see this dead one lying huge in the middle of Route 11 to Birmingham. I had to stop and give it a decent place to rot rather than let it get splattered and smashed to meaty bits by trucks.
There was an eviscerated raccoon lying nearby, just a few yards away. The CSI people would say the Vulture was swooping down to grab a bite of 'coon when he got whacked by a swerving vehicle.

I pulled the mighty raptor to the side of the road (it felt as big and fleshy and heavy as a Thanksgiving turkey) then helped myself to a feather.


Birmingham is a sprawling city. I was kind of touched (and surprised) to see the diversity of people - along with black and white there are Chinese, Indians, South Americans and Arab women in scarves. There's also a substantial Jewish population and a row of synagogues along Highland Ave. Down here in York it's only black, white, and Christian.

A big part of this trip was to see the Pompeii exhibit at the Birmingham Art Museum. My new friend, Jackie Clay, who works there, got me a free ticket. The exhibit, surprisingly, will not be touring to New York or any other accessible place in the US. Seems kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing unless I ever actually get to Pompeii itself. It was pretty fascinating stuff, especially the body casts of the people who perished. But the jewelry, medical instruments, and calcified sacks of money they tried to escape with also struck me. You just kinda feel the urgency. The whole catastrophy becomes more immediate and suddenly it ain't 2,000 years ago and 911 or the Titanic begins to pale in comparison and you just start feeling real bad for all those people. It was a terrible, terrifying event.

Speaking of terror, here I stand across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church where American terrorists blew up those four young girls back in the 60's. The Civil Rights Institute is here as well as a memorial park.

The trouble I go through to get a good shot to prove i was there...But I've only proven that my hairline appears to be receding.

The sculptures in the Memorial Park are a little embarrassing. The cartoony dogs flying out of the wall and the weird veiny wrinkles on the cop and boy just bum me out. And why are they standing in moose droppings?

Jackie and Sylvea are two Brainy Birminghamians I met a few weeks ago in York. They showed me the best time. I especially loved drinking at the American Legion Hall. Jackie is a budding Art Historian. She's also on a Roller Derby team called the Tragic City Rollers. She flies around the rink on eight wheels slamming other girls to the floor. But she's not a lesbian. Sylvea is a lesbian. She is getting her doctorate in something I can not pronounce. Sylvea is one of the coolest individuals I've ever met. I say that in all sincerity. If the plane's going down you wanna be sitting next to Sylvea.

I play the cultural anthropologist. Sylvea shows me how to eat Barbeque.