Monticello Road is a community arts project in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through photography and a series of public events and conversations, we explore how an art can be an essential, integral and everyday part of a healthy community.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Urban Renewal

Good news: this is not a tirade about the changes in the neighborhood.

Since we weren’t going anywhere for the holidays, and Hennighaus-en-Harde did skip town (allowing free access to their facilities) we decided to finally fix our bathroom. It’s been a while since our cretin upstairs neighbors have overflowed their bathtub so now seemed like a good time to tear down the crapped-out ceiling, rebuild, repaint, re caulk, etc. We are usually good about customizing our space but we had become lazy and the squalid conditions started getting to us.

New Years is the ultimate moment to renew ourselves spiritually but also to fix the space around us. And the two are deeply connected, aren’t they? So we’re painting and doing a bunch of other projects (coat hooks, new light fixtures, hanging new art) and it feels really good. As one who owns a house and who lives in a rented apartment, it’s always problematic to spend time and money on a place you don’t own, but the bottom line is that it is our space, the space we inhabit and it’s up us to make of it something that nourishes and enhances our lives, instead of bringing us down.

Funnily enough, as I was walking into the Lucky Cat to write this entry, I was greeted by owners Lilah and Sasha, who are making many changes: lots of paint, new stage, new sound set-up, and new curtains. Of course, they're doing it in a totally green way, either freecycling materials or picking them up at a cool-sounding place called Build it Green NYC. Special shout outs to those guys (the Lucky Cat) for being the only place I know to use 100% bio-friendly cutlery and packaging for their take out. Anyway, their new space will be bright and acoustically sound. Our bathroom will go from being a source of embarrassment to a environment for accomplishing life's necessary functions.

Renewal is in the air!

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