We have some pretty exciting news. We want to add to our wedding options and ways to help the community. We made the decision to become a retailer for Jim’s Formal Wear. We have the ability to help you rent a tuxedo for any special event. Through us, you will be able to rent or buy your event tuxes and not have to leave town for fittings or pick up and return. Having this as an in-town option, we can help by eliminating shipping fees and ensuring we can keep prices low! We will have more information coming soon in the wedding section of our menu.
The last month and a half have flown by. Here at Astoria, May was pretty quiet. We focused on Arts Council projects and had an enjoyable Game night. We played Magical Kitties Save the Day. This is a tabletop RPG that got its start through Kick Starter. It’s a really great game for starting kids into the world of gaming. We had a small group that was a mix of kids and adults. It was a fantastic time.
Art was another big focus for the month. Ottawa County Arts and Humanities Council has been busy with projects like Down Town Rain Walk, Painting Banners for their yearly fundraiser, monthly meetings, and planning for new projects. The last Sunday of the month is always open studio. It’s where Astoria and the Arts Council come together to create a meeting and collaboration space for the community. This time is open to the public to bring their own art/crafting projects so we can meet and work in a group setting. If you would like access to art materials, it’s $10. This gives anyone access to the Arts Council supplies.
June was an absolute blast at Disco Night! Everyone that attended had a great time. We start the nights earlier than most and quieter so parents with kids can attend and bring their families. Nobody dances harder than our youngest attendees. We want everyone in the community to have an opportunity to come out and attend. *I remember the days when my kids were little, and I was missing that going out social life. I wanted to ensure that nobody in our community would miss out on being able to do something fun. -Karen*
June also kicked off our collaboration with The Card Collector Corner. This has been an awesome weekly event. This group was created to share the love of sports card collecting. A fun place to share your PC (Personal Collection) and learn more about the hobby: they have a desire for this to be kid/family-friendly, which aligns with Astoria’s values so well. We have been excited to have Jarid and all the collectors. This event runs on Sundays from 3:00 pm-6:30. With a small break for Father’s Day and vacations. We appreciate them coming in and transforming the space for their event!
We hope everyone is having a great summer so far!
Expansion can be uncomfortable, but it should never be unwelcome.
This last month has had a lot of expansion for me. At first, it felt uncomfortable. Mid-December, we all got covid. I’m at high risk for side effects, and up until then, we all managed to avoid it. Inevitably we did eventually get it, and I have been struggling with the symptoms of long covid. This experience has had a tremendous impact on daily life, as it has for anyone who struggled with the many issues of covid. Getting sick has a way of giving pause and reflection on where you are in life. I had to pause and slow down. I was angry at not being able to finish my renovation goals as planned. I was upset at how exhausted I was. I did use those places between naps to make some decisions on what I wanted this new year to look like. I decided that I, in fact, could not do it all and needed to figure out what was the most important for me to focus on. That is solidly placed on my family and creating a community in Astoria. I came up with two very big decisions. The first is to leave my daytime job as a barista at Ad Astra books and coffee house. I will always value my time there. I adored my job. Coffee is an immense love of mine, and that isn’t going anywhere. The community of people I met through my years there are some of the most valuable I have found since I moved to Kansas. But it was time to say goodbye and move on to the next phase of life. My second big decision was to take on schooling to learn to be a meditation and mindfulness coach. Years ago, I was a hypnotherapist, and life with tiny babies put that on hold. I have missed those practices and want to be able to add wellness practices to the things Astoria offers. There are many ways to build community, and better self-awareness is a significant step. I really want to spend my time building Astoria to be the space I envision and I can’t make that happen if I am overbooked and not able to dedicate my personal resources to it.
Happy Days Ahead,
The last week has been super busy! After Art in the Park, I took a week off working as a barista and focused on pushing through hard to get as much done as possible. Everyone in the family but me has come down with a stomach bug this week, so it’s been balancing the work with caring for them. At the end of the week, we have the walls up and painted in the main room. The flooring has also been patched in and is ready for filling and sanding. We are down to many little details, trim, and some wall lighting. The space has come a long way in a week!
While I work, I tend to spend an abundance of time thinking, and I thought a lot about community this week. What does the Astoria community look like? I’m not often fond of things like mission statements and buzzwords that mean nothing. I am a pretty conscientious person, and I live by those principles I hold dear. Two have stood out a lot this week while I worked.
Kindness Matters and People above Profits.
The people who have helped make this space happen come from all different places and beliefs. We don’t always agree on beliefs and ideals. I want to think at the end of the day; those two ideals will hold us all together and create a genuine community. We come together in kindness, even when we disagree, and people always come first over profit. We all need money, as a fact, and that fact doesn’t detract from the fact we need each other more. I can’t wait to start bringing people together in meaningful ways to create a community.