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.
This project feels so all over the place. In some ways, things feel like they are moving much faster than I was anticipating, and in others, they feel like they are at a snail’s pace. This last weekend we got started on the drywall. After years of looking at the timbers in the wall, seeing drywall looks unfamiliar. Tomorrow will bring putting more drywall up and hopefully getting the walls of the central part of the building completely covered. It will be such a massive jump in the project and the space. Then will come the snail’s pace part of the project. Next week will see minimal movement. I will be busy finalizing everything with the Art in the Park. There are just not enough hours in the day to make everything happen. I’m looking forward to the process of mudding the walls. There is something soothing about mudding drywall; cathartic to see it go from just a screwed-on piece of stuff to a complete wall. I’ve found a portion of the floor that needed some extra love, so what I thought was finished still needs some work. I feel like these things are probably the never-ending process of owning a 100+-year-old building. I’m looking forward to our tiny bits of forward motion and excited about next weekend’s Art in the Park event.
This project started in 2018. I was seeking a community and a space to gather. When 214 W 2nd came up for sale, I just got excited. I wanted this place. It was gutted and rough, but as they say, “it had good bones.” The east brick wall sold me. I loved the timber built into the brick and how there were still old square nails stuck in random places. I had some extensive and lofty plans for the business, but sometimes life kicks you around a bit, and you have just to let life happen, accept the changes, and move forward. With those unexpected life happenings, it’s taken some time to pull everything together, get it all fixed up and ready to go. This space is the first root of my own I’ve ever really put down in a place, and I wanted to go about it with mindfulness of things that are important to me. We aimed to source as much of our materials through recycling and reconditioning. Many details in the space look used and worn because the materials are recycled from various sources. The pieces have all come together to create the space that we can be proud of to open and share with our community. Through renovating this space, Justin and I have learned so much. We gained a lot of skills through the power of youtube and connecting with tradespeople who shared their knowledge when needed. Our relationship grew as we learned to build and do renovation projects together. Some things came easy, and some just had to be fought with. This building and this business are a labor of love, and I can’t express how much I appreciate the help and support we have received to create this. I hope when we are fully operational, we can host a massive thank you dinner for everyone who has come together on this project.