Tuesday, January 11, 2011
660- It makes yer mom uncomfortable.
We designed 660 to make "serious adults" feel uncomfortable and old. I don't know why exactly, I think it was a by product of the original goal of a place for limitless self expression. Somewhere where everyone plays and has fun, without even trying. Cris leaves his studio via a fireman pole down to a stage, Alicia swings on the indoor swing on sunny days, and Ryan goes out to the rooftop to have a smoke, but really we all use these amenities daily. The fireman pole is part of Cris's everyday life. The big old wooden door that looks like its from a cobblers cottage in a story book happens to be the door that I walk in and out of everyday. My dogs howl at firetrucks. My tenants howl with the dogs too. There are skateboarders using their indoor halfpipe beneathe us and kids building out their recording studio so they can cut an album. If you come here for the first time you drive through a sketchy lookin neighborhood, go down a dirty dark hallways and end up at the top of the stairs staring down a 5000sqft BEAST. Helga as I like to call her is 206yrs old and used to be an old mill. For 8 winters I've been workin on her and playing with her. Sooo many talented people have come through here and left their indeliable mark and helped transform a barren grey beast into a hidden treasure.
I forget what normalcy feels like sometimes because the building is in Jersey City, so when I leave I bump into one of the 300 weirdos I know walking around this town so this to me is normal. I guess if this building were anywhere else, in a suburb or metropolitan city I could constantly be reminded of just how strange it is, but here there are a few different buildings that artists are gathering and working. So we're just a different take on something thats happening in a few places around J.C.
When I step outside of Jersey City or go to my "serious adult" friend's homes...I realize the difference between our lives, our cities, our friends. I'm uncomfortable in places where you can't be yourself, be dirty, express yourself wildly or stay up late. I feel like a kid when I'm forced to behave and I'm not one for behaving if behaving means stop doing the things I like to do. This place makes you feel like a kid and makes me feel like an adult, so I guess in a retaliation of sorts I designed 660 for those whom see that maturity simply means responsibility and as long as were taking our responsibilities serious...anything else goes.
I see "adults" faces when they come here. Some are excited to see it and others are just plain uncomfortable. The chairs don't match, there's sooo much going on, there's too many people or too much space. That thing over there looks dangerous, how many animals are here, who cleans this place up??? Sometimes I answer, sometimes I smile. Their adoration or discomfort equally make me happy. We are overgrown children, playing in a giant playhouse, influencing each other, collaborating and changing. It's not for everybody which is what makes the people whom can flourish here distinct, whether it be a 6months or 6 yr stint. We found a place where we can be adults that don't have to set aside time to have fun, bc it's part of our everyday, as it should be. 660 is a place for black sheep to feel a sense of normalcy and it may not be for everyone, but even if you wouldn't, ya probably kinda wish you could.