17 February 2009

A Goodwill Blitz

My original New Thing was a visit to the main branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, located downtown at One Margaret Mitchell Square. I went, I browsed, I checked out a book, but other than that, there’s not much to say. It’s a massive, five-story building loaded with information, including a World Language Collection on the fourth floor and a Rare Book Room on the fifth floor.

I did, however, experience an unexpected New Thing last week: my Goodwill Blitz. Not buying stuff, but giving away stuff—two carloads of it. I am moving to another state in April, and let me tell you, I loathe the moving process. Loathe it. Did I say I loathe it? I generally love change, but not when it involves my stuff and my sanctuary.

Anyway, in order to move as cheaply and easily as possible, and also to fit into a much smaller space, I decided to get rid of anything I don’t need or love. It started with a few things here and there, like a humidifier I never use, a VCR from the olden days (five years ago), a motorcycle jacket I haven’t worn since the ‘90s... but as I was going through closets, cabinets, drawers, and containers, I started realizing just how little stuff I actually use, and need, and love, and how refreshing it is to get rid of things that are just taking up space and energy.

You should see my closets now! In fact, here’s one of them: my linen/sweater/shoe closet. (Don’t be alarmed at the austerity, as some items are in use or in the laundry.) For my clothes closet blitz, I set aside several hours to try on every single garment, so I could see how it fit and how it looked. If it didn’t fit, or if I didn’t look and feel good in it, straight to the Goodwill pile it went. There were things in there I hadn’t worn in years. How strange it seems, now, to have kept them for so long.

Aside of the immediate effect of better feng shui in my apartment, my Goodwill Blitz has resulted in other good things:

  • Lots of great stuff for Goodwill shoppers (I take exquisite care of everything I own, especially if it’s sitting somewhere unused)
  • A more minimalist approach toward possessions and purchases (sorry, free market, but I am tired of buying stuff I don’t need, with money I don’t have, to impress people I don’t like)
  • A more quality-oriented approach to what I do buy (I’ll gladly pay more for quality—one great suit is better than five not-so-great suits)
  • A cheaper, easier interstate move (I’m using U-Haul instead of paying over $1K for full service)

The only drawback is that, now that my apartment is more airy, I love it even more and don’t want to leave, but I have to leave because the rent is ridiculously high. Wait, I do want to leave. Because the rent is ridiculously high. Oh the times, they are a changin’.

10 February 2009

A Look at Natural History

Last weekend was free (for Bank of America cardholders) at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, so I hopped in the car, opened the sunroof, and cruised down to check it out.

I was a little disappointed, because most of the exhibits reminded me of the plastic (fake-looking) rides at Disney, but that’s okay. I guess the place is more for children than for adults. I did, however, like the Star Gallery, which I almost missed because the “sky” was a quiescent violet when I first walked through the area. When I walked through again and noticed the star show in full swing, I stood there taking photos in the dark, with no flash, with people looking at me funny... but the photos came out, so there. :)

03 February 2009

Discovering Art Gallery Row, Twice

I’ve lived in Atlanta nearly nine years and never knew we had so many art galleries. Last week, I discovered not one, but two “gallery rows”: One is at Miami Circle (off Piedmont Road), and the other is at Bennett Street (off Peachtree Road).

Miami Circle Market Center has, according to its website, over 80 shops and galleries, including antique, rug, and home d├ęcor shops. The showing that led me there was Ansel Adams + Bob Kolbrener: 90 Years in the American West at Fay Gold Gallery. I’m glad I went, too, because I fell in love with an Ansel photo I hadn't seen before, shown here, called Water and Foam. I also liked Kolbrener’s Rock Covers Paper series.

Bennett Street Art District may be smaller, but the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia is located there, in the Tula Art Center, which is an interesting place in itself. Tula houses not just galleries, but also studios that are open to the public. The showing that led me to Bennett Street was In Bloom at Anne Irwin Fine Art. Yes, I fell in love again, with a painting by Barbara Flowers. It wasn’t the color palette (yellow, green, blue) or the subject (a vase of flowers) that got me. It was her technique of using a ton of paint to create such a rich texture, you want to touch it. Beauuutiful, but after hearing the price of nearly $3,000, I refrained. :)