Tuesday, May 25, 2004

i wish...

I wish I started blogging when I had the gallery.

Back then, I had wonderful things to say. Positive and hopeful. Unlike the me right now. I read back the stuff I wrote and damn! I sound like a depressed psychopath. I mean, those were real feelings and that was how I really felt the time i wrote it. But the me back when the gallery was up and running was fascinating, insightful, full of life, fulfilled and HAPPY!

More than a year ago, we lived in Venice, six blocks from the beach in a small one bedroom w/ 2 covered parking (most coveted part is the parking, since most apartments in Venice do not have such luxury). Our life was simple and blissfull. We got closer (we had no choice, no extra room to hide in when we fight!) and we walked to the beach every weekend. I was doing alot of side jobs in architecture and we were paying half of the rent we were used to. Previous to the Venice apartment, we were renting a 2-bedroom condo in Marina Del Rey. We were doing great financially and saving quite a bit after paying of credit card debts. Our landlord sold the place and gave us relocation money. He was a real estate broker, so he showed us some houses we could afford in the area we liked most, the Westside. We were happy that finally, we are eligible to buy a house and we actually have some cash for downpayment.

Then we got an idea in our heads. See, we are both in the creative side... Him being a musician and I an artist... So we thought, either we buy a house, or we start a business! Great! We started discussing what kind of business we can get into and we started looking around for a good location. We formulated a plan and decided we will open a multi-disciplinary studio that will cater to music, art and architecture. It was a perfect idea that needed a perfect location. We looked and looked and found several warehouse style buildings that have high ceiling and big open space. We factored in several qualities we needed and decided to make it profitable, we should look for a place were we could live and work at the same time. Even more perfect!

So, we told our landlord/real estate broker that we will not be buying this time, instead we will invest our downpayment money to start the business we agreed on doing.

We found a couple of location that addresses our needs. We ended up in Santa Monica in this rear building because it had parking compared to the storefront location in Venice that did not have parking. We decided that parking was more important than storefront, besides being at the rear building afforded us extra space for extending parties outside. And the Santa Monica location was bigger than the Venice location.

We met with the landlord and to make the long story short, we settled with that place and immediately started construction!!! I've never seen Gene work so hard. I was impressed, he did most of the construction himself with some help from my Uncle, his friend and myself of course. We were working day and night to make the deadline. The only people we had to hire were an electrician and a plumber. We had to add a 220V for the electric range and add some plumbing to make way for a new shower. We were so proud of ourselves. The place looked great and it felt great!

When we finished, we were tired but we have fulfilled one of our long time dreams. The place felt like a loft in New York but we were a few blocks from the beach. Our bedroom & closet were at the mezzanine and underneath that is our living area & entertainment system. Our kitchen was to die for with stainless steel appliances and modular cabinetries.

I cannot stress enough how this was the embodiment of our relationship and all our life's work.

We had opening receptions every month and our guestlist grew from 50 to 1000 people. The receptions were so successful and although we could improve on the sales aspect, we weren't doing so bad. All the artist that we exhibit were always happy with how there works were displayed. Gene and I curated every show together and we were at the top of our games. He was also making so many new and important connections in the music part and he finished producing a friends album. The design studio was profiting as well. We have some product lines that we were carring as well.

I was about to quit my day-job to tend to the studio full time and to plan a solo show for myself when shit started hitting the fan.

And the dream went POOF --- suddenly became a nightmare....

As I go back to those days, I try and remember --- did I do anybody wrong to deserve such punishment? The answer is NO! I have been as generous as I ever was, more so that I had the means... All logic ad reason were mssing on this turn of events. And now, I am left bitter and resentful still stuck in this nightmare....