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Location: salem, Massachusetts, United States

Thursday, May 15, 2008

231 Washington Street

This is our NEW address! Until the old store is repaired...

231 Washington Street used to be Biscotti Cuchina and was, for a very brief time, Creature Crossing, a pet store that used to be on Loring Ave. I'll take photos tomorrow of the new space and post them as soon as I can.

Today, Elaine and I swept 1100 square feet and mopped TWICE about half that, first with bleach, then with Pinesol. Justin helped. We could probably hit it again with the cleaning process and pick up as much dirt. It's amazing how dirty it was! It was such a mess when we got the key. I should have taken "before" photos, but I was too engrossed in how we would tackle our latest obstacle and how to set up the new space.

The former occupants, the pet store people, left dozens of fish tanks and piles and bags of pine shavings and guinea pig food and dog food. Filters and cages and rock displays, oh my! I was worried, because I am an animal person and worked in MANY pet stores before I got into framing, that in every tank set-up or cage I saw there today, I would find a dead, abandoned animal. I saw hampster and guinea pig set-ups; snake and lizard tanks, etc. Nothing. Good. Justin knows one of the owmers of that fiasco and he said that fellow would never abandon an animal.

Then I saw it. IT. A hermit crab tank. At first, I was excited, because we have five hermit crabs as pets at the house, and I saw all the empty shells and knew that we could use them for our crabs. Then I looked more closely. I saw three dead crabs who had abandoned their shells probably desperately looking for water. When I picked through the shells, I found another one who hadn't left his shell. All four looked healthy and happy before they were left behind. Hermit crabs are very delicate creatures and need certain amounts of humdity and temperature in their environments and most pet stores don't provide those criteria, because they are uninformed.

Sad.

As it is, we will have a beautiful front showroom and a larger workroom in the rear. The showroom will have plenty of space to display frame corner samples, though not nearly as many as we had at the old space, just to keep things more managable for now, AND plenty of space to continue to display artwork! I hope that artists aren't hesitant about our little Speed Bump. We have insurance coverage still, AND the new place has sprinklers! (Well, maybe that isn't that reassuring as pertains to watercolors! Hee, hee!)

Next week, once we have the new shop clean, we will bring in work tables that we have in our home cellar and start to order the equipment we'll need. The spare wall cutter at the old store is still usable--Justin drenched it in WD40 yesterday!--so we won't have to buy a new one--yet! We'll see how it performs. It is NOT the best brand, (we've always used the BEST!) but it is serviceable.

Once we have a rudimentary shop set-up BEFORE we're ready to open to the public, we'll call the customers who's work was in the fire and analyse with them the options for their work and their framing.

A message to those customers--please bare with us! We have your work and it's safe, though possibly damaged. We have to tread carefully from here, to make sure nothing interfers with the insurance company and how they choose to handle this situation. Very few pieces were burned up. Most suffered water damage and many didn't suffer anything, except being encased in a frame package that DID suffer water damage.

We're all lucky in that respect. My worst fear, since I'd bought the store three years ago, was that we'd have to face this kind of scenario.

Here we are.

Could have been FAR worse! We could have still been in the store and someone lost their life. It could have spread to the adjoining buildings. A fireman could have been trapped by debris.

As it was, two fish died.

We look forward. We lost things, as well as our customers lost things. Things can be replaced. Paintings can be recreated or remembered. Prints can be made, if files exist.

Ultimately, we must remember that life goes on, and should be taken one step at a time.

Thank you,
Wendy
The Art Corner
231 Washington Street
Salem,MA 01970
978-745-9524
artcornersalem@verizon.net

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