Updates on the space

July 22, 2010

posted by caroline picard

This week has been a busy week. Last week we more or less gave up on the Milwaukee/California space that seemed to be a good solution to the permenant space conundrum. For a variety of reasons, it would have been fantastic. Yet, like most of the properties that I would be able to afford, it too is riddled with practical snares, what is primarily–in this case–a result of the current owner facing a significant amount of debt. The last place we were looking at seriously was a foreculosure, which ended up having structural problems. Both buildings were also condos, something I’ve come to be additionally nervous about because as a condo owner (particular a business-condo owner) my interests would be signigicantly different from my fellow condo-owners. Nevertheless, with regard to that question (and even though I’ve come across purists who swear one should never get involved with a condo) I can’t help falling back on the idea that a large population of Americans are invested in condo-associations and, based on an overall sense that the world of home ownership seems to function (outside of the credit/debt horror show we just went through), condo associations, for the most part, seem to work.

I’veĀ  similar sense about liquor licensing. There seem to be two schools of thought–at least those that I’ve encountered. There are the bar owners who, havings started their own bar, swear that the reciept of said license was more or less an act of god and something not to be counted on. After those conversations I’ve assumed the most reasonable course of action would be to assume an existing business with an existing license. Yet, when I talk to the more shiny people, those who wear suits and operate with what seems a curious power at City Hall, they seem confident that under their guidance and with their connections a liquor license could be procured easily. It is the discrepancy in accounts that I find curious. Meantime the websites are of little help, for they convey knowledge in bulleted consumer-friendly points which, to my mind, does not admit the various floors and offices that City Hall can make you run between after waiting in various waiting rooms with Kafkaesque malaise.

It reminds me, when I started looking for a lawyer, I ended up sitting in a room with a fellow wearing a tropical tie. He told me that any client of his had access to his rolodex. Based on the visible pride on his face, his roster of connections boasted some exponentially large power. On the one hand, I’ve some quiet and unexplored expectation that Chicago works that way. In other words, there was something compelling about his offer. At the same time, I couldn’t help feel like signing up for that kind of help would involve other compromises. For instance, he seemed like the sort of man who might slap you on the butt before putting you in a cab at the end of a lunch meeting. It was also funny because he had already googled me and started trying to talk about thee Iran Contras–an (arguably) inappropriate/irreverant improvisational rock band I’ve been in for the last several years. (My current fantasy–which I’ve been surprised none of my bandmates have gone for–is to make up the soundtrack for the forthcoming Catcher in the Rye movie.) He admitted to googling me. Which I also thought was funny. At any rate, I left that meeting and never saw him again. After all, there are other ways of doing things.

One hopes.

At any rate.

The search continues. It’s fascinating learning all this stuff. It also feels kind of mystical in a funny way–like each time I hear about a property that sounds like it’s going to work, I feel like I’m excited in a first-blind-date kind of way. Which I both indulge and make fun of myself for.

One of my authors told me to burn a mystical house candle.

And, in the interim, we’ll be in Ukrainian Villiage.

Which also made me happy.