Saturday, August 20, 2016

366 Project - Day 233 - "Abstract (Yellow Brick Dreams)"

August 20, 2016 - "Abstract (Yellow Brick Dreams)"

Soon after I moved to Danbury in the summer of '93, I came across this old brick building and instantly fell in love with it. The entire building was painted yellow at the time - though the paint was well-worn and weather beaten. The doors and windows were all boarded up, and those boards were painted yellow as well. I eventually learned that the building had been sitting empty for decades... kind of wasting away.

I wanted it.

I swore that if I were to win the lottery I would buy this building and save it. I'd make the second floor a living space and the first floor a combination gallery and studio space, which wouldn't be just for me - but for any local artists who needed a place to work and to display their art.

Years passed... in the late-90s workers began stripping the yellow paint off of the building and gutting the interior. For a brief period it was just an empty shell with open windows and doorways leading to huge empty spaces. That didn't last very long. Eventually the lower level was turned into a storefront and the upper level into offices.

Nothing has been able to succeed in the space though. For a year or two it was an "internet cafe". That was at a time when most people didn't have access to high-speed internet - so the cafe offered plenty of computers with what, to us at the time, was lightning-fast internet access. It didn't last long. Soon pretty much everyone had DSL internet in their homes. The cafe closed and the storefront sat empty for a long time.

Restaurants have attempted to fill the space. Some were actually quite good - but none were good enough to stay in business.

At one point it was a campaign headquarters for one of the local politicians... but that didn't last long.

Every time I'd see the building though, I'd wish it was back to the way it was... painted yellow and all boarded up, waiting for me to come into some money so I could purchase it and make wonderful things happen.

Today we happened to be walking past it and I noticed a very small area of the edge of the building that still had a hint of the yellow paint to it. I've walked alongside this building countless times over the last decade and-a-half, yet somehow I've never noticed that this patch remained. It made me smile to see it... and brought back memories and a brief moment of "What if _____?" thoughts.

Then I realized something: It's never "too late" to dream.

I think I'll buy a lottery ticket.

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