Well, it took more than a week, but Second Seating has vanished from 20 N Chenevert. The place, on the inside, is once again a stark grey metal building. Once again, it is all potential and ready for a new vision.
I had little idea of how much work it would be to move everything from the space, largely because I just hadn't thought it all through until the process was under way and I always underestimate the time it will take to accomplish tasks. The day after Thanksgiving, Bobby Schlitzberger arrived to haul off the 1000 pounds of compressed aluminum cans that made that wonderful table base for those sensational light fixtures made with salvaged oil drilling pipes. Irma moved her truck back into the space the afternoon after Bobby hoisted those 30,000+ cans onto his truck and drove off.We continued our efforts to dismantle Second Seating on Monday when Craig and Luis came to remove all the painted walls and cart them off to a warehouse where they'll rest until I find a new place and make a new space. They also took down Ted's painting that stretched over the ceiling and we rolled it up in plastic. We packed for two days, endlessly it seemed. There was just so much stuff in the installation that we'd put there over a month's time. I mean, it took Jeff and me over a day to Windex all the dishes and assorted bric a brac from the big banquet table and then wrap each item and pack away in boxes. Everything was layered with dust - no glass in the windows, so the Windex part of packing was essential. Pretty gritty in the space. Jeff and I shook the giant patchwork tablecloth out in the middle of the street during a red light and then folded it up. It weighs a ton and filled the back seat of the car. Offenhauser folks carefully wrapped and carted off that stunning table base they designed as a play on the chrome arches they fabricated for the Galleria's Post Oak Blvd.The place began to look worse and worse as things were boxed and made ready for moving. Looked like a random dump for awhile. I spent a lot of time with a pair of leather gloves on picking up what must have been several thousand oyster shells and tossing them in plastic crates. Victor Rodriguez and Victor, Jr. came and took down all the marvelous parrots.On Wednesday, the electricians cameto remove the track lights and conduits, plugs and wires. Another crew arrived with their ladders and down came all the big chandeliers. I'd untied the ropes of filigreed Clorox bottles and packed them away in big trash bags.We got a late start moving things out on Thursday. Irma's truck was in the front of the space so we carted everything that was left through the patio and on to Craig's trailer. Hey, and the port-a-can was picked up while we were loading the trailer. Everything happens at once. While we delivered a trailer load to Sonny's warehouse (thank you, thank you for the warehouse space), Jeff and Moises vacuumed the entire exhibition space. Sonny asked what I was going to do with all the oyster shells. I said I wasn't sure and he said, "Those shells are for road making." So he called his neighbor and asked if he'd like to fill the potholes in his parking area. The answer was yes and so the shells have already found a few home in a warehouse parking lot off Telephone Road. Not that I didn't save a few which are now covering a table on my screen porch.
Irma's building sure looks different than it did for most of this fall season. Second Seating is now totally gone. Just a memory. Amazing what color and light can do to transform a space and make folks want to return and linger.That may be the biggest lesson about all of this. It is possible to create a very special space that draws folks in again and again, just because it makes them feel good. Inspires me to do it all over again. And again.
After I write thank you letters, many, many, many thank you letters to all the people who made Second Seating possible.