Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Saturday 5/17/08

I have fallen behind on my biking so I was happy this morning to find I could visit a substantial number of sales by pedaling. I was able to hit six sites but later in the day I visited a few more by car.

Page Ave. - Candler Park “Yard Sale”

My first stop was a small sale on the grassy yard of a brick Tudor bungalow. Among there stuff was a selection of computer components that looked like they were barely used but still outdated, a small replica of the bell of the Titanic, a pair of Perrier Jouet champagne flutes in an elaborate gift box, candles, a broken bugle, a metal wine rack, a Cross pen set and a pair of beer mugs with an inscription that read “nothing is better for a case of nerves than a case of beer”. Among some books were “The New New Thing”, “Change Monster”, “The Frugal Gourmet”, “Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister”, “Sap Netweaver for Dummies”, “real Change Leaders”, “Atlas Shrugged” and “Who’s Your Caddy”
I bought nothing.

Replica of bell from nautical disaster.

Mclendon Ave – Candler Park “Yard Sale”

I pedaled up Mclendon Ave. carefully avoiding some fast moving traffic to this slightly larger sale. Here in a fenced in yard I found a couple looking over a well-arranged selection of clutter. As I approached they were telling a friend of the early birds who came to their door at 7:30 while they attempted to bring things out. They said more than half of what they put out was already sold but with camera in hand I surveyed what remained. On the ground I found a box that said “artichoke décor - $2”. Inside was what appeared to be far too bright green dried artichokes. On close inspection I could not tell if they were real or faux replicas made in some distant Chinese factory. Other stuff scattered about included a wide selection of bright plastic toys, an electric potato peeler, a fondue set shaped like a Hershey’s Kiss, a selection of women’s clothing and jewelry some caps and a toy vacuum cleaner. In a box of books I found the following titles “Around the World in 80 Dates”, “Courage for the Chicken Hearted”, “Asking for Trouble”, “Keeping the Love You Find”, “You Just Don’t Understand” and “You Are What You Think”.

I bought nothing.

Real or faux? Box of artichoke decor.

AustinAve. - Inman Park “Party Yard Sale”

I found no party at this sale I don’t know if I was too early or too late. The sale was in back of a large frame home but the sellers appeared to reside in the carriage house at the end of the driveway. Here two younger men poked around putting stuff in some sort of order. I found two boogie boards, some VHS tapes, some bedclothes, an unopened gift set of jams and jellies and a lot of old rock cds. Appearing very much out of place were several men’s dress shirts and ties. These objects of apparel appeared as thought they were never worn. Perhaps they were gifts from relatives hoping these young men would get real jobs,
I bought nothing.

No sign of a party here.

Lake Ave. – Inman Park – “Multifamily Garage Sale”

This is the second year this large infill development near the old Mead plant has had a sale. I recognized a few objects that I had seen in the prior event. Most notable was a 78 album of Cantorial singing and a pair of modern bright orange barstools. Other stuff could have been here but most of it was so tedious that I would have to look over last years photos with a magnifying glass to see what other leftovers were being offered for sale again. The sale seemed smaller than last year with fewer opened garages revealing the clutter of new homes. Among some of the finds here were two carved woodened chickens, a pair of antique washboards, three serving pieces shaped like fish and a painting of a martini with the word joy over it it.
I bought nothing.

salute to martini and other art found in new development.

Another dog poses among the clutter.

Sterling Ave. – Candler Park “Yard Sale”
This was a smaller sale with a large selection of toys gathered in front of an old frame bungalow. The clutter was watched over by a man and his son. In addition to the toys was some Halloween costumes and décor items, some games, and some kitchen stuff.
I bought nothing.

Oakdale Ave. – Candler Park “Yard Sale”
I made this final stop before pedaling home at a sale in front of a 1950’s apartment building. Here were a few tables with books, a tennis racket in need of stringing, some faux flowers, a few small figurines and a brunette wig.
I bought nothing.

Clutter found on Oakdale.

By Car

Later that morning while driving indirectly to the Kroger and Lowe’s I stopped at some other nearby sales.

Sutherland Terrace – Lake Claire “Multi Family Sale”

Finding two infill development sales in the same weekend is a bit much, but here where large detached homes were erected over the site of a former section eight apartment complex I found evidence of a minor baby boom. Of the four sales here each had a multitude of children and baby items. It was apparent that these households did not just have children but three or four children each. And they appeared to have endowed their children with whatever money can buy. But now were selling these thing perhaps to afford more children. Among the clutter was a massive inflatable playscape, a pile of car seats, an array of strollers, bicycles, piles of plastic toys and mounds of plush toys. America’s future rest in intown redevelopments.
I bought nothing.

Evidence of a baby boom in in-fill development.

Annison Pl. – Kirkwood “Yard Sale”

This was a far cry from the prior event as a single man looked over a bunch of stuff a single man would own, arrayed in his front yard. The most notable thing about this sale was the prominent signage. The seller had placed very large distinct price signs on nearly every item on display. Some of the signs dwarfed the actual objects being sold. Among the stuff were a camping stove, some small picture frames, a carved wooden hat and a few pieces of old furniture and a framed print of a riverboat cruising toward Chattanooga.
I bought nothing.

Carved wooden hat.

Flora Ave. - Edgewood “Yard Sale”

This was the most interesting sale of the morning. The centerpiece of this event was a decrepit motorcycle being offered for free. Around it in the yard of this older bungalow were piles of clothing, a framed print of leopard, an old classroom map of the world, a Marshall amp, some children’s and infant’s items, a shop vac, a large gas heater and several doors of unknown origin. On the porch was more clothing, a few books and VHS tapes and a box of gift-wrap bows. In the pile of books was a copy of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”
I bought the world map for fifty cents.

The world for a half dollar.

Friday, May 16, 2008

5/10/08 Redundancy and déjà vu

After three years of documenting sales in what is a relatively small part of one city in America all things begin to repeat. The area I have concentrated on is less than ten square miles and I am seldom more than three miles distant my own home. So with this limitation the same homes and the same clutter start to appear again and again. Beyond this I start to find that that even if the sales are different I start seeing the same stuff over and over. So begins another Saturday morning.

Harold Ave. - Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

This was the first of two sales posted on the artnews listserv which daily informs me what is happening in the arts community while clogging my email inbox. Underneath a white tent shelter in the driveway was a selection on interesting clutter but much less art stuff than I expected. The main art item was a festival booth tent the seller was getting rid off since squirrels had chewed up its roof tarp. Other stuff under the larger non-rodent chewed tent was a selection of VHS tapes, a book of alien tattoos (alien designs not tattoos for aliens) a pair of red cowboy boots, a selection of large feathers, a pair of tuxedos, a copy of the Declaration of Independence, an old Singer sewing machine, a Furby, a plastic trash can holding oars and rackets and a plastic chair from Ikea. While I was there a cat wandered about the clutter. The seller tried to get his cat to pose on something interesting. After considerable effort the feline finally reclined on the box of VHS tapes.
Redundancy –a few weeks ago a seller spent a lot of time getting his dog to sit in a recliner for a photo op.
I bought nothing.

Cat posing on videotapes

Terrace Ave. – Candler Park “Yard Sale”

Among the items mentioned on the fliers for this sale were swords. I wondered what sort person in Candler Park would be selling off their saber collection or would even want their neighbors to know they collected swords. When I arrived I found that this was the third time I had been to a sale at this home overlooking the park. The initial thing I did was to seek out stuff I had seen in past visits. In the yard I found an oversized cloth doll and a jeep radio. Both items had been photographed in past years. There was some new stuff here such the box of swords. But they were not Civil War or Samurai artifacts, instead a small cardboard box was filled with potentially harmless children’s plastic novelty foils and cutlasses. Along side the faux fencing gear were boxes of other novelty items such as smiley face toys, cloth balls and plastic whistles. Other stuff scattered about included a pile of caps, a lamp with a nautical motif, a folding bicycle, the Huff and Puff game, a large coffee urn and a stack of Chinese take out food containers (new, not used).
Redundancy– The doll and the jeep radio continue to reappear but are indifferent parts of the yard each year.
I bought nothing.

Plastic sword collection.

A doll I've seen before.

N. Virginia – Virginia Highlands “Yard Sale”

This was yet another sale listed by an artist in artnews. Here I found in front of a quadplex apartment building a fanciful array of clutter. On the grass was a blanket filled with colorful plush figures from children’s media, -Cat in the Hat, Curious George, Kermit, Mickey, Tigger and several others. They appeared to have never been touched by a child. Other pristine kids things included two baby dolls one festooned with large somewhat frightening rabbit ears and several toy devil characters. Other stuff laid out on the grass included two wigs, a OUIJA board, a copy of the Book of Love, a country trivia game, a selection of throw pillows and two religious tapestries. On a bookcase was a collection of snow globes and a novelty can with a label that said “Inflatable Toy Boy”. Hanging nearby on a coat rack were two sets of angel wings one white and one black.
There was some art for sale a large nude painting and several photographs of the Clermont Lounge. Near the photos was an old 120 reflex camera.
Redundancy this artist was selling two of the same plastic Ikea chairs that the first artist sale had. These chairs must have a great first impression on artistic types.
I bought nothing.

The Ikea chair again.

Disturbing doll display.

Cute demonic figures.

Virginia Ave.- Virginia Highlands “Yard Sale”

When I arrived here I realized I had been to a sale here before, the sellers then told me I had been here before. The memory jogger on this event was the display of pet portraits on easels in the front yard. It seems the seller is a professional pet portrait artist. Since the sellers realized I was “that guy who takes photos at yard sales” they began rearranging their pile of beanie babies into a more aesthetic array. I attempted to explain that documentary work should not be affected by the presence of the artist but they continued the arrangement. Thankfully they did not move the pile of picture frames strewn across the grass, which made a very strong and geometric image. Most of the stuff here I had seen before or a least it looked like what I had seen before. Especially the table full of 1960’s popular magazines. One table held some stuff that I may not have seen but it was all so generic with a HP printer, some serving dished and a few items of kitchen ware it seem to make no difference. In a way I hope this same stuff is back out on the street next year.
Redundancy– The sellers remembered me and somewhere and in my achieves is a photograph of the same magazines. Will somebody please search my archives in the left column and find it.
I bought nothing.

Some magazines I've seen before.

Barnett St. – Virginia Highlands ‘Yard Sale”

I had never been to this sale before and I have not seen any of the stuff before. Upon arriving the sellers saw my camera and greeted me with “You must be that guy that takes pictures at yard sales”. They did not rearrange anything but did want me to photograph their dog. But they did not pose the dog. Who was tied to a post near the stuff. Among the stuff lining the sidewalk in front of a brick home was an antique lamp, a shabby chic birdhouse, a brass chandelier, a few plates and a few antique looking shelving units. On the sidewalk was an old framed oil painting of a cat catching a goldfish. The seller told me it used to hang in her room as a child.
Redundancy - Seller wanted me to photograph their pet. In addition at an estate sale two years ago I came across a strikingly similar painting of a cat attempting to eat a goldfish. The original work featured a tuxedo cat this one depicted a tabby.
I bought nothing.

The fish eating cat returns.

Rosedale Rd.- Virginia Highlands “Yard Sale”

This sale was a small event at the end of a man’s driveway. There was not much here when I arrived except for a stack of stereo components, a pair of ceramic jack o lanterns, a few items of men’s clothing, a large joystick, a small shelf unit shaped like a canoe and a digital camera. On the ground I found two garden gnomes and in a cardboard box marked free I found a Club car security device without it’s key. I presume it could be used simply as a club.
Redundancy - Only that the two garden gnomes were reminiscent of my much beloved “Drunken Gnomes” photograph that has been in several exhibitions and was featured on the invite of one of my shows.

I bought nothing.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

4/26/08 - Is there a festival effect?

The Inman Park Festival is this weekend. This is the largest neighborhood festival in the city each year. The event is less than two mile from my doorstep and in the midst of my yard sale hunting grounds. So earlier in the week I pondered is there a festival effect when you have ground swell of people on the street and looking for places to park do sellers hold sales hoping to bring in some buyers headed for the festival. This weekend I found there appears to be a reverse effect. Other than a long running sale that some friends of mine have on a regular basis there were no sales in Candler Park. My conclusion is, sellers felt that they could not compete with the festival (people would rather have a funnel cake than a used bread machine) or that the sellers would rather go to the festival instead of sitting in their yard all day looking at people examining their used bread machines. So I had to drive over to Virginia Highlands to find any yard sale activity. I did get back in time to go to the festival and see the parade.

McLynn Ave. - Morningside “Yard Sale”

This was an elaborate larger sale that extended from the front yard down the driveway and into the backyard of a one-story brick home. It appeared that there the assembled clutter belonged to two or three people. The man who had his stuff in the rear of the house had the more interesting clutter and quite a flair for presenting it. The seller recognized men as – “that guy that takes photographs at yard sales” a moniker that is starting to become my middle name. He began to show me the cream of his collection. When I saw the man’s assembled clutter I began to wonder if people were starting to arrange their stuff in creative ways in hopes that I would come by and photograph it. This would of course create a creative dilemma for me as a documentarian. The best assemblage there was an arrangement set upon a small table. It contained antique photographs, a pistol, a troll, a 7Up can made into a lamp, a wad of three dollar bills with Hilary Clinton’s face on them, a faux cigar and a Nikon camera. Other displays contained mink pieces, a banjo, part of a military uniform and an overhead projector. One of the strangest items in the back yard that the seller seemed most proud of was an old large black and whitewedding picture with the brides face scraped off. A number of fine found art works graced the driveway a portrait of Jimmy Carter, a framed photograph of someone’s living room, a black velvet painting and a disturbing portrait of a man with no pupils. The seller was quite proud of this piece as it was signed “Insanity”. I’m not sure what was selling in this portion of the sale but other stuff included bins of tangled cables, various old board games and a large radio controlled tank. Among some books packed tightly into a cardboard box were “Naked Lunch”, “Adam and the Ants”, “Thunderball”, “The Curse of Collinwood”, “The Citizen Kane Book”, “Spartacus”, “Understanding Broadcasting”, “The Alley God”, “Rides of the Midway”, “None Dare Call it Treason”, “Why Not Me?” “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot”, “Tarnsman of Gor” and 14 Man from U.N.C.L. E. books.
The stuff that the other men were selling in the front yard was far tamer and much more normal than anything in the back yard. Here was an assortment of old Apple accessories, more tangled cables, a disassembled electric guitar, some men’s clothing, several old TVs and computer monitors, a pair of swim fins and a large plush giraffe.
I bought nothing.
Blue Jay and Insanity.

Photograph altered at the altar.

More clutter from the back yard.

Giraffe found in front yard.

Greenwood Ave. - Searsview “Yard Sale”

This sale was in front of a reconverted loft building where Greenwood dead-ends. Years ago I lived nearby and used to wander around this area late at night looking for artistic inspiration. I don’t know if I ever found it in what was then a dilapidated industrial zone. The first thing I spotted at this sale was an empty Ikea box so that let me know what inspiration I would find here today. Lofts like infill developments just don’t have a history. This one almost made fun of that premise as they were selling two old portrait with an attached sign that read “ Instant heritage” Among the clean and glossy stuff here were a selection of skis and oars, a bin of unused looking plush animals, a fog machine, a box of bright ceramic bowls, an unused looking snow shovel and a toy tank (the second one today). On a table were five framed covers of Bark magazine. I asked the seller if he were a graphic designer for the dog aficionado for the canine journal, he said no his wife just liked the covers.
I bought nothing.

Framed canine magazine covers.

Now gentrified area where I once wandered on moonlit nights.

Highland Park - Morningside “Estate Sale”

This sale was in it’s third day so I knew most of the contents would be depleted, but I had not visited an estate sale in some time so I wandered in. Highland Park is a one-block development off of Amsterdam Ave. Over two years ago I visited an estate sale here and took two photos that I have shown a several galleries. This home today had the exact layout of the residence of the earlier sale. So I walked about the depleted sale with a bit of Déjà vu. But sadly there was little notable left to photograph. Among some of the remnants I did encounter were a framed somewhat abstract image of a dollar sign, an autographed picture of Al Gore next to a collection of duck plates and a cabinet full of half drunk liquor bottles.
I bought nothing.

Al Gore among the remains of an estate sale.

Fiscal art found in Morningside

N. Virginia Ave. - Virginia Highlands “Yard Sale”

This sale was not only depleted but also deserted. No one was here all that remained was a box marked free at the end of the driveway and a bookshelf leaning against the front steps. On the bookshelf were some pop novels, a ceramic teddy bear and some candleholders.
I took nothing and saw no one.

Paidea School Garage Sale – Druid Hills

I have covered this annual event a year or two ago and most of what I saw today was little different from what I saw then. The sale is fairly extensive and gives one an idea what parents with kids at Paidea no longer want in their homes. It seems like they don’t want old books for there was an endless amount of them. I left my reading glasses in the car so had a hard time discerning the titles in the dim light. These parents also get rid of a lot of fancy toys, games and children’s activity sets. The pictures below give a better example of what I saw.

Hand made fabric eggs no longer needed by Paidea parent.

Creative game played at posh private academy.

These kids are so well off they have unopened packages of Harry Potter books.

Inman Park Parade

I later headed to the festival to catch the parade. Aside from the various marching bands the parade featured the usual assortment of denizens found around the neighborhood.
Fabulous hair seen in parade in Inman Park

A Local artist's call to prayer on parade.