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.


tagsalemaps.com said...

I enjoyed reading your blog. I came across it by a google blog alert for yard sales. Thank you.

mermer said...

I love yard sales too! I'm obsessed with Pyrex mixing bowls... do you see very many on your Saturday morning jaunts?

tracey@paperdollsforboys said...

I love what you do, "guy who takes photos at yard sales"!

farmdog said...

Good blog - I'm glad my yard sale has been immortalized...("Greenwood"). I still have some instant ancestor portraits if you're interested!

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