Saturday, August 23, 2008

Faux food, Bloody Marys, cupcakes and mixtapes 8/16/08

To commemorate the four-year anniversary of this site I went out to visit more yard sales. In the midst of the summer doldrums I am happy to see that sales around here have for the most part gotten stranger around the edges.

Ferguson St. - Candler Park “Yard Sale”

This sale was just around the corner from a larger event on McLendon. There was not a lot of clutter here; the sale consisted mainly of hand made pottery, thermos bottles, Martha Stewart books and old Dutch safety posters. There were a few other things such as a folk art painting of Elvis done by a lesser known Howard Finster relative, some retro glassware and a few chemical beakers. When I told the seller I was taking photos for this site he told me he was not familiar with it but was a regular reader of Yard Sale Bloodbath, the Seattle based site that documents yard sales. If you haven’t visited the site its in my list of links.
I bought nothing.

McLendon Ave. - Candler Park “Yard Sale”

At this sale around just around the corner from the Ferguson sale here I was immediately recognized as “that Yard Sale Addict guy who takes photos of yard sales”. This sale with a moderate amount of clutter spread out in the lawn in front of an older two-story home appeared a bit more normal. Here I found a pair of bicycles, a pet carrier, a printer/scanner, some luggage, five boxes of mini DV tapes, s few curtain rods in their original packaging, women’s clothing and the usual assortment of mismatched mugs. Among some books I found “Dark Clouds/ Silver Lining”, “Always Enough”, “Unveiling Islam”, “The Tao of Relationships” and “Betrayal of Trust”.
All did seem normal here until I came across what appeared to a pillowcase featuring a strange cartoon about police brutality. The seller told me she got it from a west coast critic of police brutality.
I bought nothing.

Police brutality pillowcase.

Oakdale Ave. – Candler Park “Yard Sale”

This sale was in the porte-cochere of a house that bordered on the upscale Druid Hills neighborhood. Here I found tables covered with a painstaking orderly selection of bits and pieces of hardware. There was also a lot of other stuff not so well arrayed including a large platter of faux pastries. Other stuff included a candle in the shape of an artichoke, some streamers made from unloaded fireworks, two pet doors in their unopened boxes, three bottles of suntan lotion, a fajita making kit, a hush sign from a golf tournament, an imitation Nagel painting and a pair of teacups with cute faces on them.
I bought nothing

Faux food in porte-cochere.

Explosive looking decor.

Connecticut Ave. - Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

The seller at this sale appeared to have spent considerable time making very well crafted sign. The stuff gathered in her yard was not that usual Tupperware, plush animals, women’s shoes; some office supplies (sold as back to school items) some books and Cds. Among her books I found “The Midnight Disease”, “A Touch of Wonder”, “A Short History of Progress”, “The Dark Side of Japanese Business” and “A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government”
Other stuff in her yard included a pair of dumbbells and a large framed print of Audrey Hepburn. The seller chose to pose for me lifting the dumbbells.
I bought nothing.

Well made signs in Lake Claire.

Springdale Rd. – Druid Hills “Estate Sale”

This was a major disappointment. I presume I should have come to this sale the when it started on Friday since the inside of the house was nearly stripped bare. But judging by the remnants left in the wake of furious bargain hunters I don’t think this was that great a sale to begin with. Inside I mostly found a multitude of ‘watch your step signs’ among the empty rooms in this large manor house.
I saw little and bought nothing.

Hemlock Ave. - Ormewood Park “Garage Sale”

This was another open house with barely anything for sale in it. It was held inside and outside a new infill home on a steep lot. Walking around the house there were very few signs and I was unsure what rooms were open for my perusal. In the kitchen I was delighted to see that they were selling old cans and packages of foodstuff. In these days of runaway inflation on food a bargain is always welcome. Among the foods offered for a mere quarter were Kroger’s Tomato soup, Vienna sausages, refried beans, canned raspberries and pasta sauce. Aside from the food all that was left in the house were some men’s clothing that was too big for me and some furniture. Outside I did discover some tools and Xmas and Halloween décor.
I bought nothing.

Santa and Death, together at last.

Gresham Ave – East Atlanta “Yard Sale”

People, especially the children seemed to be having a lot of fun at this sale. In front of a craftsman bungalow I found a wide array of children’s toys and games and a half dozen children frolicking about them. There were adults sitting off to the side seemingly enjoying this day of divestment. When I arrived one of the seller’s children was running about yielding and incredibly noisy toy chain saw it made me fully understand the parents wish to sell the headache inducing plaything. Other stuff displayed in the front yard included a variety of masks, including a full head alien mask, a box containing plastic shrunken heads, a set of Zig Ziglar cassette tapes, a used potty seat (sitting next to some kitchen wares), a magnetic poetry kit, a motorized ice cream cone in its original box and a poster depicting the anatomy of an ant.
The children had set up a refreshment stand, which sat fully unattended the entire time I was there. But at least they were using truth in advertising. The sign for the stand read Lemon Blend not lemonade.
When I asked one of the sellers to pose she choose a pair of hand painted curio holders. She said her mother had painted them. She was selling them for fifty cents and hoped that her mother would not find out.
I bought nothing.

Masks found in East Atlanta.

A sample of the playthings for sale.

Hand painted craft by Mom only fifty cents.

Pearl St. – Cabbagetown “Yard Sale”

This sale was a fundraiser for an adult men’s softball team that was trying to raise money to pay to go to a tournament in Seattle.
The bulk of this sale was a very large selection of men’s clothing, most of it very large sizes. The clothing was priced at the bargain rate of four items for a dollar. After digging about the clothing in the hot sun for 15 minutes I finally found four items. In addition to clothing there were a few tables of electronics and house wares, a few items of furniture and a large ceramic elephant. As I was concluding my purchase one of the sellers bought out a large pitcher of Bloody Marys and gave me a free cupful.

Woodward Ave. - Taco Town “Yard Sale”

Taco Town is a small neighborhood and Latino enclave between Grant Park and Cabbagetown. This sale was in the tiny front yard of a small mill style bungalow. Into the crowded space the sellers had placed a PA system, baby stuff, some toys, a wedding dress and a crate of old Lps. A Manx cat wandered all about this clutter. Up on the porch was a table with a sign Mixtapes and Cupcakes. On the table were a stack of mix tape Cds created by the seller, and a selection of jewelry.
One of the sellers’s offered me one of the cupcakes. They were very good especially considering I had drank the Bloody Mary on an empty stomach.
I bought nothing.

Cupcakes without the mixtapes.

Esters St. - Reynoldstown “Yard Sale”

The signs for this sale said free beer. But when I arrived there the seller told me the beer was free to anyone buying anything over $15. Then he recanted and said if I spent a dollar fifty he would give me two beers. I didn’t need the beer I needed breakfast. But here on this narrow street in front of a rehabed house was an somewhat messy array of picture frames electronics, home furnishing and fancy dolls. In the side yard was a disassembled pool table and a massive round sign with the Misfits logo.
I bought nothing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday 8/9/08

Maxwell Ave. – Oakhurst “Friggin’ Big Garage Sale”

A small sign on a utility pole outside this small home in Oakhurst said ‘Frigging Big Garage Sale’ while a sign sitting sideways next to the home’s mailbox read “Estate Sale”. When I arrived inside and spoke to the seller she told me it was a moving sale. She had listed this event on Atlanta’s Artnews listserv and there she mentioned that she hoped I would arrive with camera in hand. So I knew I was obligated to document this sale regardless of what manner of sale it was.
The small home was emptied of a lot of its contents upon my arrival shortly after 9 AM. When she saw me with camera in hand she told me that she still had the bee smoker she mentioned in the listserv post. The smoker aside from its unique use was not much to look at or photograph sitting atop the refrigerator. I don’t know if the seller, a local artist, kept bees or just like to blow smoke around. Going from room to and taking my time capturing images (something that seldom happens on inside the home sales) I looked for the visually remarkable among the seller’s belongings. In the entry I found old china and an even older clarinet.
On the floor of the living room under a Chinese parasol was a collection of books and videotapes. Among them were a variety of macramé arts books (sadly there was no evidence of any macramé creations in the home). Other books included “Sharpshooter Blues”, “A Sport and a Pastime”, “The Trial of Elizabeth Cree” “Oracle Night” and A guide to making margaritas. Also in the pile was an audio book of “Under the Tuscan Sun” a copy of “The Queen” on DVD and a reproduction of an antique print showing the city of St. Augustine.

In the back of the home I found a pile of purses, totes and satchels strewn across the floor, women’s shoes lining a few walls and some boxes of fabric and clothing. In the kitchen I found the usual assortment of nonmatching glassware that I seem to constantly encounter in sales like this. But I did have an enjoyable time trying to capture the essence of this sale as the early morning August sun crept thought window shades and blinds. As I was finishing my image capturing I did notice at strange pillow like object atop one cabinet. The seller told me it was a soft sculpture version of a noted Branchusi sculpture.
I bought nothing.

Early morning light in the kitchen.

Soft version of noted sculpture.

Wall of an artist's home.

Shoes in a near empty bedroom.

After this sale there was really not much of note in the way of sales in my end of Atlanta but I did make a few stops at the following sites.

Adams St. Oakhurst “Yard Sale”

This sale featured a moderate amount of clutter gathered on the driveway and porch of a brick bungalow. Here I found a large plastic Sponge Bob figure, two abstract artworks that appeared to be variation on the Prince icon, a series of blue plastic bins filled with mismatched electronic cables, odd computer accessories and trade show freebies. There was also a lot of women and children’s clothing lining the driveway.
I bought nothing.
I then returned home but later went out with Cindy to visit some sales while running errands.

Art found in Oakhurst.

Highland Ave. Virginia Highland “Yard Sale”

This sale on a busy corner was nearly played out by the time we got there. My documentation went askew when the seller said that my camera caused a dog that a woman was walking through the clutter to jump nervously. Before I left I did notice a box containing two rubber chickens and a case of manicure cosmetics.
We bought nothing.

Morningside Dr. Morningside “Yard Sale”

This sale was also very depleted when we arrived. Mostly what was left was a lot of oversized plastic children’s toys and a foosball table without the legs attached. One of the more notable toys was a pair of long plastic arms. There was a large free pile containing small toys, ribbons and a variety of plastic kitchen items.

Arms in the lawn.

Colquitt Ave. Inman Park “Yard Sale”

This sale at least had some charm and a lot of stuff left. Here we found an old globe, boxes of party noisemakers, a pagoda made of cardboard, a half used bottle of baby lotion, many pairs of shoes and a copy of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory game.
We bought nothing.

Paper pagoda in Inman Park.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good signs, free beer and roller girls 8/2/08

Brooks Ave. – Candler Park “Estate Sale”

This should have been called a moving sale, but like a true estate sale the seller did let you inside part of the house. I had a difficult time appraising this event. The four rooms that were open were crowded but there was not much there that mattered other than some interesting artwork crammed into corners and leaning against walls. Among the visions captured on medium sized canvases were a lighthouse scene, an unfinished looking painting of an old mill arced by a rainbow, a sunrise (or sunset) scene and a well-executed expressionistic looking painting of a man and a woman. I was very taken with the lighthouse scene since it was displayed next to a monkey’s head carved from a coconut. Other stuff around the house included kitchen appliances, barware, some bedclothes and a soap dispenser in the shape of an old woman holding a coffee cup.
I bought nothing.

Lighthouse with carved coconut.

Euclid Terrace – Candler Park “Yard Sale”

This sale has the best sign in Atlanta. They have been using it for three years. The seller’s child painted it and I purchased a similar sign for my exhibition at the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center two years ago. I now have no idea where that sign is today. I have considered buying the sign they were using today or just appropriating for using as a lead graphic for this site. While the sign is wonderful this current sale while interesting was not as good as the prior sale I visited over a year ago. Much of the assembled clutter was toys. They ranged from a box of Bionicles to a large plastic geodesic ball made from expandable plastic tubes. Other stuff there included a candle in the shape of a dragon, a table full of cheap sunglasses, a globe, a point and shoot camera, a large unopened bag of Twistlers, a bubble blowing plastic Santa, a pillow shaped like a box of Froot Loops and a cassette tape set of Homer’s Odyssey. In addition to the aforementioned sign there was also an intriguing painting of a woman in a head wrap and a breaded man done in intense shades of blue.
The seller had also set up one of the most charming cookie sale tables with homemade cookies in a fancy footed cake dish and a toy cash register on the table. I attempted to help the seller move the table out of the sun but made to tragic mistake of telling her daughter to hold the footed cake dish. The child then dropped the dish and the cookies while I helped move the table, spilling the cookie onto the pavement.
I apologized profusely and vowed to only document sales not to assist with them.

Candy among the clutter.

Elegant cookie stand before my interloping.

Wonderful sign.

My proposed adaptation of wonderful sign.

Oakdale Ave. - Candler Park “Yard Sale”

This sale was in the front yard of a wooden bungalow with an Obama sign. Obama signs are very common in Candler Park. I have yet to see a single McCain sign in the neighborhood. Spread out in the front yard was a moderate selection of clutter. Larger items included a plush Panda and a plush Pokeman character (Pikachu perhaps, my knowledge of this genre has waned) Other stuff included a globe, some plastic bowling pins a wooden cat mask, the Anti-Monopoly game, a selection of glassware, an old Royal typewriter and a fire escape ladder. Among some books I found “The Race Myth”, “Fast Food Nation”, “Rereading America”, “What’s the Matter with Kansas” and “A La Ruse - A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality”. In box marked free was a basket; a plastic jar shaped like a bear, a cookie tin and some plastic bags.
I bought the copy of the Myth of Race for fifty cents.

Royal typewriter with safety ladder.

One of today's many boxes of free stuff.

Gresham Ave. – East Atlanta “Yard Sale”

This was a small sale in front of a nicely kept brick bungalow. When I approached the house a small dog with a red Mohawk haircut greeted me. Among the notable items in the yard were a unopened container of a Shania Twain brand perfume, a cookie jar in the shape of a pineapple, some plates with an Hawaiian motif, a microwave oven, some clothing and a big CRT monitor.
I bought nothing and had a difficult time getting the dog to pose.

Glenwood Ave.- East Atlanta – “Roller Girls Fund Raiser”

One of the earmarks of a truly cosmopolitan city is having an all female roller derby team. Atlanta Roller Girls are a struggling team (thus the yard sale) that recently moved their competition from the hinterlands of DeKalb to the Shrine Temple on Ponce De Leon. Here in an abandoned service station the roller derby queens had set up an array of somewhat wild clothing, old computer gear, exercise equipment, a collection of Zippo lighters, some house wares, books and videotapes. In the rack of clothing were, long gowns, day-glo wigs; faux leopard skin shoes a few vinyl items and some very normal stuff one could wear to church or school. On the ground were several boxes of mostly black t-shirts. The selection of books belied the owners rough façade a in a box I found “From Playing Field to Battleground”, “A Fall Together”, “Where the Air is Clear”, “The Instant Chef”, “The Origami Handbook” and “The Total Quality Handbook”.
Another box of VHS tapes revealed a darker side. In it were copies of “Drunks”, “Whipped”, “Anger Management”, ”The Trans Alaska Pipeline”, “The Good Girl” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. One table contained a collection of very well dressed dolls looking far more American Girl than American Grrrl. And yes there was a pair of inline skates for sale.
I bought a coke.

Used roller girl clothing.

Girl not grrrl dolls.

Cummings St. - Reynoldstown “Yard Sale”

The bright pink signs for this sale said “Make your yard sale dreams come true”. For me that dream would be a literary agent waiting in the driveway with a book deal for me. But sadly the sign did not live up to its promise. There was not a lot here when I arrived at this somewhat oversized infill home in the heart of Reynoldstown. In the driveway and garage were two liquor carousels in their original boxes several marketing textbooks, several UGA promotional items, a few purses and some popular movies on DVD. The most obscure thing here was a four-panel canvas print of an anguished looking persons. The seller said they found it behind a counter when they moved in; they had no idea whose face was on it.
I bought nothing.

His and hers liquor carousels.

Quad image of unknown origin.

Holtzclaw St. - Reynoldstown “Yard Sale”

This sale was in the parking lot of a warehouse artists studio/loft complex. The scene had a nice decrepit urban feel to it with partially disassembled cars, large pieces of metal and broken asphalt. Here I found clothing, original artwork, a wooden elephant, some old sheet music and a keg of free beer. The beer was left over from a party the night before. I had a short glass since it was still morning.

Selection of art among old vehicles.

My artistic rendering of artists' clothing for sale.

Pickett St. - Cabbagetown “The Best Yard Sale Ever”

Claiming to be “the best yard sale ever” indicated that the seller had a lot of bravado. But there was not a lot here on the porch of a typical narrow Cabbagetown home. I think the seller may have been at the artist studio party the night before because a car full of clutter arrived while I was there at the late hour of 11AM. On the porch I found an electric guitar, a pair of pistols that shot plastic pellets, a dog without a Mohawk (not for sale), Grateful Dead CDs, an overflowing ashtray, a plaster cobra marked not for sale and a crossbow sitting atop some books. The books included “The Vice Guide to Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll”, “A thousand Splendid Souls”, “A Confederacy of Dunces” and “Weirdos from Another Planet”.
I bought nothing.

Grateful Dead and dirty ashtray.

Another dog, but no mohawk.

Plastic firearms.

Crossbow and reading matter.

Morgan St. “Old 4th Ward “Yard Sale”

I saw a large sign for this sale the previous night while driving down North Ave. The sale was not as big as the sign suggested. When I arrived the sun was high in the sky and the day was now quite hot. The sellers sat in the shade of the porch looking over a moderate amount of clutter in their yard. Here I found prom dresses, ice trays, tennis racquets, two small TVs, a boom box, a ceramic stagecoach, a candle shaped like a cocktail dress and a large pink plush monkey. Among some books were “Everything’s an Argument”, “Love and Respect”, “Love and Respect Workbook”, “Addicted to Love” and “Introduction to Analysis”.
In a box marked free was some faux ivy, a few note cards, some file folders and a bottle of shampoo. In the cool of the porch was a box filled with fresh vegetable from a local farm. The box held plump tomatoes, and several varieties of peppers.
I bought some jalapeño peppers and three tomatoes.

Fresh produce on the porch