5533 – home away from home no more

today i had to say goodbye to an old friend:

(and i don’t mean mister grey!)

no, today we turned over the keys to the oldest family-owned tattoo shop in austin. why? because of good (not so) ol’ fashioned gentrification! a little over a year ago the morning crew (which back then still had harold in it) showed up to open the shop that now looks like this…

…and found a property line survey crew in the parking lot. “what are you doing here?”, they asked. “taking measurements for the property management company”, they replied.

“oh, you must have the wrong address”, as the consensus. “you see, this is a family owned building and a family owned business. the two families have a had a handshake deal for, like, twenty-something years”. yep – for only two decades there was no deposit, not even a lease contract drawn up…

…but in spring of 2016 that all changed. other properties were looked at, but ultimately my phrasing seemed to fit – “it’s a shit hole, but it’s OUR shit hole!” negotiations were made, the new property management company came down from their initial offer to TRIPLE the rent and only doubled it, plus a FIVE FIGURE deposit on the building atomic had been in since before bill clinton was inaugurated…for the first time.

but six months into the lease my boss was called at home and told that when the lease expired six months later we would NOT be allowed to renew. so the place i’ve worked TWICE as long as any place else is no longer. i bet by memorial day it’ll just be a pile of rubble. so what looked like this in 2012:

gets to look like this in 2017:

welcome to austin! this is one of the reasons i’ll never live in my birthplace again!

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