“The Rent is Too Damn High”

Many in the know…knew. It was inevitable that not all the restaurants opening on the 7th Street restaurant corridor could survive. Frankly, I thought there were several other eateries on 7th that would close shop before The Herb Box on 7th. I read the reviews on Yelp to help gather insight from customers and it was not pretty. The quality of food may not be the issue but rather the type or lack of service took its toll according to the reviews. I am reminded that it is called a “Hospitality” business. In the eat or be eaten business you have to be on the lookout for all predators.

“The Rent is Too Damn High”

Yes…its a different business model. No, your sales don’t support the rents the developer “needs”. Infill sites are becoming a rare find and demand is high, and some building costs have increased 33% in a short time. How you determine rent all begins with the cost of real estate and properties along our prominent arterials with strong visibility and parking can be costly. The Colony is a good example. The developer paid a market price to purchase the property. The success of The Yard started the stampede on 7th street. He took on the task to redeveloped the project and committed to his internal return on investment scenario. He went to market with a creative vision to reposition the property. I think he did a great job with the project. Demand for space was high and phase I leased up very quickly with local contemporary restaurant offerings and no chains. As most good developers know, the restaurant industry is highly competitive and the risk is greater in this retail category. But with high risk can come high reward and the Colony filled up quite quickly with local known names and concepts weighing the risk with entrepreneurial spirit before signing long-term leases. Many (not in the know) blame the “greedy” developer for charging high rents and that is how we get to the “rent is too damn high” syndrome and the only reason the restaurant failed.

From what I experienced and what I read, service at the Herb Box (or the lack of) contributed to it’s demise. Competition played its part, culling the herd of those with empty seats along the foodie corridor. They will surely find a replacement tenant (bet you 10 to 1 it’s a restaurant), another “local restaurant” willing to ply Phoenix’s 7th St food corridor.

 

Seeking the Sacred

Our personal journeys take us to many places. At times we find ourselves along paths that are unmarked and without light to guide us. We are forced to confront fears that only darkness can produce. But we are driven to explore, it is part of our DNA as humans whether it is reaching to the stars or the depths of the ocean or… the boundaries of our imagination. We begin the journey as children: bringing natural curiosity as artists, scientist, and philosophers.
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A new series of work titled “Beneath the Darkness” reveals imaginary desert and ocean realms. Places and moments of time where light penetrates the darkness providing hope, security, and inspiration. A concealed LED light illuminates the cast resin layers in the cross-like shape and radiates a light within the steel and plexiglass base.

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“Seeking the Sacred”

I had a sense of creating something sacred, perhaps a holy vessel, something that can produce a sense of peace and maybe miraculous healing. My own faith says that is possible. Some say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. I hope the piece becomes that beacon providing the light into a voyage to a sacred harbor.
Two in a series: Resin-Steel & Light       19″x 11″x4″ See at the Ice House
First Friday April 7th 2017.

www.stor-ybox.com
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“Within From Without”

onna-whispersI liked the show title that fellow artist Onna Voellmer suggested. Onna’s work is so strong. She uses large bold strokes to describe intimate objects. “Whispers from the Moon” is a series in the Within From Without show at Lotus Contemporary in Scottsdale.

 

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We discussed the title enough and we said: “Let’s go with it”.  My own series of work was titled “Beneath the Darkness”.

I mused over the show title, looking for a hidden meaning, wondering while my mind wandered. What unconscious thoughts create my art?  What is within these pieces trying to come out?  And back to “What makes things sacred”? superphoto_creation_2017-02-14_113220

My mind wanders between the stages of dark and light and at times entering a dreamlike tranquil realm of desert-ocean images and mirages. This series features the light energy of a passing “soul” who dares to infiltrate the darkness with an energy from within…from without.

http://www.stor-ybox.com

Lotus Contemporary Gallery -7077 E. Main St-Scottsdale, AZ -February 16,  6-9pm

 

Beneath the Darkness

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Shrouded Lights 7″x 15″x17″

Latest series of mixed media work: cast resins, recycled wood, steel, and light.

Imagine the last vestige of light, it empties its energy into the desert sky. The illumination pierces the translucent layers of clear blue skies, layered with purple and orange clouds, followed by the clear blackness of space.

My mind wanders between the darkness and the light at times entering a dreamlike tranquil realm of desert-ocean images and mirages.  The light energy of a passing “soul” infiltrates the darkness with an energy from within not from without.

“The desert and the ocean are realms of desolation on the surface.The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out, to desiccate into dust.seekin-the-sacred
The ocean is a place of skin, rich outer membranes hiding thick juicy insides, laden with the soup of being.
Inside out and outside in. These are worlds of things that implode or explode, and the only catalyst that determines the direction of eco-movement is the balance of water.
Both worlds are deceptive, dangerous. Both, seething with hidden life.The only veil that stands between perception of what is underneath the desolate surface is your courage. Dare to breach the surface and sink.” Unknown

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Seeking the Sacred II 7″x 12″x 12″

Seeking the Sacred

The last of light empties into the desert sky illuminating translucent layers of sky blue, purple and orange stratum. Cold, brilliant light surrounds and penetrates the blackness of night.

“Desert Passage”

My latest pieces explore the contrast of elements; where sky and earth meet
and where light penetrates the darkness. Translucence layers accentuate the
glimmering hues of color that shift in the light. Layers of translucent resins
create dream like landscapes and mirages. Mirages are deceptive and the small
nature of these pieces can deceive the viewer looking at the objects. I like to
imagine vast vistas of the sky and layers of clouds captured in a moment of time.
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“Desert Passages”
Inspiration for this new work comes from the desert and the
sea and where the sky meets earth and where light is
captured in a space of “luminous colored layers”. It
also comes from deeper inside-from the DNA of the
desert and sea and from the inner being of who I am.
“Am I a mirage”…Is a question that comes to mind.
4 Seasons Nice
“Desert Seasons”
Summer is passing in the desert and the light is shifting
higher in the sky…we transition to fall-then to winter-back to spring and then to summer. The seasons of the desert have one thing in common…Light.
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“Mirage”

Markers in the desert…

Cube zzzBy day you led them with a pillar of cloud,and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take. Nehemiah 9:12

What does an invisible God look like? Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen. His invisble Attributes  were in the clouds and in the night sky with as a pillar of fire for all to see and follow, all day and all nightCubes in the Desert

He is the image of the invisible God Jesus

A new series of cubes and terraforms that are exploring light in the desert wilderness. The 2″ x 2″x 3″ resin cubes are like milepost along a journey, a sign to stop and rest, to take in the energy that comes only from the Light. Infused into the resin casts are layers of phosphorescent casts which when charge with light emits an “excited light” electrons. The excited light in my pieces last for a period of time as they exhaust their power. A reminder to connect and recharge your life with the giver of Light.Desert Journey Cube

http://www.stor-ybox.com

@anobliqartist

https://www.facebook.com/larry.ortega.73