By some strange coincidence, a small chain store in Brooklyn called “Connecticut Muffin” got a hold of my number and was anxious to get some of their store windows painted.
The young lady I worked with at this store requested images of snow and winter instead of any particular religious holiday theme. Then they don’t have to wash the windows once the December holidays have passed and can keep it up longer.
It was late in the window painting season so I was only able to paint two of their five stores. The first one I painted was in Park Slope, Brooklyn on 7th Avenue. It was a bright sunny day but bitterly cold.
I always find it interesting how local residents respond to seeing live window painting. In an upper middle class, white collar neighborhood, such as this one, most of the adults are reserved and if they have kids they quietly point out to their children, “Oh, look. The artist is painting the window.” Which is very nice.
However, I have to say I love the kids the best. As I was finishing up this window I saw a young boy about ten years old, walk by with his dad.
Seconds later, like the superhero Flash, he suddenly re-appeared in front of the window-wind in his hair, big smile on his face and thumbs in the up position. Children have no reservations about expressing their likes and dislikes, which is why they are so awesome.
The next window was Woodmont Pizza in Milford, Connecticut. Small business owners here in the nutmeg state are either still struggling from the recession or not interested in this kind of holiday advertising like the New York crowd. (I think it is the former.)
Marcelo, the manager of Woodmont Pizza, is one of my most enthusiastic clients. He likes the traditional Santa and reindeer.
The owner used to have two pizzerias, this one and Honey Spot Pizza in Stratford. But with the sale of Honey Spot, Woodmont Pizza is my only client locally.
It takes me about four hours to do a window like this but I had to stop, go pick up my son, and drive him to work at a local Michaels store; then go finish painting.
He doesn’t like when I take pictures of him at work. What is it about the feeling of triumph and satisfaction that comes when I have an opportunity to annoy my 16 year old? I wonder if that make me a bad parent?
In this pic he is putting stuff back to their appropriate place. The first time he did this he couldn’t find where googly eyes went.
On the final day of window painting I did two more stores. The second of the Connecticut Muffin bakeries and Metropolitan fish market. Connecticut Muffin #2 is located in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn on Myrtle Avenue.
Not that long ago this area of Brooklyn was part of the “hood” and is now gentrified.
It is a beautiful area with lots of brownstones.
Clinton Hill is next to Williamsburg, Brooklyn which makes sense that it’s gentrifed because Williamsburg is bursting out of it seams and seems busier than Grand Central Station at all hours of the day and night.
Here are a few pictures of the Clinton Hill-Connecticut Muffin store. BTW, the muffins are made at a local Brooklyn bakery, making me wonder what Connecticut has to do with these muffins. Very tasty muffins though, not to mention the soup.
A before and after picture.
It was an amazingly warm day for mid-December. Everyone is happy on days like these.
The last and final stop on the 2011 Holiday Window Painting trail was Metropolitan Fish Market on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The owner, the infamous Pat Zollo, was one of my first customers way back in 1992. What I consider some of my best work was done at this store back in the 90’s. (I did get a chance to upload some of them to my web site). www.theresakasun.com
This year Pat didn’t want much on his windows – just some red and white trim and snowflakes. In the spring he wants me to come back and freshen up the all the windows.
This is only one piece of the many Christmas decorations Pat puts up each year. Yep, this 3/4 life size Santa was staring at me all afternoon. It was a little creepy.
It’s true, there are Live Eels here but don’t worry, they are behind glass.
Even if you are not here all afternoon painting windows inside the store, you smell like fish when you leave and the ambient sound that accompanies a trip to the fish market is continuous bubbling noises. (I think some people buy tapes with these sounds on them to help them go to sleep.)
The lobster doesn’t get much fresher than this. Years ago he used to have live soft shell crabs in an open barrel on the floor. They would crawl out and come at you. Pretty funny to watch them go after small children. Don’t worry they were my children and they all ran away. I only wish I had a camera on me at the time.
Make no mistake! This is the best place to buy fish. Just about every restaurant in the surrounding area buy their fish here.
A smile for every customer. Can’t beat that kind of service.
And that concludes the 2011 window painting season! I rewarded myself by purchasing airline tickets for my kids and I so we could spend Christmas with my family back in the great state of Nebraska. Go Big Red.