NYC Lodging for an Artist
September 8, 2004 11:09 AM   Subscribe

More NYCers: if an artist and her SO from NC were in need of a place to sleep on Sept 18 and 19th, would you open the door? Circumstances inside.

I found out this morning I was accepted into an annual street craft show in West Greenwich on Sept 19th. We were supposed to be notified sometime after July 15 (my application was in their hands June 24). I finally started calling/emailing persistently over the weekend, since we were told NOT to call, that everyone would be notified IN or OUT by 9/1.

That aside, my neighbor upstairs (here in Raleigh) had agreed back in July to let me ship my work to her folks' house in NJ, then we'd fly up, rent a van in NJ and she'd drive me into the city for the show. When I called her 2 minutes after hearing I 'd been juried in, she had obviously forgotten about the date she'd committed to, and said she couldn't go, she'd be out of town. She knew it was a very important thing to me and agreed back in July she'd do it no matter what.

(I could understand if she'd come to me and said "hey what's the word on the show, I have other possible plans I'd like to decide on?" But, she didn't.) I digress.

So here I am, with less than 2 weeks to a show I'm contractually committed to, with no ship address, no place to sleep, etc. Now I'm thinking, eat the $260 app fee and don't do it. Of course, I'm so upside down right now, the plan changes hourly.

It's possible I could get a partial refund, since they waited so late to tell everyone (it wasn't just me who didn't find out until now). But as an artist, I spend so much time filling out applications & submission, to hear a 'yes' in the seas of 'no's was sweetness on the ears.

Apologies for the vent. Ideas/comments/suggestions welcome.
posted by yoga to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (7 answers total)
There used to be a web site where artists would swap offers for couch space and/or lodging. It's no longer functional, but there is still a set of mailing lists that are worth trying. For the amount it would cost to ship stuff [paintings? something?] it would seem like you could rent a car/truck, drive your stuff up, find a place to crash via here or some other way [you can stay with me, but I'm in Vermont which doesn't help terribly much] and make a go of it.

Alternately, you could guilt your neighbor into still letting you ship stuff and stay at her parents and just eat the cost of the car ride in to the city. I think you have a few questions to ask yourself? 1) Do you want to go? If so, you can definitely do it, it's certainly not impossible with the logistical issues you are facing. 2) How much of this hassle can you suck up yourself? Can you find a place to ship your stuff or a way to get it up there anyhow [I'm sure there are other people who are wondering just what it is you are shipping and just how much your co-travelling SO can help out here...] and then just worry about a space to crash? Or, do you need someone to fill in for your deal-breaking neighbor [i.e. ride/couch/ship-to address] in which case it will be a much tougher sell to a relative stranger.

My advice, for what it's worth is to plan a mini-vacation with your SO, rent a truck to put your stuff in, drive it up, whatever it is, and reserve some cute little cheap B&B outside of town to stay in before and after the show. If you find someone to stay with, cancel that night. Otherwise I think we'd need a bit more information on what exactly you think you might need [being aware that you don't totally know, but work with us here] before people here can offer to help out. I'd also suggest a similar posting/plea on craigslist and/or other social software places like, I'm sure there are people who are in your boat, or who have been before.
posted by jessamyn at 11:34 AM on September 8, 2004

Hotels frequently have guests ship packages in preparation for an arrival. For example, say you stay at a reputable, chain hotel. When you call to make a reservation, ask if you can ship several boxes (describe the sizes) and if they would hold them for your arrival. Explain what they are and why you need them. See what their policy is; maybe they can accomodate your needs.
posted by onhazier at 2:06 PM on September 8, 2004

Try Craigslist.

You can also ship things to 'Your Name, General Delivery' and then pick it up at the post office (they usually hold things for a couple weeks at least). Don't know exactly how big your stuff is but I've shipped packages of books, etc., this way and not had any problems. Don't believe I've ever done it in Manhattan, though; they might not be so accommodating. But it would be worth calling the Manhattan postal service to check, or maybe shipping them to a post office at a smaller town outside the city.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 3:50 PM on September 8, 2004

Thanks, all. I'm weighing the options/variables. Cost is now an issue with last minute bookings, so yeah I was looking at the drive-it-up scenario. It would take some worry out of shipment, at least. The pieces (10 of them) are about 2'x2' and about 10-15 pounds each. Had this been two weeks ago I wouldn't have batted an eye. Here are the pieces.
posted by yoga at 5:00 PM on September 8, 2004

I can't promise anything at all, but I'll ask my SO and see how she'd feel (it may freak her out), and then perhaps we can talk. (We live in Hell's Kitchen.)
posted by papercake at 5:44 PM on September 8, 2004

After a discussion over a late dinner and sleeping on it, we've decided what the hell and to go for it. We'll rent a van, probably stay somewhere in NJ or PA where she's from, drive in early Sunday AM for the day-long show, and head out that evening back to the hotel. papercake, if you guys want to stop by, the show info is here.

Also, from the press release:

"10:30 - 6:00PM, Free!...Transport: Buses: #M20 or #M8 to Christopher St.
Subway: #1 or 9, IRT to Sheridan Sq./Christopher St.: 1 block west
PATH train: Christopher St.: 1 ½ block east

More information, call 718) 855- 8175 or 212) 243- 5378: M to F 10a to 8pm only"

Now to find that "Driving in NYC" thread....
posted by yoga at 5:00 AM on September 9, 2004

Yoga, best of luck at the show. We'll probably not be able to make it, as I've got a show starting that weekend myself.
posted by papercake at 1:28 PM on September 9, 2004

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