How Not to Sell Art

My post earlier this week about the attempted naming of the Santiago Street Lofts area as the historically inaccurate North Logan Art District (NoLo for short) has sparked quite the mini-imbroglio through comments on Navel Gazing, private email and comments on Life at the Santiago Street Lofts, a muy bueno blog run a guy whose only realy sin is he likes Chipotle (seriously, Ben: I'll take you to much better burritos if you want--but screw McBurrito!!!). But no one has reacted more strongly than Chris and Kendra Bradley, owners of Neue Transit Studio. In long, rambling, misspelled comments, Chris alternately called the Weekly "a very shading publication" and wondered "why don't they write stories about calling people out on corruption in this County," and that I "didn't have th balls to say anything to my face!" about the NoLo designation. Kendra, for her part, left an anonymous comment on this blog and followed up by claiming I stabbed her "in the back in a public forum" and that I did my post solely "to save some face among your Latino amigos."

The casual observer might wonder what the hell are the Bradleys rambling about. Come gather 'round you lofters and artists, a story I will tell:

Earlier this week, I went to Neue Transit to pick up an art piece I purchased from the gallery. I had heard good stuff about the studio's shows, and an exhibit late last year confirmed it for me. While speaking with Chris, he told me that a group of artists in the Santiago Lofts wanted to brand the area as the North Logan Art District, or NoLo. I thought the name a bit unoriginal, trying to ride the coattails of Fullerton's SoCo (South on Commonwealth) District and Costa Mesa's much-vaunted SoBeCa, but didn't say anything because it wasn't too big of a deal to me. As I left Neue Transit and got on the 5 Freeway, I realized the area was far from the Logan barrio and found the name stupid, much like Anaheim's attempt to deem the Yorba clan significant to the city's history. And, so, I posted, 'cause I care about such historical inanities.

Nowhere in my post did I mention the Bradleys or Neue Transit, not even in a backwards sort of way. My critique was specifically directed toward those Santiago Loft dwellers who were so clueless about where they lived, which wasn't everyone. Some wised up and apologized to longtime Logan residents for their faux paux. Others remain brazenly stubborn: one wrote, "I hate pandering to whiners- who as Chris put it: 'Romanticize the days of dirt lots and run down warehouses.' Part of me wants to call it NoLo just to spite them."

So, some words of advice to Chris, Kendra and others:

*The fact I bought art from ustedes shows that not only do I not have anything against your gallery, but that it's insane to turn around and insult someone who just bought something from you, especially when they didn't say a single bad thing about your gallery. From whom did you guys learn how to run a business--Georgia Frontiere?

*Chris: Spare me the balls-talk: only guys I know who speak like that are cholos or guys with none.

*Kendra: Your comment about me trying to ingratiate myself with Latino amigos is perplexing at best, racist at worst. Where in my post did I ever mention Mexicans? And what's with the insinuation that only Latinos are disturbed by folks trying to rejigger history?

*Santiago Street Loft dwellers: Buy Mary Garcia's book on the history of Logan. Good, easy read.

*Readers: Despite the Bradley's idiocies, their Neue Transit Studio really does have great exhibits. Visit, buy--and a definite caveat emptor with these folks.


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