One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Shasta Suites

When Shasta begins worrying about things over which she has no control, she develops an overwhelming desire to paint little flowers. It takes her mind off troubling things and re-establishes her connection to a better place.

Landlords around the Pompano Beach know about Shasta because of her reputation: She signs a one-year lease convincing a landlord to give her a month's free rent and forego the security deposit based on the improvements she will make to the property. Then, after a month, she packs her very few possessions and moves out in the wee hours - leaving only her flowery masterpiece behind.

Those who own these rundown roachtraps aren't about to fork over money to get the walls painted white again, after only a month ... not to mention the floors and the inside of closets, drawers, etc. Besides, they're finding that the flowery apartments are far easier to rent than the others. They just seem to make people happy in a way that white walls do not. They've even started referring to these apartments as "Shasta Suites."

Shasta's life is getting easier, too. She no longer has to work so hard to convince landlords to let her stay free for a month and forego her security deposit. When she introduces herself as Shasta they seem to go easier on her. Shasta's not sure if that's her vivid imagination, or her new sense of confidence ... and it doesn't really matter.

What matters is that for the first she can remember in a long time, she feels really happy, hopeful and alive, despite having no bank account and few material possessions ... or maybe because of that. She no longer has to worry about paying rent and still has time to paint works that she can sell to buy a few groceries, flower seeds or even an occasional bottle of pinot grigio.

And perhaps, best of all, she recently heard that other artists had been moving into apartments, using the name Shasta to get a months' free rent, and then creating gorgeous masterpieces on the walls and moving out a month later .... Shasta never even dreamed of something this exciting happening.

Sometimes beautiful things emerge from the darkest of places.

Shasta has been dropped in the ladies' room at Dunkin Donuts between Davie Boulevard and 17th Street Causeway on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale ... It's the place that used to be Dippy Donuts ....


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