I love our outdoor space at Eclectic Eye. The explosion of color, the vibrancy of flora and fauna, and the enthusiasm of our walls remind us of the details our little corner continues to inspire. Plus, it allows us to tap into the lively Midtown art scene.
I also enjoy that on the south side of Eclectic Eye’s corner, you can now find our very own Explore Bike Share rack, where you can hop on a super comfy bike and head to Overton Square or Cooper Young for a yummy lunch. Or, if you are even more adventuresome, grab a Bird scooter, as there are usually a couple hanging out by the Explore Bike Share rack. The Birds provide endless entertainment from inside our windows, as people zip by quickly here and there. These fun transportation additions to our urban landscape are next to our favorite Raw Girls food truck, where one can pick up a variety of fresh juices, delicious salads or a hot soup on any given day. Raw Girls’ vintage camper exudes happy, summertime fun with their rainbow flag, welcoming all into the south side of our lot.
On the Cooper, front side of our building, we have an explosion of color with a zinnia forest overtaking our tangerine bench. There is an immensely happy butterfly bush with bees and butterflies arriving to feast all day, every day. There are blooming coreopsis, sage, oregano and giant elephant ears rounding out our pretty front paths. On the Courtland side of Eclectic Eye, our new turquoise chairs, sassy striped pillows and oblong deck give you a nice place to land. You can also enjoy Kyle Taylor’s beautiful “Forming Function” mural or watch Yvonne Bobo’s sculpture shift in the wind. A flagstone path welcomes guests to easily peer into our space. A fellow Midtowner and friend, Kalki Winter of E-Scape Landscape Designs, helped us rework our landscape paths and sidewalks so that we could better activate our exterior and blend it into the interior. Stop by and to take a look, as it has really changed the outside of Eclectic Eye in a profound way.
Even the back of our building, which mainly encompasses our parking area, feels alive. Michael Roy, aka “Birdcap,” hand-painted a new mural this year to balance out his masterpiece, “Bait,” from 2015. It shows another alligator, but this time he is trying desperately to free himself from the chains or bindings of…well, something…I am not sure what, but I know there is love to be had because of the heart at the top. Plus, I know I love it and it dramatically adds to our otherwise boring parking lot. We painted our bike rack pink to give it some sass, and added a huge horse trough that is now overflowing with potato vines gone wild. Our seating area in the back vestibule provides a shady spot beside a planter filled with beautiful annuals. All in all, for a parking lot, it’s pretty pleasant.
I believe that how I feel on the outside of my corner should match how I feel on the inside. Taking a moment to reflect and notice reminds me how hard we work to make our little corner an enjoyable space for ourselves and the community.
Read more from Robbie Johnson Weinberg, owner of Eclectic Eye, and the rest of the staff here!