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By 11:24 AM , ,

Originally uploaded by looseid

The madness continues.

It was 1990. A fabric warehouse named Adini was shutting down in downtown Providence. Word got out and all the Apparel and Textile students flocked to the scene like fly on shit.

This place was like no other place you've ever seen.

Firstly, it was vast. I'm probably wrong on the square footage, but it felt like 10,000 sq. ft or more. And it was a couple of floors of area.

Secondly, it was dark and filthy. We're talking decades of dust, grease, mold, and probably rat poo.

Thirdly, they had everything in mass quantities. Bolts of fabric, boxes of buttons and notions, yards and yards of everything else.

Fourthly, everything had to go as far as the owners were concerned, so it was all a steal.

So, these four points are red flag warning signs in any given light to any sensible person. But to young, wide-eyed, art students from across the river they were irresistible siren calls. The supply and demand witnessed that final week of sale at Adini can only be described as pure frenzy.

There were only a handful of students with cars, so those, yours truly included, were much in demand as well-worn cardboard box after box was being hauled out of the warehouse all day long and shoved into trunks. Now that I look back at it, it all feels really sketchy. Icky, really. Like it may not have been all legit. But by the end of the week the building was empty, the proprietors gone and we had no idea what our parent's hard-earned money had bought.

Twenty years later, the bulk of what I got at Adini was either used, tossed or is gone. I came across a few stowaways inside boxes I emptied out this weekend. Those two large hefty bags are once again, being donated to Asako's pre-school.

I feel guilty about unloading this much fabric to a small, private pre-school because, really, only a sweatshop in Hong Kong can go through this much yardage. But Asako insists that it will all be put to good use and continues to express sincere gratitude. I hope she's right, because the last thing I want to do is to pass on the burden that I've borne to a future generation...

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  1. One of old Japanese proverbs says: "Suteru Kami (god) areba, hirou Kami ari."
    Don't worry about Asako. You did it just fine.