POWFest, here we come!

Just when you thought it was over, the love for Avi continues.

This Sunday, Cash Mob for Avi will be screening at the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival (POWFest). It’s an incredible honor for our lady directors Liz and Kat, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce Avi to the Portland audience.

The historic Hollywood Theatre, where it all goes down. Me, Craig, and Liz will be in attendance.

The historic Hollywood Theatre, where it all goes down. Me, Craig, and Liz will be in attendance.

We’ll be screening as part of the Feel Good Docs and are sandwiched between a pie lady, rodeo dog, stick insects, and a luchadora. If you’re in town, drop by. We’d love to say hi.

When: Sunday, March 15 at noon
Where: Hollywood Theatre – 4122 NE Sandy Blvd.
Tickets: $8

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The fate of Center Lane Stationery

Avi’s going to have a new life. And we couldn’t be happier for him.

At the end of this month, he’ll be shutting down Center Lane Stationery. Wait a minute, you might be thinking. What about the cash mob? The Fundly campaign? The hope we’ve been writing about?

I wish I could say this story had a Hollywood ending. That the cash mob swayed his landlord to give him a better lease and saved his store. (The money from the Fundly campaign will help him transition out, however, as he’ll be taking a big loss when he closes.)

We always knew there was a chance it would come to this, and we were shocked and sad as you at first. Until we realized that maybe after all, this story does have a good ending.

If you thought the Levittown community was already awesome, get this: Avi’s customers are trying to help him find new work. The love and support continue, and I couldn’t be any prouder of my hometown.

I’ll let Avi speak for himself in this new video. Watch it through to the end. The last line out of Avi’s mouth cuts to the core and will make you smile all over again. I promise.

Stay tuned for more as we follow Avi through the last days of Center Lane.

*Update*

Since writing this post, Avi’s closing date has moved up to December 24. He’s looking to donate all the merchandise in the store. If you have a lead, please email me: cellyham@gmail.com.

Love Letter to Levittown

You might know all about Levittown if you’re a history buff or are from the Tri-State area. But if you don’t, here’s a little something I wrote for Huffington Post that explores my long distance relationship with the town I grew up in.

Dear Levittown,

I’ll be the first to admit: Our love hasn’t always been a Billy Joel song.

In our early years together, I loved to spend my days swimming at your pools and hanging out at block parties and eating as much as I could at pancake fundraisers for high school sports teams. But my favorite thing? It was easy for me to find the bathrooms at all of my friend’s houses. I liked how they all looked and felt the same.

Then I got older and your sameness started to make me feel weird. I sabotaged us. I stole bras from your department stores. I toilet papered your manicured lawns. I smoked pot in the sump behind the village green. I made out with boys on baseball fields and ruined pitching mounds.

I got restless. I needed more than a drive-thru dairy mart called The Cow and a patch of grass behind the bowling alley called The Field to hang out at. So I left you.

While I was gone, I couldn’t get you out of my mind. I’d wake up in the middle of the night craving a chicken parmigiana hero from Portofino’s. I longed for your thick, tough accent. I’d give anything to sing karaoke at Faddy Malone’s.

I missed you. But I knew you weren’t healthy for me.

It’s true you’ve changed over the years, although people hear your name and still think you’re as plain as the potatoes that used to cover your fields. They stereotype you for being the first planned suburb.

I know you’re more than that. I know you secretly love that there’s now a Colombian restaurant where the oyster bar used to be, and that saris and turbans that can now be found among Jets hats and Islanders jerseys. I know you’re getting a kick out of all the new additions on your Capes and Ranches.

I will never return to your arms, but I just can’t seem to let you go. It’s because of you I cry whenever I hear a Journey song at a wedding. It’s because of you I can’t eat a bagel without feeling disappointed. It’s because of you I understand that the men and women who sweep dust and install phones and pick up garbage may appear gruff, but are as soft and sweet as the inside of a cannoli.

You were my first lesson in tough love. And after all these years fighting it, I can finally say I love you for just the way you are.

-Celeste