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Tattoo artist looking for place to rent is having no luck at all

Tattoo artist looking for place to rent is having no luck at all

Hello, My name is Tom Monnin My wife and I moved from New York to Greensboro about 18 months ago and bought a nice brick home. Since then we have been trying to lease a commercial property in the downtown Greensboro area, 900-1400 square feet, between $900-$1,600. Before we moved here we visited and searched the internet there were dozens of listings. All looked promising. but no one will rent to us. We have good credit, and are professionals — my wife was an RN for 24 years until she got MS. Now she is on Social Security and disabled we thought to move here because of the weather and it seemed very progressive for most of the South, meaning a lack of bias towards minorities. I have lived in the South and never had any kind of problems like this leasing of a space. We even looked at buildings that were much larger and more expensive out of desperation, but to no avail. In most states, tattoos are just like blue jeans and iPods and hamburgers — just a popular part of the culture. Landlords always met us with open arms; tattoo studios do business in the same locations for 20-30 years or more when they are of my caliber. What’s up? Is Greensboro really that backwards? Bias on this scale is sort of crazy to us. We have international clients that would fly here to be tattooed by us! That means staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, going to clubs and spending money. It would seem four or five families own everything (commercial properties) in the Triad and for whatever reason they don’t like tattooing. When we talk to friends back home, even ones that would never get a tattoo, this all sounds very strange to them. Really all the people we know back home and around the country, around the planet tell us to move! “What did you expect? It’s backwards. It’s North Carolina. Give them another 100 years or so, ha-ha.” That really was what we are being told from the art and entertainment community! We would be advertising in YES! Weekly if we could get a space. It really can’t be that backwards here. Maybe we are doing something wrong in our approach. Anyway I guess all we can do is move from here and sell our house for less then we paid for it to get out quick. MS medication is very expensive and I have to take care of my wife. We were going to get interviewed by the Village Voice of New York. I’m sure this future article will not be good for the real-estate market in Greensboro. Rich and poor alike up North hate bias of any kind. We are taught in school that this is why we should not move or bring our business to the South, really even in school we are taught this! It’s on the news every day, the daily scuttlebutt, really. Don’t open factories in the ignorant, biased South. Let them stay poor and ignorant. Go to Mexico or China where the level of education is higher.

This is really what is taught and what the average American outside the South thinks. Companies that move here from other places will almost always hire their employees from relocated Northerners or Westerners and award contracts to relocated non-biased people from other parts of the country, even illegal aliens are preferred. If you don’t believe this, next time something is sent to your house — furniture, garage-door installation, appliance repair, etc. — ask the delivery person or technician where they are from. Ironically I have always stood up and said, “No, Southerners are just misunderstood.” How else would I have gotten my Jewish wife to move here? Now this bias we are experiencing sort of proves that negative point of view I have always fought against. My wife’s family is asking me why I did this to their daughter and bring her to such a place! Almost everybody that would wear bluejeans would get a tattoo up North and out West. Doctors, lawyers, bankers, leaders of industry, nurses, fireman, pro athletes, policeman, preachers, Barry Goldwater Jr. — I mean everybody from all walks of life. Even if they didn’t get tattoos, educated people would not be biased about such trivial things. The tattoo shop owners I have talked to her in the Triad, almost all of them own their buildings. We can’t do that. A good many of the properties we looked at a year ago are still vacant! Tom Monnin, AKA Tommy Two Thumbs Greensboro

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