COLUMBIA — Book store. Free health clinic. My house. Pie shop. Sweatpants/fanny pack store. Ethiopian restaurant. The Twilight Zone. Not apartments.
These are some of the answers on 57 stickers posted downtown that finish the statement "I wish this was ________."
The name tag-style stickers are stuck to the window of an empty shop at 916 E. Broadway. The shop used to be The Villager bridal and prom shop and has been vacant for more than a year, said Elly Bethune, who owns Elly's Couture next door.
Forever 21. Ice rink. Late, all-night dancing. Hot yoga studio. Hogwarts. Batman.
The stickers went up about a month ago as a way to crowd source and figure out what people want the vacant space to be, said Carrie Gartner, executive director of The District.
The District decided to try the stickers after getting permission from the owners.
"It was fun to see what people came up with," Gartner said. "We used to do surveys to figure out what people wanted. This is a more fun way to do it."
At first, there were 15 to 20 of them, but more were added, Bethune said.
Arcade. Motorcycle shop. Donut shop. Good grocery store. Pottery Barn. Urban Outfitters.
"I wish this was" is part of public art project started by Candy Chang in New Orleans. The stickers are vinyl and do not cause damage when they are removed.
The project is described on its website as "a fun, low-barrier tool to provide civic input onsite, and the responses reflect the hopes, dreams and colorful imaginations of different neighborhoods."
The stickers are available for purchase in bulk online and cost $10 for 20 stickers, $20 for 50 stickers and $35 for 100 stickers.
This civic art project is part of a larger project called Neighborland, which is designed to help people come together and have a hand in shaping their cities and neighborhoods.
The "I wish this was" creators recognize that some grammarians might object to the use of "was" over "were." Chang addresses this on her website, providing links that back up her decision.
Bethune said she has seen many people taking the time to read through them.
All of the stickers are full right now, but Gartner said she might put more up.
Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.