Photos By Clarissa Villondo, Words By Tam Sackman
At the corner of an alley that falls between Michigan Ave and the Glenwood Cemetery, with distant views of Catholic University, lies something of a scaled-down oasis in the form of a micro-community showcase.
Maybe you’ve seen them on HGTV– houses that rarely exceed 250 ft in total square footage. What appear to be tool sheds from the outside reveal a surprisingly economic and open space upon entry, a demonstration of how most of us live way beyond our basic needs.
And that’s exactly what Brian Levy’s Micro Showcase is. The small plot of land features four “buildings”, most of which are on wheels, though he has no plans to move the showcase outside its current location. The showcase features Levy’s house, known as the Minim House, which looks like an Ikea showroom, a trailer for storage with a compost toilet, and another small structure in the works which is being used by local high school students to learn how to build houses. The buildings are connected by a well-landscaped sustainable garden, which can also be used as an event space.
The last structure is a multipurpose studio space with the capability of being used as everything from a writer’s retreat to a woodshop.
The current inhabitant of the studio space is Beandrea July, owner of Wonder Woman Wellness, a massage therapy one-woman show. She had worked as a massage therapist for ten years before launching Wonder Woman Wellness one year ago.
July has transformed the studio shed into a spa, complete with a massage table, hot stone warmer, and ambient lighting.
“I wanted people to start thinking of massage as a communal act rather than a solitary one,” July explained when asked why she chose this location as a home base for her business.
Most of July’s clients are women. She says that it’s a common misconception that massage is only for the well-to-do businesswoman. “We’re celebrating the ordinary, extraordinary of everyday life. Self-care is a superpower.”
And it seems to be working– Wonder Woman Wellness has an average of 5 stars on Yelp.
The Micro-Showcase is located at 21 Evarts St. NE. For more information on Wonder Woman Wellness, go to http://www.wonderwomanwellness.com/.