A few nights ago Jonathan and I decided to be cultured and ventured to Venice to see a one man show or "Pub Play" at The Del Monte Speakeasy (conveniently for this story, the Del Monte is situated beneath the oldest bar in Los Angeles). It was cold and rainy that night, which is a rarity in SoCal, so the dimly lit underground bar swallowed us right up. We sipped our Old Fashions in the windowless room under a low wood ceiling, red lights glowing through fringed lamp shades, mustachioed bartenders chipping ice. The performance (Connor McPherson's St. Nicholas) was amazing...brought me to tears, but that's not the point of the story. The point of the story is the epiphany I had in the pisser.
I made my way to the ladies room at intermission. I pushed open the heavy wooden door expecting white or yellowish walls, bluish buzzing lights, maybe a glop of pinkish soap on the sink..ya know, the usual. Instead I was welcomed by deep orange wallpaper with gardenias outlined in gold. The light was dim, the mirror designated for women to touch themselves up (separate from the sink) floated above a dark, old wooden ledge. A plump velvet chair sat firmly on the floor covered in patterned tiles, petite square and octagonal, clearly still there from some better time. I was shocked at how comfortable I felt in a room meant mainly for defecating and gossiping.
It was then I gazed over to the stalls, one on either side of the entrance, and I saw a small vintage chandelier over each one. Basically I was going to feel like Elizabeth mofackin' Taylor while I took a pee pee. I had to laugh. "This is why I love vintage" I thought. Vintage begets a time when functional items were thoughtful, well-made and stylish. Seams were more tightly sewn, kitchen appliances were pearly blues and pinks, make-up compacts were decorated metal to be refilled, and bathrooms were stylish.
These days we are inundated with gobs of ugly plastic bullshit (to put it eloquently). What is now a "Made in China" fill-in-the-blank piece of plastic that is meant to be used (maybe twice), then lost or thrown out and repurchased was once made of metal or glass or wood and was beautiful and meant to last, so you wouldn't have to buy a new one.
"If I'm going to have toaster, it's going to be lovely to look at"
"If I'm going to buy a light under which I pee, it's going to be a chandelier"
Besides the booze, I think this is why Speakeasys are so popular right now. People want to remember a better time. With our everyday lives filled with plastic and convenience, folks are yearning to experience something thoughtful and well crafted. They don't care if it takes a bit longer. When I think of our future sons and daughters going to vintage pile sales only to pull out Forever 21 dresses and shirts it makes me cringe, which compels me to urge you to buy things that are well made. Or vintage.
And that sirs and ladies is my Thursday rant.
Coat: Vintage (Similar)
Pants: Vintage Guess (Similar)
Boots: Rocket Dog (old, but here's something similar)