Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bistro 103


Bistro 103

Restaurant, Lounge & Nightclub
Art Gallery
Cigar Room
Beer · Wine · Spirits
Movie Theater
Starry Eyed Surprise

A few months ago I went to visit my pastor. We met at his office, which looked precociously like a Starbucks. When I walked in, it was arranged like he was serving guests, with tiny high tables you stand at like at a coffee shop, and there was art that looked like something you'd seen in a Starbucks, a guitar and a chair hanging on the wall. When he opened the door, he explained to me how much he loved coffee, and how much he LOVED coffee shops, and that he really wanted to make his office look and feel like a coffee shop. He said the casual atmosphere helped him relax and actually be more productive.

I thought to myself, "what a novel idea!" I don't have an office, but I have a tiny little apartment; I don't really have much of a budget for entertainment, nor do I have a ton of friends who want to hang out all the time. But when I did have a life, I liked a little bit of everything. I STILL love discovering new restaurants and new cuisine; I love music, especially live; I love going to art galleries and museums; I love hanging out with the guys and having a cigar and a Scotch - I also love beer and wine; I love watching movies, especially at clever theaters like Cinetopia or a McMenamins venue; and I love looking at the stars at the stars at night.

Unfortunately, decision making is not my forte. So I figured, it's my place, why not include elements of all those things? (Sans the actually cigar smoking). I'm not going for some kind of interior design award, and I have so little space anyway. I think eclecticism is the word.

In previous apartments, I really had no artistic direction as far as decorating goes, and...I really didn't care. I had a few movie posters, and posters of cars (way back) and such. And did I mention I really didn't care? This time however it's different. There were different circumstances that led to me getting this place, and although it's the smallest, oldest, you might even say "most ghetto" apartment I've had since living at The College Inn at Oregon State University, I somehow feel a different connection to it; an emotional connection. It's MY place. A place where I can relax, have guests over if I choose, or enjoy the solitude. 

I am fortunate. I thank God for that everyday. Before I moved here, I had no furniture, no rugs. I had a few sets of sheets for my bed, but no towels. My family is my greatest asset. My parents gave me the furniture and the rugs and the towels to get me started. I had pots and pans, but they were old and in bad condition. So my parents bought me a new set for Christmas, after I told them not to get me anything since they had helped me so much already. Later my parents, and my brother and sister-in-law gave me some art. All of them were moving to new places. It's funny how desperate people are to unload their old stuff before they move. I even got an air conditioner from a friend. I thank God twice a day for that when it's hot! You know, I could look at it all as old hand me down junk, but I prefer to look at as MY "new" stuff, every bit of it a blessing from God. Eventually, like all things, my tastes will change and I'll replace it, but for now, not having to look at blank walls and crappy carpet really elevates the mood.  


Modern Art and Graphic Design

"Tournee de Chat Noir"

An advertisement created by Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen for a club in Paris that was the cat's pajamas in 1896 (Art Nouveau). Not really a cat fan, but this one is particularly appealing. I myself am a night person, and a black cat makes a good totem I suppose.

"Chicago World's Fair"

An advertisement for the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago (Art Deco).

These two artistic styles are among my favorites in modern art.

"Exposition Internationale..."

An advertisement for an international art exposition in Paris, 1925. This was the debut of Art Deco, the phrase was coined right from the French words "Arts Decoratifs."

"Habanas - Quality Cigars"

A poster in the style of Art Deco, by Steve Forney, a modern San Francisco based graphic designer.

Fine Art

"Cafe Terrace at Night"


"Starry Night"

Vincent Van Gogh

Film Posters

"Sucker Punch"

A phenomenal fantasy in the style of Alice in Wonderland.

"The Fifth Element"

A space fantasy in the style of Star Wars, complete with unwitting hero and fragile, fallible, vulnerable savior. 


And Last But Not Least

"The Starry Eyed Surprise."

An idea that I had to add a night sky to my living room. For about $30 you can get a black light and some glow in the dark stars. Could be interesting.