Art Museums & Hardware Stores

by Brittany

1. A few blocks from the last studio we stayed in here (our housing fell through last minute so we stayed in one place for the first month and now are in another place for the next few months), was the LA County Museum.... I never actually went inside, but the grounds and coffee shop and bar are stunning. I sat for hours there and read and photographed and people watched. 2. Jesse thinks he should make a tumblr of things that make his Brittany cry. One thing that definitely would make the list is school groups and tourist groups in neon t-shirts. Oh my stars. It is heartbreaking! They always flock in the prettiest locales! And ruin all my photos. (I am not actually super emotional... well not publicly, but it is true... this is the kind of thing that could and has made me shed very real tears). 3. I respect a museum cafe that cares enough to be beautiful. 4. This is actually from a hardware store not the museum... I loved the keys and sharp objects behind him... I have a thing for crowded peg boards.

Hardware stores are something I cannot walk by without entering. You never know what they will carry! There is a growing trend to call hipster shops "general stores" when in reality they are very niche designer shops....the complete opposite of a general store. (Ok I admit that maybe this is one of the other things that makes me cry, but it also makes me very happy since it means I can still one day be a real shop keeper). Anyways! I have this theory that hardware stores are the only remnant left of real general stores. I have found some of my prettiest white ceramic dishes stacked half hazard on shelves so dusty they are only rivaled by the objects they hold. Also, bright yellow handlebar tape in faded packaging from the 70s for only a dollar. Moka pots. And spark plugs. And string. And ropes. Bundt pans. Vintage fans that have never been used.... and they always have the most beautiful heavy walnut sets of small drawers that take up all the walls. 

This same day I went to another hardware store and I was the only customer. The aisles were filled with boxes of half unpacked merchandise and the shop keeper was preoccupied with the World Cup. And I loved it! It was so old and the best kind of bookstores that you get lost in. They didn't have what I was looking for (I'm thinking it doesn't exist) so I was treating myself to some spark plug gazing when suddenly all the lights went black. It only lasted for a minute then they flickered back on to reveal the ashen faces of myself and the shop keeper looking at each other from down a few aisles. He laughed nervously and said something about how that was weird when suddenly the lights went out again and an alarm started blaring from an unknown source. Scenes from every assassin movie ever flashed through my head and I started stumbling and weaving my way through the boxes and dimness. Once out in the garish brightness of the LA midday the alarm seemed even louder and I tried to scuttle as dignifiedly as I could...not stopping till I was in my car with the doors locked. Then I started worrying about the old shop keeper... so I drove by the back door that opened onto the alleyway and everything was quiet. I hope he didn't get assassinated! I should go back and check....