Monday, July 3, 2017

tin ceilings / Grimms / upholstery

A while ago I was walking in Montreal, looking for a tin ceiling. It's an architectural detail I recall seeing in cafes or bars when I first moved to Montreal in the 80s. I'm sure there are still some, but I couldn't find one. The taverns/bars/bistros I recall having tin ceilings have either closed or moved to larger venues that have been renovated. There are companies who will install new tin ceiling tiles for an elegant, antique look, but that's not the same. The original imprinted tin tile ceilings were a design feature conceived in the mid-1800s as an affordable alternative to carved plaster ceilings. I don't recall seeing them where I grew up in Ontario, and so I noticed them in Montreal.

In the 1990s we lived in an apartment that had tin wainscoting in the living room. The metal was imprinted with fleurs-de-lys and painted white like the plaster walls. There was handsome oak trim. The apartment had "charm" but there were problems with the plumbing, the noise between the apartments, the thin, rattling windows in the winter.

The tin ceiling in the photo belongs to Cafe Shaika on Sherbrooke where R and I went for a walk the other day. What was best? The ceiling, the generous layout of the tables, the varnished tabletops covered in pages and drawings from fairy tales? Of course, I sat at a Grimms' table with the story of the Wolf and the Seven Little Goats.

The decaff latte was good too.

Also on our walk along Sherbrooke we saw this old shop, now Pizzeria Melrose. I appreciate that they kept the original upholsterer's sign--that they've made this nod to the history of the building.

R and I had a chair reupholstered here. The man drove across the city to where we were living, picked up the chair--no charge--and delivered it once it was made new again.
Here's a pic of a younger version of myself in the new chair, with other details from my life in the 1990s. The black rotary phone, plaster Ionic column (a popular feature in Greek neighbourhoods in Montreal), the table loom in the background. I used to weave scarves on that loom. Later I got a larger floor loom.

Here's the painting R did.

I don't know what the relationship between the words and the painting is.

But I'm wondering now how old T.S. Eliot was when he wrote Prufrock. I empathized with the indecisive anguish of the poem when I was younger, but now that I'm Prufrock's age--my own hair thinning--I don't have the time nor the patience for that kind of anguish. At this age, I get on with things.

(Just looked up Eliot's age. He was 22.)

No comments:

Post a Comment