Thursday, June 09, 2005

Blog Lag and Retro Tea.

Blogs are for narcissists--this we know. Beneath all the quirky, opinionated observations and comments lies the obsessive heart of a raging egotist, checking for comments. (I won't say anything about how frequently I check, because what if I check more frequently than you do, and that makes me even more of an narcissist? Yikes.)

Just had to get that out of the way.

This afternoon, I met a friend for tea at the Beehive Tearoom downtown. This place aims squarely for quaint and hits the bullseye: little round tables, bent cane chairs, furniture that looks like your grandma's, walls painted the colors they painted walls in the forties, old forties-style jazz, lace curtains. And they've nailed the tea part, as well--you can have almost any kind of tea you can imagine (I noted that they've added the trendy bubble teas to their repertoire since the last time I was there). Also, dainty, very lady-like food, served in lady-like portions. The tearoom doubles as a wedding library, which means there's a wall o' books and mags about weddings that you could use, presumably, to get fantastic and very over-priced ideas about planning your wedding.

The proprietor also has a retro look. She's a young woman, but she wears vintage clothing, retro eyeware, and extremely buttoned-down hairdos.

I admit, I find this place charming. The clientele most days I've been there is women--young, middle-aged, old. I saw, for instance, another friend of mine there with her great aunt and other older female relations.

I suppose this is in contrast to the steam-spewing, noisy, burnt-smelling hustle of coffee houses. It's genteel, feminine, refined . . . Anyhow, among other things, it made me wonder what it is about retro. What, exactly, is the appeal of the throwback, the reconstituted, the slightly finicky evocation of the past?


  1. Is a teahouse more feminine than a coffee shop somehow? Or just this one?

  2. I love the tea room--a great atmosophere for thinking, grading, writing. I always drink too much tea, though, when I go.

    The owner is a friend (well, in the ex-boyfriend's brother's girlfriend kind of way); she's a lovely person who used to be a librarian--which explains much, I think, about the ambience of the place.



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