A! Challenge: Architecture

When my boyfriend and I visited Cleveland, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency at the Arcade.  My eyes nearly fell out of my head when I saw where we were staying.  First opened in 1890, the Arcade was one of America’s first enclosed shopping malls and an exquisite display of wrought iron and opulence.  A four-story atrium.  Vaulted glass ceilings.  Damn, Cleveland.  Nice place!

This is the picture everyone who’s ever walked in there has taken. But hey, if it works…

And then I realized it was even more awesome in black and white.

Paging Mr. Ziegfeld, your follies are ready.

Just a little fancy railing among friends.

Once you start looking up at the beautiful glass ceiling, you won’t want to stop.

A is also for Added bonus: this place is close to everything cool.  It’s right down the block from some great restaurants (including Michael Symon’s Lola, get the beef cheek pierogies or you’ll regret it forever) and is an easy, maybe ten minute walk to North Coast Harbor, around which is clustered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Browns Stadium and the Great Lakes Science Center.  Go for the architecture, stay for whatever else you want to do.

This post is for the A! Challenge by Frizztext

Because I love a good alphabet challenge.

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Consumer Hangover: To Perfume, or Not To Perfume…

~~~BEHOLD~~~

I’m about to throw away my first, completely used, bottle of schmancy expensive perfume.  I used it, I liked it a whole bunch, I always got compliments about…errrmm…smelling good.  But here’s the thing: I was attracted to this bottle of perfume, and I tried this bottle, because I loved the packaging it came in.  And now?  The thing I loved so much that it enticed me to spend one hundred of my hard-earned dollars?  Is now so much garbage.

I often think that I’m not subject so much to things like brand loyalty or swayed by marketing campaigns and yet, I buy the same brands of toothpaste and peanut butter all the time and couldn’t rest until I had an iPhone.  If there’s one thing my media studies class taught me, it’s that the barrage of advertising we endure every day is relentlessly unrepentant, so some response to that is inevitable, whether it’s to go get that burger you’re suddenly and inexplicably craving, or to sink an (when you think about it) unreasonable amount of money into something that exists purely for cosmetic reasons.

Feast your eyes upon the splendor of the Lola bottle cap!

Sure, I know the common lore about perfume—that it takes a bajillion rose petals to distill one ounce of pure scent and the reactions between the combination of scents that comprise the perfume + your skin’s own chemistry = a unique effect for every person, so the same perfume won’t smell the same on two different people, and once you find the one that “works” for you, you should stick with it.  Yada yada yada.  Frankly, I didn’t care about any of that.  I just cared about the big floopy PVC “flower” that constituted the cap of the perfume bottle.

This lady also has zazz.

It is adorable.  It is bright and eye-catchy and cute-fun, the Carmen Miranda of the perfume world.  It’s got zazz.  And when I’m not sort of playfully flopping the edges of said PVC flower about, I’m anal-retentively making sure it’s lined up with the front of the bottle, because we can’t have the flower off-center as it sits on top of the bottle, can we?  Oh, no no no no.  You down with OCD?  Yeah, you know me.

And now?  I’m about to throw it away.  I’ve invested time, and money, and more emotion than it deserves, into this stupid, overpriced bottle of manufactured smells.  And for what?  There’s a spray I’ve gotten at discount stores that costs something like $6 that I like quite a bit, and did I mention it’s $6, not $100?  And when that six dollar bottle goes the way of the dodo, I don’t have to contemplate its meaning, or feel anything that vaguely resembles guilt.  It wasn’t expensive, it made me happy, it did its job, and now that it’s done I can move on to the next six dollar bottle and not invest a moment of my emotional innerspace on bells and whistles and floopy flowers.  Who needs it, right?  Who needs overdone PVC perfume caps and shiny bottles in visually pleasing shapes?  It’s not like I’m going to wear any of this around my neck and it’s got to be presentable to the general public!  It’s not like anybody has come up to me in the past year and said, “Oh, wow, you use Lola!  Clearly, you are a woman of discerning taste and unimpeachable sensibility.”  No, instead, whether I used Lola or the $6 Pure White Musk, all I heard during the duration of the entire year was, “You know…you always smell so nice.”  So to hell with it!  It’s just a social convention and a way to coerce us into parting with our income, to keep us poor without us actually acknowledging that we’re poor.  I mean, in a crisis, I could use that hundred dollars (well, $94, once you deduct the cost of the Pure White Musk, but I digress), but I can’t eat my perfume.  Grrrl power!  Fight the…

Huh?

What the whaaaaa…?????

OMG SO CHECK IT OUT!!! My boyfriend knew I was getting low on my favorite perfume, and he ***bought me a new bottle***.  Love!

Like the phoenix from the ashes...

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