The New York Diaries: Day 304
There is an odd smell in the lobby of my apartment building.
It emanates from five large cardboard boxes resting at odd angles against the wall, the doorframe, and the entry table where our rejected and unwanted mail lies in a jumbled pile.
It is a resiny, piney smell; the smell of IKEA.
Last night Krissa and I spent an hour on the road, five minutes selecting our favourite Nordic bookcase, fifteen minutes browsing for light fittings and alarm clocks, and twenty minutes struggling to get our new furniture, ingeniously and conveniently boxed in half ton, thirty-foot-long flatpacks, into the car.
They really know how to piss you off, don't they?
I hate to say it, but urban IKEAs could do well to take a leaf out of Argos' book.
The way people in New York shop at IKEA is this:
Stage 1: Spend three full weeks on the internet methodically reviewing the ergonomic, aesthetic, and design/build principles of each of IKEA's items of furniture - all 30,000 of them. Mentally place each of the 30,000 items in every conceivable place in your home, including on wall brackets above the bed, or bolted to the ceiling.
Stage 2: After hair-pulling, sleepless nights, budget projections, cost/benefit analysis and awkwardly unsocial drinks with a Feng Shui consultant whose number you can't remember obtaining at a house party, a decision is made.
Stage 3: Launch a thirty-man expedition to the nearest IKEA, complete with collapsible canoes, a week's food supplies, malaria tablets and an excitable cartographer from the features department of National Geographic Magazine.
Stage 4: Find that the piece of IKEA furniture you wanted is not in stock.
Stage 5 (optional) : Arson.
I think a transparent, online logistics system might be a good idea; not only whether an item is in stock, but also how many, how many were sold in the last 24 hours, the predicted amount of time it will take for them to run out, and also, MOST importantly, when the next delivery of that particular item will be.
OH, and, courtesy of Argos, those natty little stock-checkers in the store itself, so if something catches your eye you can check if it's in stock without trying to attract the attentions of a fast-walking deaf-dumb-blind-mute in an IKEA polo shirt.
Anyway; we bought two bookcases, a TV unit and some shelves...oh, and an alarm clock. Construction begins tonight.
The Rest Of The Post Title...EXPLAINED!
I am wearing Oberon's shoes. They're mine really, I just lend them to him at weekends.
Speaking of which, the final two performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream are this weekend. They're indoors, so there's no excuse if bad weather looms (and I don't think it is; I've been keeping an eye on the Looming Forecast) and the Sunday performance in particular promises to be very special indeed...the publicity has been good, apparently, and the audience space isn't to be hard seats or the ground, but chaise longues and chairs...
To refresh thy memories:
Saturday, July 30, 12:30 PM
New Lots Library
665 New Lots Avenue at Barbey St.
3 train to New Lots/Livonia Avenue stop. Walk along New Lots Avenue 4
blocks to Barbey Street.
Sunday, July 31, 4 PM
Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition
499 Van Brunt Street
Red Hook, Brooklyn
F train to Jay St / Boro Hall, then B61 to Van Brunt or
G train to Smith/9th Street, then B77 bus to Van Dyke and Van Brunt.
Be there, or be elsewhere.