i spent an entire weekend recently hunting lamps on craigslist. i made it a whole thing – messaged a million people, tailoring each email with very specific praises about each lamp and each poster’s taste in lamps, refreshed my inbox obsessively, managed my correspondences with controlled vigor, and on saturday – made my first voyage to greenpoint in pursuit of lamp number one: a kartell lamp that had all of the promise of LA kitsch i could possibly imagine in these spring quarantime doldrums. a *real statement piece* casting sparkly amber on our walls. LED. the classy side of ibiza. i’m a grownup now! originally $265, but a steal at $150 for this, essentially *art* dream of a lamp. a real treat.
i could barely sleep friday night.
saturday, i awoke. ate a good breakfast, hopped on my bike, and pedaled up to greenpoint against the harshest of winds. as a drew closer to manhattan avenue, the small shingled storefronts gave way to quiet streets of monstrous brownstones fronted by bowing london planes. so close to the waterfront! such wide streets! who the fuck lives here!
these photos have nothing to do with lamps but figured you could use some visual intrigue at this point in the story. first – ‘roids from our trip to tennessee in january; second – shanty awaits PCR results; third – scribblings from our cabin journey.
i arrived at the home. a huge, elevated brownstone with terra cotta steps and gold serifed numbers on the door.
i texted “here!”
out came a dusty, dusty man with paint stained overalls and a premature comb-over, cradling a box. “<3 kartell LA”. my sweet lamp. how is this dusty artist man so rich? nevermind, i know the answer to that question by now.
“hey. do you want to open it?”
“oh I’m sure it’s great, i trust you! lol. no worries, but sure, I’ll open it.” i fiddled with the top of the box, registering the height, just reaching my knee cap (which is shorter than most), as i placed it at my foot.
“how’s it going?” i asked. no response; dusty millionaires won’t have it.
i hoisted it out with the effortless tug of one finger. it was…SO SMALL… a dwarf. a wet baby bird plucked from the nest. i regretted everything. but instead,
“would you take $125? it’s kinda smaller than I was expecting.”
“sure. the dimensions were on the post?”
our QR codes met in one final exchange. i put the tiny lamp in my bike bag and pedaled home.
okay so here’s the lamp. shanty is judging me. my hand for scale. ugh!!!
on sunday, i awoke feeling the same seeds of excitement that i felt on saturday, despite the $125 setback (still hurts). i strained through my craigslist responses and found one from someone who used exclamation points with a nice looking, dimmable restoration hardware base. no bulb or shade, but you can’t ask for too much. anything surpassing calf-height will do. added bonus; someone who will be willing to shoot the shit with me for 30 seconds while i pretend to find the venmo app on my phone. i’m essentially paying for social encounters with strangers. february quarantime doldrums, y’all!
i’m going to make this non-story short and just hit you with the reveal. please know that i have purchased three different types of lightbulbs, but settled on this multi-colored LED that comes with a remote, is also dimmable. so i can CHANGE THE COLOR FROM MY BED. there are 12 hues.
as steve says, “this seems like something you should have gotten excited about in middle school.” nope, nearly 32 and power-tripping over my remote controlled, above calf-height, multi-colored lamp from the comfort of my own bed.
thank you for reading.