Thursday, March 20, 2008


My first apartment was in upstate New York, in my hometown of Syracuse. For $300 a month, I got the top floor of a multi-family house. When I say top floor, what i mean is "attic." Nothing was insulated; it was an oven in the summer and freezing in the winter. The ceiling sloped so low, I had to sit down to take a shower. The next door neighbors dealt drugs from our shared back parking lot and my car windows were smashed more than once. Still, it was a cute little place that i filled plants and scavenged furniture. The wall were painted green, red, purple, and electric pink.

These days, I have far nicer apartment, though I pay more than double for one bedroom and have two (wonderful) roomies. And while i appreciate the hard wood floors, the balcony, and the ability to stand while i shower, sharing a small space with two other people has forced me to get rid of a lot of the furniture, housewares, and junk that crowded my previous residence.

Upon first glance, my bedroom looks relatively minimalist -- I think its forced upon you when you commit to life in NYC. You've got less space store your possessions, and only public transportation to cart your purchases from the store to your apt. Because of these realities, coupled with the fact that financially I'm usually hovering somewhere between "broke" and "destitute," I try to keep my non-essential purchases to a minimum.

However, lately I've been obsessing over finding a handmade coffee mug. This seemingly simple purchase has consumed many hours of online browsing. And it seems that the more time I invest in this search, the more particular I become.

So far, the list of requirements include:
  • Size, weight. The mug cannot be too heavy or too big. Otherwise the coffee cools off faster than it can be drunk
  • Handle. Must be in proportion to the mug itself and fit the hand comfortably
  • Color, glaze. Must be bright, but with an earthy feel. Preferably multiple colors
  • Adaptability. Must be microwave friendly
  • Price. I understand the time, and money artists invest in their work. I will happily pay more for a handmade good, as opposed to plucking something off the shelf at Target, because I know it's unique. At the same time, however, I do need to set a limit as to how much I'm able to reasonably spend on something that could very well be accidentally smashed to bits with one miscalculated elbow.
A few I've got my eye on:

From RisingSky. Love how this one is organic without looking messy.
Perfect size and great colors

Love the purple inside. Has a sort of reptilian quality to it.
Totally in a class by itself. Lois Aronow Porcelain

Great color, perfect shape and size. Wonderful details.
Made by Phenix Pottery

So whimsical and interesting. This small pic doesn't do justice to the funky tentacles crawling up the sides of the mugs. Take a closer look at Wild Card Pottery's shop.


So, will I ever decide on a mug? Or will the obsession continue to spiral out of control?? Stay tuned!

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