|ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE OF SAN DIEGO|
There is a shop in Little Italy that reminds me of the antique barns that I used to frequent when driving on the country back roads of Minnesota. There is a big difference, however; Architectural Salvage, is in an old mint-green-stucco building, on the corner of Kettner Blvd. and Kalmai Street, in downtown San Diego—loaded with old artifacts from all over the world, with sophisticated customers who walk around with pads and pencils in hand. They range from interior decorators, restoration enthusiasts, artists to just plain lovers of “old stuff,” like me.
I was originally attracted to this store when Ron and I were casually walking around the area one day. I happened to notice some old odd-sized doors leaning against the outside wall, and then when I looked inside there were hundreds more in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. I love old doors, but that was just the beginning. The place was also full of antique sinks, keyholes, door handles, knobs, mailboxes, crates, stain-glass windows, pots, pitchers, stools, tables, benches, doll furniture, boxes, brass-plated numbers, light fixtures, tubs, old keys, and more—all displayed in a fascinating way. It's the most clean and artistically displayed store of old stuff that I've ever seen.
|LOTS OF DOOR HARDWARE|
After being in business for twenty years, it is not surprising they have attracted customers from all over the world. They purchase in bulk from faraway places like Egypt and Eastern Europe as well as the U.S.
One of the delightful things about a visit here is that you can take your time and examine all kinds of fascinating items, even taking photos. No one bothers you, just like the large resident cat who freely walks around the place.
I also like to climb the old staircase to the second level with its additional artifacts, and to view the entire store from above.
Due to a thriving business, the products are constantly changing—a good reason to return soon.
|VIEW FROM UPPER LEVEL|
I must admit that I have absolutely no space or need for anything in this store. Nor do I wish for space for any of this stuff. I lightened my load many years ago, and I have no desire to go back. I do, however, have a great time visiting this place, so if any of my readers need a personal shopper for a one-of-a-kind treasure, just let me know.
* * *
After spending some time in days-of-old, and even seeing a few antique coffee grinders, I recommend crossing the street to the Bird Rock Coffee Roasters for a taste of something new. That is coffee so good and fresh that the only way to fully appreciate it is to drink it black.
This new third wave of coffee, that is sweeping the city (on the tail end of the microbreweries), is using some “not-so-new” processes like pour-over, siphoned and cold brewing to make a new perfect cup of java that must stand alone. In addition, they roast their own small batches of beans that hail from specific regional farms throughout the world.
The first wave of coffee was post WWII, when Folgers and Maxwell House were mass produced for the home coffee drinker. The second wave was Starbuck's and Peet's with their dark roast and espresso-based coffee drinks. Now we're on to the third wave, and I'm not sure if I will fully adjust, but I will give it a try. After all, I always drank my Folgers black when I was young; it was too weak to drink otherwise.