Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Best Folding Chair in the Western World: A. Fritz & Company

Growing up, my grandparents had these folding chairs:

After my grandparents passed away, my parents inherited them.
Talk about fantastic mid-century design!

When I was single and living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I learned that my neighbors had the very same chairs.
When I got married, I learned that my in-laws had the very same chairs.
They used them as their dining room chairs until they could afford real furniture.
When I had dinner at our friends' houses, I learned that they had the very same chairs.
People had them in different colors.
People had them in upholstery to coordinate with their dining room chair fabric.

Mostly, they were all well-worn, stained velvet gold or rust colored chairs.

But everyone agreed:  These are The Best Folding Chairs.  Ever.

And you can't get them at IKEA, Crate & Barrel, or any other big box store.
They are local and made by a family-owned business in Long Island City, New York.

Last Sukkot we needed more folding chairs.
I looked up the name of the company on the bottom of the chair.
I had no idea if they still existed.
The story was that my Aunt Henny and Uncle Herman were friends were the owners of the company. Sounds oddly familiar to my family's Joyva story.

A. Fritz is still around, alive and kicking.
They have no web site to speak of.
You have to pay by check:  they don't take credit cards.
The woman on the phone is very nice.

Same tag on our new chairs as the ones we have that were purchased in the 1960s

Except now they have colors and fabrics that speak to a more contemporary taste.

Now, this is REALLY mid-century design.  Would Marcel Breuer have approved? still does have upholstery, which he was not at all into with his infamous Wassily Chair.  But it *is* minimal... 
Who can't love a chair that folds up so trim and slim?

Tonight I was at a melave malka (post-Shabbat music gathering) at my friend Holly's house.  I noticed she had these exact same chairs.  She said all of her Philadelphia friends have them.  I said many of my New York friends have them.

It's got to be a Jewish world thing.

I wonder if folks out in Los Angeles have 'em?

Oh, and they are so affordable.  Like, no more than $150 for 4 chairs.  And they'll last you for a lifetime.  And then your children and grandchildren will enjoy and be inspired to blog about them.

A. Fritz Chair
37-28 9th Street
Long Island City, NY
checks only
They will send the chairs UPS
no web site
under the radar, but likely you know these chairs

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shtuff Ragers Say...Molly is My Middle Name (Ain't That the Truth)!

Already old hat, the genre of "Sh!t (fill in the name of some ethnic-social group) Say" has certainly been done.

I post "Shtuff Ragers Say" with full disclosure/warning that it is definitely filled with a lot of shtuss and chazarai (Yiddish words for, basically, garbage)

I recently posted my own $.02 about the use of the word rage, and now along comes this YouTube.  As I mentioned there, I like it when rage is used in a positive way.

Just a few seconds into watching that brings me to one of the things I like least about the music scene and popular culture in general:

The Excessive Use of Foul Language.

I really didn't want to go there on this blog, as I try to focus on the positive, but it is there.

In my adult life, I have made the conscious effort to limit the use of cursing.
It is just plain ugly and only brings out negativity.
A little bit, ok, yeah. A lot?  Nah.  No, nope no siree.
Why do they go there so frequently?  Find the light, folks!

I had the opportunity a few years ago to be on the set of the film Going the Distance, starring Drew Barrymore and Christina Applegate.  What a thrill to be among the cast and crew.  And yet, when I saw the film on screen, I was disappointed to hear so much cursing.  It didn't really help the movie, in my opinion.

Nanette Burstein, you were the director.  I think you should have toned it down.  Justin Long just didn't do much for himself with his excessive cursing.  My own humble opinion.

But, thanks for letting us borrow your chair.  It was SUCH a thrill being on this set two summers ago.

Fast forward about 20 years, and these boys and girls in the Ragers video will be talking about, instead of Pokeballs and Hello Kittys, the Louis Vuittons.