On Being Downwardly Mobile

recent Melmac purchase, detail

At 4:30 a.m. on January 17, 1994, the Northridge earthquake shook the Los Angeles basin. My house ended up with a couple of broken windows, but no structural damage. My dinnerware did not survive. All of the Russell Wright Iroquois Casual plates were rocketed from the cabinets and slammed into the opposing kitchen wall, leaving dents where they hit. That morning, I decided to embrace plastics. Mr. McGuire says to Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate, "I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics." He was right. Now there are good plastic dishes and bad plastic dishes. I found a remarkable set of avocado colored bowls in Tokyo, and another set of baby blue bowls in Paris. A good resource is, unsurprisingly, ebay under Melmac. Don't buy anything used, it's gross. Other people may have licked the plates or cut into them. I only buy the "in the original box, unopened" dinnerware. Much of it was purchased in the 1950s and 1960s and then left in a box in the back of a cabinet. This set is a recent find. I'm guessing 1969, 1970. I love the turquoise and green color palette, and the vaguely Mexican motif. It's rather psychedelic and hints at macrame and rust colored sofas. I know that chefs want food presented on beautiful plain surfaces, and that this is wrong, wrong, wrong. But my typical meals of turkey burgers, chili, grilled chicken and steamed vegetables look fine to me.

a tiny bowl, cup and saucer, and plate, melmac