The Scandinavia House at 38th and Park in New York is just a fun place to be. It’s exciting to be inside those pristine white walls and see the high fashion/environmentally responsible fashion show, the adorably homemade children’s playroom, the restaurant with a huge tree growing up in the middle of the room, the jewelry and gifts and Scandinavian candy in the gift shop. They have a movie theatre as well, and that is where my production of Miss Julie is going to take place this June.
The bathrooms are down two flights of stairs from the main entrance, and as you descend you leave the shiny excitement of the main floors for the depressingly unrefined basement. The bathroom teeters on the line between slick function (of the upper floors) and severe utility (of the basement).
Everything is clean and sleek and simple, but it lacked that undefinable quality that would invite you to stick around for awhile longer. The lighting certainly didn’t help; those bowl-like sinks with their interesting faucets could gleam in the blaze of a more carefully considered interior lighting scheme. It was dark in all the stalls. I did love the counter and sinks, but they weren’t enough to reach down and pull the boring floor tile and the dim stalls up to their level of sophistication.
Another woman came in just after me, and apparently had some trouble closing two of the stall doors (mine worked just fine). It’s that classic problem…the door has drooped from it’s hinges and needs to be hoisted up for that little chrome cylinder to find the opening of its lock and slide in to secure you from the outside world, to let you totally relax in the most private place in a public building, so that for a few moments, you can really chill. I guess this lady wasn’t up to the task of muscling the door up to meet the stall wall, something I have no problem doing.
The other notable quality of this bathroom are the mirrors; they aren’t…quite..right. They’re not exactly fun-house mirrors, but they just aren’t perfectly flat; if I had stuck around, I have a feeling it would have made me a little nauseous staring at my reflection. (And I did try two of them, and they were both like that.)
This bathroom is fine. It was clean and appropriate, but not inspiring. However, in the grand scheme of all the bathrooms I’ve been in, I’ve learned not to take cleanliness and appropriateness for granted!
I wonder if there is any correlation between the bathroom and Scandinavian culture…??