Aroma’s, Williamsburg, VA

Aroma’s is the trendy coffee shop in my college town.  It’s got coffee in those oversized ceramic mugs, good food, occasional live music, and walks that tightrope between casual chic and self-aware design.  It might not be the gritty, grassroots Meridian, but considering it caters to children of Capital Hill and tourists, it’s a pretty sweet coffee shop.

The bathroom is definitely the highlight of the space.  It’s age shows around the edges, but the design choices are spot-on considering the vibe they are going for – shabby class.  Aside from the generous size of the interior, my favorite attribute is the wainscoting and chair rail;  the wood paneling is elegant and rich, with just enough wear to it to feel comfortable.  It is less brightly lit than the picture suggests and the wood, the wall color and the red accents make it feel very dim and warm inside.  The walls are hung with Cappiello posters and other vintage-trendy Euro-touches.

There is usually a line, as people are sipping coffee for hours with their friends or with a book, so I often feel like I gotta keep the line movin’, but the dim lighting and large footprint give you the space to relax for a moment and freshen up.

Finally, I have to point out the fake flowers on the sink; now, these are a little nicer, as fake flower bouquets go, and blend so well with the decor of the room that they don’t quite fit into the “modest touch” or “trying so hard” categories that fake flowers usually fall into.  I wish I had started this blog years ago…I have seen so many mom & pop, single-room, unisex restrooms, bare and worn, with the vase of scraggly fake daisies that I find so touching.  It’s that very feature which inspired me to start documenting and sharing my experiences; there is just something so profoundly human in that small touch, in that meager effort.  Maybe for me, those fake flowers remind me of the futility and hope of the human condition.

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About amyontheotherside

I've always been attentive to the public restrooms I've used...the good, the bad and the ugly! They all have their uniqueness and charms. I explore these on my blog, "From in the Can". In the rest of my life (outside of the bathroom) I have just moved from NYC to Virginia and am chronicling the experience in the "Experiment in a New Life" blog.
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