One of the (or maybe THE) most enchanting places in Seattle is soon closing it's doors. Souvenir, a little dreamworld created by the talented Curtis Steiner, is being evicted so that an elevator shaft can be installed in the building it has inhabited for eleven years. I tried to explain the beautiful intrigue of Souvenir to someone recently, but it is so difficult to put into words. Besides the exquisite windows (two of which are shown below) that Mr. Steiner creates, the tiny store feels a little like Alice in Wonderland, a little like a fantastical jewelry box, and a little like sneaking into your crazy, eccentric Uncle's house to go through the nightstands. But most of all, more than any other shop/store/gallery I've ever been in, it really feels more like an experience than a store. A trip to Souvenir always felt a little like a spa day for the creative part of the brain...inspirational, replenishing.
Mr. Steiner (currently wearing black, accesorized with a black mourning armband) says that he will be reinventing rather reopening, and has a potential location chosen. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it won't be too much of a reinvention, but I can't imagine him creating anything less than magical.
(Beautifully intricate masked animals of vintage paper by Patti Grazini)
Souvenir will be open until February 6, and currently has an excquisite funerary window dedicated to itself. Treat yourself to a trip before it's gone. And the huge wooden counter with a gazillion drawers is the nightstand part...they are meant to be opened! I found the gorgeous vintage wallpaper I just installed in my bedroom there; the pictures of which will be posted soon.
Au revoir Souvenir! I'll miss you dearly. (The full sad story is available here and here.)