In thinking of something to blog about, I stumbled upon the simple idea of description. Too simple perhaps, but what could I describe? It would need to be something I am passionate about – travel, photography, design – all good choices. In fact, my passions can all be summed up in one word : aesthetic. I fall in love with everything- not just things, but patterns, ideas, personalites etc. So why not share this view and transfer my experiences to readers like some sort of portal into the world of my moody mind? Hark! Witness the birth of this series I call , well, “Aesthetic.”
The first place that piqued my interest was this brewery with a name as lazy as this blog series title – Couch Brewery, located in Pittsburgh, PA. Certainly the name has nothing to do with the actual aesthetic of the place , unless of course when you think of couch you think of one word – lounge. Even so, I don’t think the name accurately portrays this place , but that is a good thing.
Couch does not rely on location to draw one in, in fact it would be easy to miss with its industrial/old bowling alley facade. Rather it’s what’s inside that counts – the same message your mom has been telling you for years. Thanks Mom. Below is a picture I took upon my first visit to this retro place. Before you decide to comment about the poor quality of the image, I would like to state that it was taken with a cheap Motorola phone. Sigh. (I always forget my camera when I need it). But enough about my shortcomings, look below and tell me your first impressions.
It’s a lot of orange, right? But, somehow it works with its bright color, industrial grime, and retro vibes. Once you get past the front, you step into a -for lack of better word- groovy lounge. It’s moody with a scantily lit interior, disco ball and neon signage. It’s everything I could hope for and my eyes eat it up like leftover cake.
I wouldn’t use “kitschy” to describe Couch , because it is such a non-descriptive word even if it does fit this place perfectly. Better yet, I could say Couch is like a bomb shelter for a man stuck in the past with cool vestiges accumulated from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. Prime examples include : Elvis painting, bingo board , and bright orange sectional sitting in the back for which it’s name and color pattern were no doubt inspired by. I don’t blame them for naming this place after this large couch- its pretty great. It’s made of stiff orange (lest you forget) vinyl that peaks at points when you sit on it . But it’s in great condition and moreover it is incredibly nostalgic for whoever has had the (dis)pleasure of owning vinyl furniture. This aesthetic and this couch in particular is sure to teleport you to a different time – a time before I was born- a time I will never get to experience enough to know that I don’t want to live back then. But of course that’s the appeal for any vintage lover.
I was so impressed by this unassuming place, I took a 5 second video so you readers can get a glimpse into what this place is like. Be warned : many of you will say “This just looks like a dive bar”. Well you, sir or maam, do not fall in love with little things. You are looking at the generic picture, not at all the tiny details that make this place a unique and lovable lounge with 70’s furniture and 90’s grunge playing on modern equipment.
It is at the point I will ask something of you- and it’s not a shameless plug or request for financial support. It is a request that you learn to fall in love with the details. Fall in love with colors and shapes and the feelings that arise from a grungy interior or a treeless park. You will be much happier if you do –no guarantees though. What I do know is that this trait is necessary for any good artist. So give it a try. Photograph something ugly or listen to a homeless man’s conversation with himself and… find the beauty in it.
You are probably wondering why ,in this entire post, I did not mention anything about the beer at Couch Brewery- you Sherlocks out there no doubt deduced that they do serve beer. And, yes, they serve surprisingly good beer here, but I do not want this “Aesthetic ” series to be an overdone review blog. It is about appreciating the beauty and uniqueness of both interesting places and the mundane. With that being said, below is a picture of a beer I got. You will notice a painting of Elvis directly above the glass, so I guess you could say I drank with Elvis at Couch Brewery.
Til next time, when I will delight you with more unusual beauties seen through the eyes of a dreamer and a cynic. For now, follow me on Instagram so you can stay in touch!
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