Sometimes my tastes can be a little retro.
If you read my post about the viral Netflix show Stranger Things, then you know I’m a sucker for nostalgia, longing for some essence of my happy childhood. But this longing sometimes even extends beyond my lifespan. Let me give you some examples.
- Architecture: I love walking down historic streets or boulevards, soaking in the architecture of buildings from my parents’ or grandparents’ generation with blocks of shops, pubs, markets, and art deco venues with inviting facades, vaulted ceilings, carvings on the outside, and neon lights that are a welcome throwback to days past. I could wander Capitol Street in Charleston, WV and be content just admiring the buildings and pretending I’m in the past.
- Music: So frequently, my Spotify playlists bounce from retro-inspired jams like from artists like Leon Bridges to more classic jazz musicians like Charlie Parker. Or I could be smoothing out to Frank Sinatra, lifting my voice to classic Disney songs, and getting the feels to outlaw-inspired singers like Chris Stapleton. Throw in some Broadway musical numbers and some folk rock and that pretty much covers my retro music flavor.
- Movies: My favorite movie of all time is Stand by Me, which remains the most important movie in my life. For reasons similar to my love for Stranger Things, the movie makes me miss my friends, my youth, and gives me a glimpse into the decade of my parents’ childhoods, as well. On more than one occasion, I have chosen TCM over HBO because of some incredible classic starring Cary Grant or Paul Newman or Katherine Hepburn or Ingrid Bergman or James Cagney, and on and on. “Singin’ in the Rain” never gets old. I love movie theaters, especially those that attempt to recapture the classic experience of “going to the movies,” and even at home I pop some popcorn and sit down in front of a great TCM feature, trying my best to summon feelings of the era in which that film was released. I even enjoy old movie trailers.
- Television: I would stand in a crowd and announce that television would not be the same without The Twilight Zone. Rod Serling was a genius, whose stories may seem old-fashioned and campy today, but are filled with themes that still resonate. And the hip way he introduces and wraps-up each episode is pure TV magic. I beam when I see shows like The Addams Family, The Munsters, Batman, Bewitched, I Dream of Genie, and The Andy Griffith Show, mostly because they remind me of sitting on my grandma and grandpa’s TV room floor, a glass of pop and a ready smile, watching episodes of these shows and laughing with them, even if I didn’t get the jokes. I also loved every episode of Boardwalk Empire on HBO because, once again, it revisited a past (even if it was the dark side) that has always intrigued me, the Roarin’ Twenties.
- Books: I have mentioned in a past post my love of classic literature, from authors like Kerouac, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Jackson, and Plath. I envy Owen Wilson’s character as he steps into a weird time shift and finds himself partying in Paris with some of the biggest names in literary and art history. Many of these authors take me to an era I will never know personally, but wish to revisit every time I open the pages of their books.
So that’s my retro-taste in a nutshell. Don’t even get me started on my love of Medieval art, classical music, and epic fantasy. We’d be here all night.