Monday, October 20, 2008


This past weekend we had opportunity to visit a new Ikea, located in Brooklyn. We in The Middle Room are no strangers to the hallowed display rooms and expansive chambers of Ikea: this is no less than the fourth Ikea we've visited, by our count. Still, each location is different, each magical in its own right.

As we walked the labyrinthine corridors and connected rooms, each a facet of the whole, like the faces on an icosahedron, we were lost, at times, in the halls, which twist and turn like riddles.

Thanks to wonders of modern technology, into this world of flat-packed furniture we brought music in the form of MP3s. We listened to "Ikea", by Jonathan Coulton, and marveled at the symmetry.

Glowing blue bulbs hung from wires like grapes from a vine. There were lights at the tips of tentacles; as if offering lighting solutions for eldritch horrors.

We surfed the grey expanse of the self-serve furniture section on flat carts, and we navigated the trails with small blue maps, wooden pencils, and flimsy rulers.

We looked through the 'As Is' section, a graveyard of fallen furniture and broken boxes.

We dined in their commons and tasted exotic Swedish cuisine, such as "penne with meatballs" and "apple cake." We drank sparkling "Swedish-style" orange drink, imported from Spain and sweetened with beet sugar. It was, according to the label, a 'light and refreshing' beverage. We happily agree with this assessment.

And we left with arms full of furniture, of cardboard boxes and chair cushions, of clamp-on lights and miniature bulbs, of loose shelves and other wonders.

Such is Ikea, discount Swedish furniture store.

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