7.18.2007

Cup Of Destiny


Michael Caine, Jim Belushi, and Linda Hamilton? Yes, a very unusual, very powerful trifecta, brought together in the 1990 classic, "Mr. Destiny." For those of you who have seen the film, you get the joke, and for those who have not, I am attempting to be facetious (which is a difficult thing to do in a blog). Yes, Jim is no doubt less talented than his late brother, and yes, this film presented an underwhelming role for Linda Hamilton given the accolades she had received for her previous role in "The Terminator," and YES, Michael Caine's immense talent as an actor is at times underutilized in the film. But, for some strange reason, Ali and I both fell in love with this movie during our childhood. I think what struck us both at such a young age was in fact the idea which drives the film's plot, and that is, that small changes which occur during one's lifetime can have a profound effect on the outcome or "destiny" one will later go on to fulfill.

The film seems an appropriate backdrop for what occurred just a few days ago. Ali and I were looking on Craigslist for used restaurant equipment (a ritual which we partake in at least 3 times a day), when we came across a posting which advertised antique commercial dishware for sale. Uneducated as to what "antique commercial dishware" meant, we took note of the listed N. Portland location and decided we had nothing to lose.

Upon arriving at the seller's house and viewing the dishes we were awestruck by the detail and beauty of the collection. The intense colors and intricate designs on each piece demonstrated a true sign that the manufacturing of these items was practiced with acute thoughtfulness and care, a quality that appears to have dissipated from the industry over the years. Susan, the seller, spent a good twenty minutes walking us through her impressive collection, educating us on the different design patterns and showing us how to read the stamps on the underside of each piece to decipher its origin. After reading the stamp of hotel supply company I remembered one of the few factual pieces of information I know of my father's family. I remembered learning that around the turn of the 20th century my great grandfather had been involved in a hotel supply business based out of San Francisco, CA. Excited, I asked Susan if my surname was familiar to her. "Oh yes," she replied, "they were one of the big ones." While she didn't have any plates in her collection that bore my family's mark, she did produce a book on antique restaurant-quality dishware which contained a historical blurb on my family's history in the hotel supply business. After reading this I was elated. Not only was it exciting to add to my limited knowledge of my family but I couldn't help but feel as though we were on the right path with our restaurant.

We left feeling in high spirits and with an urge to track down more items, wondering what the odds were that we would stumble across this beautiful and personal collection; surely we were on the correct path to our destiny. Or at the very least we have gained a new hobby which we can use to entertain ourselves if the business ends up going south.

4 comments:

MNN said...

Is it already open? :))

Ali & Evan said...

Not yet! Wish we were so we could warrant a visitor from Portugal! :) Thanks for reading!!!

Madeline said...

I love the china - so fitting for your little cafe and I love the family history piece. Nice writing, E. Congrats on 7/12 and I too think your choice of photographer is so very you. Besos.

Tim said...

I can just imagine a perfectly poured soy caramel latte filling one of these vintage, sentimental cups. I can't wait!