Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Old Time Pottery (Forest Park, OH)

Why do I love Old Time Pottery?  My answer is the sheer immensity of it.  Don’t mistake that adoration for thinking that every large, unassuming building where commerce takes place is particularly special.  Take Wal-Mart for example—definitely not special.  Wal-Mart stores are generally huge, but you don’t usually find yourself basking in the immensity of it all; no, instead, most people generally feel a sense of guilt while there, knowing they’re supporting a giant conglomerate that’s running smaller businesses out of our economy at staggering rates.  The layout at Wal-Mart, while efficient for the everyday shopper, is bland and without much merit.  At Old Time Pottery, in the amount of space Wal-Mart would fit four boring aisles of brand name product, they’ve squeezed in sixteen, each one completely different and unrelated to the last, in a staggering display of material goods.  Don’t believe me?  The rest of this article will prove my case in visual form.

Walking around Old Time Pottery is like exploring the mazes in Labyrinth, it’s both puzzling and exciting, and you may even encounter a creature.  Shelves are over packed and reach into the heavens, making me feel like I’m in a giant library the that would be welcomed by Bastian from The Neverending Story.

Aisles upon aisles of floral goods are on display near the front of the store.  It’s bright, gaudy, and wonderful.

Near the back of the store is this staggering display of trunks, rugs, and enough decorative pillows to make a small army feel both comfortable and fabulous.

Probably my favorite section of the store is an outside area, populated mostly by stuff like the thousands of different pots seen in the above picture.  I’ve always liked it when stores had an outdoor area; growing up my local K-Mart had a section outside attached to the store where they sold gardening stuff, etc.  I also enjoy looking out beyond the fence at some land that doesn’t see too much attention.

Here’s another interesting visual courtesy of the outdoor area—a bunch of rusting tables and metalwork.

To the left is an aisle I’d never seen before, containing a bunch of plastic kitchen goods, and to the right, an immense and colorful collection of candles.  I’m partial to the sea green ones.

One part of the store you might want to skip on your tour is the restrooms.  What the hell happened here?

My second favorite part of the store is these racks containing a random assortment of music cassettes, old VHS tapes, CDs, etc.  There are more copies of The Matrix Revolutions here than I could count.  You’ll never know what you’ll find, though, and that’s what makes it so fun to pillage through.

Why’s it necessary to have so many plates and dishes?  That’s part of the mystery of this place, but either way, I still feel anxious walking through this aisle because I feel like I’m going to randomly trip and create a cascading quake of porcelain.

Even in a place like this my true loves find me!  Eating a ham sandwich and corn chips while admiring the Green Goblin seems like an excellent way to enjoy lunch as a child.

More randomness abounds as this aisle is stuffed with gobs of wrapping paper and other gift items.  There’s also a bunch of pastel bags to the right, ideal for an Easter egg hunt, or to transport narcotics unassumingly on public transit.

I’ve also always admired the lawn ornaments they have here.  You can usually find some pretty interesting, sometimes disturbing, stuff on display.  While I didn’t find anything too out of the ordinary on this visit, this close-up of some frog pieces is indicative of their usual goods.

The lamp section is just one of many dedicated to solely one item and millions of incarnations and varieties of it.

Hey, I didn’t leave empty-handed!  That’s right, I found a copy of ‘80’s comedic masterpiece Disorderlies starring rap group The Fat Boys on DVD.  Overall, even though its doubtful I’ll ever spend much money on the bulk of stuff this store carries, it’s still fun to occasionally visit and wander around aimlessly through.  In the last several years since I’ve been doing this site I’ve seen many of my favorite stores close, including several of my beloved dollar stores, and I hope Old Time Pottery doesn’t meet a similar fate.  It’s a one of a kind place, plus, where else could I make such appropriate carpet munching jokes?

Overall Grade: B+ 

1 comment:

  1. There is only one cashier in Forest Park, with a line full of customers,
    I have been waiting to speak with manager for 25 minutes. I tried calling the store , no answer!