MY ALDO ROSSI STOVETOP ESPRESSO MAKER
Hubby and I were on our way home from a daytrip in Dapitan, when a sign that said “Japan Surplus” beckoned us to make a U-turn and check out a nondescript warehouse along Araneta Avenue. A quick scan at the entrance revealed what the place really was… a Japan Surplus warehouse. The place was overflowing with old bicycles, television sets, sofas, trolleys, gym equipment, hi-fi stereos and a mishmash of household items from the 80s and the 90s. Trust me. I haven’t written “hi-fi stereos” in a while. Not wanting to go through piles and piles of junk, we decided to call it a day and just go home. But as we were heading back to the car, I spotted something shiny sitting on a corner shelf.
It was a stovetop espresso maker! It was waving at me, begging me to pick it up. So I did! Inspected closely, its aluminum base revealed a great surprise. Inscribed were the words “ALESSI ITALY”. And written in pentel pen: P
200. For the uninformed, Alessi is one of the biggest Italian design companies in the world. And as it turns out, what I was holding in my hands was a La Cupola Espresso Maker
designed by the great Italian architect and designer Aldo Rossi
(1931-1997) for Alessi in 1990.
Rossi, who has been called ‘a poet who happens to be an architect’, was inspired by the beauty of classic Italian architecture in designing La Copula.
Of course I was not aware of this at the time (although I knew about the Italian giant Alessi), but I had a strong hunch that I stumbled on something very special.
I had to stop myself from jumping up and down and cartwheeling around the warehouse. The key to thriftstore-shopping is to look cool, as if you couldn’t care less about the item you’re holding, even if inwardly, you’re already singing Beethoven’s 8th symphony. You also have to look ignorant because if the shopkeeper suspects that you know anything about the item in your hands, no amount of haggling will bring the price down.
Fortunately, I’m an expert when it comes to being deadpan. And so, after nervously calmly negotiating with the shopkeeper, I was able to have my Alessi wrapped and bagged for Php150.00!
As soon as we got home, I immediately (and thoroughly) washed my designer coffee pot and made a cup of cafe latte. The resulting brew was pure caffeine heaven.