Mean Reds

  • Film
  • February 9, 2010
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? 
Paul Varjak: Sure. 
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!
I apologize to all my friends for my lack of a post this morning. I have been having quite the case of the mean reds, and feeling quite uninspired. But then that mood translated straight into a post! In my “mean red” mood, I got to thinking about Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Holly Golightly’s cure for the mean reds. Unfortunately, since I live in Philadelphia, Tiffany is not an option, so my cure for the mean reds getting lost in books, magazines, and films!

While pondering the cause of my own mean reds, I began to think of Holly Golightly, and her apartment. I’m sure young girls today dream about moving into New York when they get out of college, however, its quite possible that they are envisioning Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment when they think of how they will live. For me, I grew up watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s and thinking how fabulous it would be to have an apartment just like Holly’s–wonderful Italianate brownstone walk-up with high ceilings, big windows, and very little furniture.  (look at those striped awnings!)
Despite her lack of a true decorating scheme, Holly’s apartment was my dream. If you go back and watch the film, you will realize that her love seat, is in fact not a love seat at all, but half a bathtub!–look at the hardware! She had about two pieces of furniture, her phone lived in a suitcase, and she slept in a twin bed–but I loved it. Her decorating scheme was a cocktail table covered in magazines, which is a decorating tip that everyone should utilize.
In this photo, from the end of the film, she is set to marry Jose, and has added more furniture to her apartment. But I still can’t get past the good bones of the space–the open but sequestered kitchen, the bookshelves dividing the space, and the latticework column adjacent to the hallway.
Here, to Paul’s left, is a closeup of the latticework that I was mentioning before. Her kitchen was tiny, but it wasn’t a galley, and it had a window! How perfect is that orange dress? 
Ever since the first time that I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I have always thought of fire escapes as romantic and inherently New York. When I got my first apartment, I definitely spent some time hanging on my fire escape!

Like Holly, I also made friends in my building from rendezvous on the fire escape. 
I always thought that the party at Holly’s apartment seemed like the absolute best time. When I moved into my tiny 5th floor walkup in NYC, I couldn’t wait to have a huge group of people over for the same experience. What is it about having people crammed into a small space that creates such a great time? Again, check out that lattice work … I’m a little obsessed. 
Holly’s apartment was never about the furniture or the lighting or what hors d’oeuvres she served, it was about people having a good time. I honestly think that we should all be a little more like Holly sometimes. Stop worrying about whether you have the right cocktail napkins or a chic bar set up and just have fun. The more fun the hostess is having, the more fun your guests will have! 
And now to leave you with a quote from the venerable Audrey Hepburn herself,
“Not to live for the day, that would be materialistic–but to treasure the day. I realize that most of us live on the skin–on the surface–without appreciating just how wonderful it is simply to be alive at all.”

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