Laurel and I wanted a new (well, “used”) desk since the one we had was taking up way too much room. It’s one of those clear-glass ones that make it hard to hide all the wires. For that reason we have another “printer table” that tucks them away while also housing our computer unit and printer, making one long “desk”. These old Sainte-Marie duplexes/apartments (ours is just over 100 years old) and their individual rooms are small so our furniture just did not make sense. We either needed to change it, or get rid of another nice antique we have (in fact, the only one we have) because we simply did not have room for it. Reconfiguring our office seemed to be the only option to save our beloved antique.
Thus we started a small search. We searched lespac.com and found your standard Ikea-type furniture which is perfect for computers and maximizing space but there was nothing that was exactly right. Then this week, we passed by Maison Adrianna (another blog that I want to do… so many blogs in my head, so little time) and its weekly fundraising bazaar. Boy is there a lot of stuff there. If you live in the neighbourhood and are looking for furniture, clothes, appliances and “stuff”, check it out. I’ll try to post about Maison Adrianna and provide its details (just can’t promise a time right now). Anyhow, there were 4 possible desks there that fit our needs. Laurel didn’t like the first one and the 2 others were made of cheap melamine and would have to be painted (that’s additional work and oil-based paint expense). Then in the corner, there was this old desk that looked like what a reporter in the 40s or 50s would be using. It was pretty banged up and we wondered how we would make it work for a computer. Still, I kept coming back to it. It had character and it was odd. It was kind of square-shaped: it was too deep (32”) and fairly narrow (42”) but coming back to our original reasoning of needing to save space, it was an option.
As for the cost, the lady said it would be $35. How about the melamine version? $30. Hmm… old well built wood (albeit in rough shape with a veneered top) for $5 more… but how could we make it work for the computer? We decided to walk away and not buy it. Finally, we kept talking about it at home (well, actually, I kept talking about it) and we thought up a solution that would work for the computer (I’ll spare you the boring details). This desk was obviously calling out to me. I went back even though they were closed (they were welcoming since I knew what I wanted) and bought it for a whopping $35.
Once it was delivered, I cleaned it up and opened the desk. I couldn’t find the year it was made or anything but I found this interesting imprint (above) that has faded with time. From what I could read, it stated: “JACQUES FORTIER, 23?? RUE HOGAN, MONTREAL, 24, E. QUE.” This is where it got really interesting for me (yes, I am a starting to be a history nerd). Hogan is a nearby street within my immediate zone and I bought it at Maison Adrianna which is at the corner of Bercy and De Rouen (also a nearby street). This signifies that this desk was built in this neighbourhood and has most likely stayed within it all this time. Laurel said to me that there was a vibe I probably got from it, in that the neighbourhood was attached to it and that was why I was drawn to it. With this blog, my hobby and past-time is similar to an amateur local historian and reporter (ok, I am just a blogger but one can pretend) so the energy I am getting from this desk feels really good and positive.
Meanwhile, I have this photo below of my Dad back when he worked at Canadian Pacific (my father is the one on the far-left / check out the 70s technology in the photo). I just got it because we had a family reunion for my parents’ 50th anniversary and we decided to disperse all of the photos that have been stuck in “la boîte de photo” (a running gag in our family since we never bothered with organized photo albums). The photo fits with the desk. I don’t know why but it does. I am going to frame it and put it up on the wall above.
p.s. Papa, bonne fête des pères! Même aujourd’hui à l’age de 72 ans, tu travaille fort et tu vie ta vie avec une belle passion. Je t’aime et tu continues de m’inspirer!