Sunday, April 15, 2012

Vintage to Die For

Last week, I finally got around to calling a stove repair guy in here to fix the right burner on our stove, which had been out since we'd moved in. Since then, it's become a weeklong saga of The Old Stove That Is Probably Not Worth Saving.

Our apartment, like many in the Miracle Mile and Larchmont neighborhoods of LA, was built sometime in the '30s or '40s, which explains some of the uglier aspects of it, including our unfortunate yellow and black tiled bathroom, and our checkered red and white kitchen floor. It also gives our home some of its more charming aspects--the art deco details, the vintage door knobs, and the real, old school doorbell that actually chimes DING DONG! (which, for the record, always scares me half to death and makes me jump out of my skin).
cool vintage doorknobs

In keeping with the rest of the apartment, our landlord has stuck to this old Gaffers and Sattler stove harkening back to the same time period. It's a sturdy stove, no doubt. Its shortcomings (using a match to light the oven, smaller oven size and no window) are somewhat made up for by the charm the stove has. Cute and manufactured in the '40s, baking with it makes me feel like Betty Crocker sans apron. While I didn't love using it, I always liked the vintage look of it.

But as soon as Stove Guy told us we were lucky the burner wasn't working because the gasket was loose and therefore we were like two steps away from a gas leak, I was all SCREW VINTAGE. Cute's cute and all, but not worth a Sylvia Plath-like ending. Stove Guy #1 calls our landlord and we were all set to get a new stove. Whee! Stainless steel, I was imagining. Something fancy and new and Italian! That's when our landlord told us she'd called in for a second opinion. Doh. Stove Guy #2 came along -- Mexican vintage-oven-specializing genius George, who claimed that 1) he can fix our problem stove 2) he can install a pilot to save me fumbling with matches to light the oven and 3) modern stoves are 100x (100! really?) more likely to catch on fire because of all the electrical wiring involved. Apparently, he claimed, these old stoves were sturdy and reliable and that's why they work for 60+ years. Hmmm.

He comes in tomorrow to fix it, along with a visit from the gas company to inspect the safety of the oven. If we don't like it or feel like carbon monoxide is getting the best of us, we can opt for a newer unit, says our landlord, who's secretly hoping she doesn't have to buy a new stove. 'Til then, we're eating out for the week.

Vintage: It's not worth dying for.