Friday, July 30, 2010

Carnegie Mellon College of Fine Arts (Outside of the Alumni Concert Hall)

5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Grade: A

I'll wrap up my leftover Pittsburgh coverage with this restroom outside of the CMU College of Fine Arts Alumni Concert Hall, where I went to see Sleigh Bells this May. Now, the restroom itself probably does not quite deserve the generous grade above. It is a functional, clean, old university bathroom. There are some nice touches: the brass sink hardware, the strange recessed window, the dorky shadow puppet hand-washing decal that reminds you that, after all, this is CMU.

I will admit to some serious bias here; the grade I've given is more for sentimental value than anything. A sequence of scenes from "Wonder Boys" (one of my favorite movies, and one that will of course always give me nostalgic thoughts about Pittsburgh) takes place in the hall directly outside of this restroom. A perhaps not-so-interesting fact: in the film, Robert Downey, Jr.'s character (Terry Crabtree) drags Tobey Maguire's character (James Leer, who is nearly unconscious on codeine and whiskey) out of the lecture hall and towards the bathroom, where he can vomit in peace. In the film, they move away from the direction of the actual restroom.

The Sleigh Bells shows was actually the first time I had ever visited that building, and it slowly dawned on me as I was standing there that this was where the scenes had been filmed. I knew at the time that I would be leaving Pittsburgh--my home for the past seven years--in a little over a month, and it was a very bittersweet moment.

So there you have it. Bathrooms apparently have the capacity to make me emotional.

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