“Works of design and architecture tell us about the kind of life that would best unfold in and around them. While keeping us warm and helping us in mechanical ways, they simultaneously invite us to be specific sorts of people.”
— Alain de Botton, “The Architecture of Happiness”
The best restroom I’ve ever seen is in Premont Harley-Davidson in Quebec. It’s like the Museum of Modern Art or the set of Star Trek.
When traveling by motorcycle, Harley dealers are good places to visit, even if you’re not on a Harley. They’re easy to find and are usually open on Sundays.
I’ve picked up Harley gloves – a little pricey, but well-made – and stuff for Endurance and Terra Nova every now and again. And sometimes I’ll get a long-sleeve shirt as a souvenir, like the ones from rides in Budapest and Halifax.
But I started laughing the moment I hit the Premont H-D restroom. It was so over-the-top with its purple Manhattan nightclub mirrors and Le Corbusier sinks that I almost forgot why I was there. Fortunately the place was empty.
I’ve seen a fair number of good and bad restrooms, with some of the bad ones resembling staging areas for food fights, but not with food. So I’m not complaining about Premont, but it’s the first time I’ve come out of a motorcycle place thinking about architecture and not motorcycles.