Basements turned into "secret fantasy worlds"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/09/basements-turned-into-secret.html

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Here’s where I cite my prophecy:

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Love the artwork in the article.

This passage almost describes the previously linked BoingBoing basement article to a T, but it’s not the same one:

Angela Burns has a village inside her home. In 2012, the 66-year-old builder and designer completed her New Jersey mansion, which she designed with 10ft ceilings in the basement. You enter the space and arrive at a village square, which divides into two cobblestone streets lined with real, functional shops. There’s a coffee shop, a hotdog stand, a wine shop, a bakery, an ice-cream parlour, a pretzel stand, a pizza stall and a newsstand. There’s also an arcade, a bar, a poker room and a 20-seat cinema featuring a concessions kiosk and ticket booth. There’s fake brickwork, fake wooden store signs, fake awnings and fake shop windows.

Also, be careful of basement plans gone amok:

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We were lucky enough to find an exact replica of a 1970’s basement rec-room, complete with wood paneling and an air hockey table. Previous owner built it decades earlier, what a weirdo.

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Hey, it’s the Boing. It happens.

Sometimes the exact same thing is covered by two different editors, one thinks it’s cool, the other thinks it’s stupid, and the comments support them both.

(For the record, I thought that the basement mentioned in the last article was fun. A little creepy, since my MIL had just spent her last days in a similarly designed nursing home, but that was my baggage, not anyone else’s. I was actually looking forward to watching crappy old movies with her in the fake theatre when she was closer to being on the mend; alas, she just kept getting worse. :frowning: )

ETA: I did consider that to be geeky; I figured that it was based on Bing Cosby and Wonderful Life era movies; Not my Geekdom but darn, I can appreciate the effort!)

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I have a fantasy recreation of post-apocalyptic destruction in our basement. Or at least it seems that way.

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I bought a house with extensive vintage “knotty pine” paneling in the basement. It was unbelievably hard…couldn’t drive a nail to hang a picture. or remove one that was already there. My favourite such experience; worked on a reno of a high end home that had been a consulate for a South American country. The basement party room was done in 1950’s modern with Tiki bar, “Astro” tiles, walk in fireplace; the works. I immediately changed into a Botany 500 suit and started smoking a pipe, while developing an interest in examining fishing flies with my similarly clad friends. It was a real shame to gut that place :frowning:

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It’s a shame this didn’t get wider release, as it’s a wonderful movie that really tapped into the early 2000’s maker zeitgeist:

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I’m totally into people building weird “out-of-place” structures in their houses, but I’m amused by someone from the UK making a train interior. Like, “Oh, I don’t spend nearly enough time on trains - I must have one inside my house, too!” It’s like an American building a fake car interior inside their house.

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Jason Shron lives in Toronto and grew up there or nearby… he and his wife Sidura Ludwig founded Rapido Trains . Sidura Ludwig is also an author and likes to use the basement railcar as a workspace.
I could see the attraction if the motion was simulated, but otherwise, It’s lost on me .

The basement of the house we bought 19 years ago was a terrible imitation of an Irish pub. That carpet had to go, but worst was the splinters from the barn board on the walls and the bar. We’ve redecorated to more liveable style (for us).

What compels them to spend so much money and time bringing their vision to life?

Go back to sleep, normies.

Am I the only one who read this in a dark way?

I mean, there’s been lots of examples of people turning their basements into their fantasy world (which just happens to be a living hell for someone else).

Fritzl, Heidnik, Castro…

I have a scaled-down, budget version of Charles Foster Kane’s warehouse in my basement.

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So a finger sled, not full sized

That somehow seems a bit rude

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Well, a train is all well and good, but this guy has a spaceship in his basement:

It’s not quite in the same league, but the basement of the house I live in clearly used to be the servant’s quarters when the house was built in the 1870’s. It’s about 2/3rds underground so there is some windows, but it’s a bit damp. At some point though, someone worked (if not actually lived) down there.
We just use it for storage (it’s a rental house, so no major remodelling allowed).

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Sounds like it might have been an accurate imitation of an Irish pub. Tell me did that carpet assault the eye with psychedelic renderings of obscene geometries in colours indescribably horrific? Did it squelch stickily? Was there oozing? Potentially fatal fungus? If you fill that bingo card you have a winner!

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For children, basements – just as they are (unadorned) – can become secret fantasy worlds. At least that’s how it was for me when my grandparents babysat me and I could sneak down there.

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Based on the amount of stuff I found after he passed away, my grandfather had quite the club/bar in his basement. He’d stored a lot of interesting glassware, as well as some poker winnings from guys who must’ve run out of money and started in on jewelry and fillings. :tooth:

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