I had to buy a new iPod. I last wrote about my iPod in March, when I dropped it on cement and cracked the glass. My iPod rebounded from that trauma, and the cracked screen proved not to be a fatal wound, just an unsightly cosmetic one. What did my iPod in was some sort of faulty, damaged battery. I didn’t get the specifics, nor did I care – what was important was that I got a new iPod, and, once again, all is well in my mobile music world.
The iPod wasn’t the only thing that came home with me from the mall. That’s because the Apple store I frequent, at the Glendale Galleria, is right next door to one of my favorite stores in the entire world: a store that whisks me immediately back to my childhood and fires up every creative and design-related synapse in my brain…
…The Lego Store!
I was a certifiable Lego nut when I was a kid. I loved Legos passionately for a long time growing up, and had a big table in the basement devoted exclusively to Lego. Back then, Lego only sold a few product lines: City, Space, Pirates, and Knights (their Medieval/Castle line), and the only one that interested me were the City kits. I had lots of them: police headquarters, the drag race kit, the tow truck. I remember asking, over and over again, for the Airport for a Christmas present. When I learned that there were catalog items that regular stores didn’t carry, my little prepubescent brain nearly exploded. The catalog had all the stuff I really wanted: including the best basic kits so I design and construct my own buildings, extra base plates so those buildings could be built on something, and the coolest Lego kit I ever saw: the parking garage. It had a car elevator, so Lego cars could park on the second and third levels, and a car wash. A car wash!
My parents still have all those Legos – those thousands and thousands of Legos – in a trunk in a closet, and saving them was smart, since all three of my nephews now love Legos. Meanwhile, I have a convenient Lego store that floods my brain with nostalgia whenever I walk by and makes me insanely jealous of kids nowadays, because there weren’t Lego stores when I was a kid. If you think I’m joking, you’re wrong. The Pick-A-Brick wall at the Lego store, which sells bricks like bulk food items, is the stuff of my dreams:
I spent 20 minutes walking around the entirety of the Lego store, looking at kits – entranced by some of them, and appalled by others – but I spent the longest amount of time looking at items in one of Lego’s newer product lines: Architecture.
The Architecture series is geared precisely towards people like me: grown-ups with a love of Lego and an appreciation for historic design. They’re kits where you build replicas of famous world landmarks. They have, among others, the Willis Tower, the Space Needle, the Empire State Building, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, the Sydney Opera House, and a new kit that immediately caught my eye:
The Burj Khalifa!
The Burj Khalifa, for anyone that might be new to this blog, is the tallest building in the world, and the inspiration for my last fitness challenge. Earlier this month, I climbed the equivalent of the Burj Khalifa on the StairMaster (163 stories), and raised over $1,600 for charity in the process – see photos and video here.
While I was familiar with the Lego Architecture series, I didn’t know that they added a Burj Khalifa kit to the line-up, and, well, I barely thought twice before walking one up to the counter and purchasing it. It’s the perfect memento that honors my childhood and reminds me of a wonderful, proud day in my ongoing journey towards fitness and healthier living.
I was practically giggling the entire 15 or 20 minutes that it took me to build my Burj Khalifa. What fun!
It has 208 pieces and stands 10.9″ tall.
And I think it’s a pretty good likeness of the real thing, especially given the limitations of Lego bricks as a design medium:
Even though I’ve never seen it in person, the Burj Khalifa is an important landmark to me. It’s the tallest building in my Skyscraper Collection, and one that will forever be the impetus for a grueling and successful fitness challenge. And Ilove that I have my own version of it, made from toys that I adore, sitting on my shelf as a reminder of what I’m capable of.
Keep it up, David!