Indoor tepees are becoming really trendy among affluent New Yorkers bored with their spacious urban dwellings, yet too self-conscious to simply build a pillow fort. “Fort” is awfully militaristic, isn’t it? Far better to mitigate the imperialistic implications of fort-building by appropriating some cultural artifacts from a displaced native people. Hence, the Park Slope tepee.
To be fair, these indoor tepees look like the sorts of places you probably dreamed of making when you were a little kid wanting a quiet hideaway for writing plays and eating cookies, Margot Tenenbaum-style. They’re pretty cool, and, at least for one Colorado transplant currently residing in Bushwick, the inspiration to build a tepee comes from a desire to crawl back into the coziness of a pillow and blanket fortified childhood:
[Mariette] Lamson, a 23-year-old nanny and poet, constructed her indoor tepee using 10-foot tall pieces of birchwood wrapped with twine, light blue and white sheets, and a variety of other personal flourishes that allow the Colorado native to escape the urban jungle.
“I like to read in there, write letters and poetry,” says Lamson, who was inspired by her childhood spent building forts and treehouses. “On the inside I pinned a lot of photographs of mountains and my home in Colorado. It’s a manifestation of my imagination. I have a little lantern hanging at the top that I put candles in.”
Then there are personal stylists like Karyn Starr who makes pronouncements in the Daily News like, “There’s a market in tepees,” or, and I’m paraphrasing, “Only an joyless monster wouldn’t build their child an expensive tepee.” Ugh, right? Stupid rich New York elites and their designer tepees! Really, this half-hearted disgust serves as a poor disguise for my boundless jealousy — I wantz one of these tepees badly.
Image via Getty, Matt Cardy