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  • Writer's pictureGRACE BURLEIGH '17

Vicariously Vintage

“Have those ear buds been super glued to your ear canal?”“Quit Snapchatting. It’s not productive.

Ironically, the smartphone craze has likely brought about more frustration to today’s culture than tech companies would like to admit. This advent of modern technology has brought with it an influx of memorabilia, most notably in the return of Polaroid cameras and records.

An indisputable staple item of the mid 80s and late 90s was the Polaroid camera, which not only shot aesthetic photos, but was able to print them on the spot. Partygoers could take home a tangible memory of an event without the usual one hour wait of printing of camera film at the nearest convenience store.

The remodeled Polaroid camera, sans white border on the prints

Though the original Polaroid cameras still remain, the corporation has released a restyled model that’s since been a crowd favorite. This digital version is able to take the photo, edit it, and print it as desired, rather than just printing automatically. Filters may be added, red eye corrected, and even shared online via USB cord. The one glaring difference is that it doesn’t have the signature white border with which Polaroids are usually associated. If this is indeed a drawback, another option would be the Japanese Fujifilm, which does include a white border.

Regardless of the newer model chosen, most Polaroids are portable and simple to work. Prices start around $40, and additional film can be sold in packets of ten strips each for decent pricing. Whether for posting the photos on Tumblr with artsy filters, handing them out as party keepsakes, or just hanging them on bulletin boards, Polaroid cameras serve as a reminder of good times, and an incentive to record future ones.

In addition to Polaroids, vinyl records have likewise made a comeback in modern culture. Despite the popularity of iTunes and Spotify, records remain a significant force in the music industry. Obviously, they are not as portable as music on a smartphone or laptop, but this doesn’t necessarily inhibit their appeal. Not only have they already won the hearts of those raised on them, but records draw the youth with their “novelty” and edginess. Modern artists such as Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers have even released recent albums on vinyl at the prompting of their fans.

The Pride of Northside and popular stomping ground of West Siders: Shake It Records

Of course, in order to play records, one must have a player. Popular models include the trendy Crosley, reliable Jensen, classic Turntable, and more. Although the prices of these types tend to run high, the overall vinyl experience supersedes its cost for many enthusiasts. To investigate the record scene, visit Everybody’s Records in Pleasant Ridge, Shake It Records in Northside, or Black Plastic Records downtown. These shops boast of wall to wall vinyl, and they’re not wrong—vinyls of all types, CDs, posters, t-shirts, patches, and pins are found INXS, to make a rock pun. Even the disinterested find themselves stunned upon entering such stores, and most music lovers would happily spend hours perusing the eclectic selections. Local support of vinyl stores is what funds the industry, so treat yourself to a good record and enjoy the magic.

Essentially, though Apple products are fashionable these days, take a spin down memory lane—or maybe your parents’ memory lane—and think about investing in a Polaroid camera or a record player. Your parents weren’t joking when they said that they were worth all the rage.

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