Every morning after waking up, Hollywood resident Nick Metropolis diligently writes in three pages of a notebook. He does this after the teachings of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, a daily routine that facilitates synchronicity throughout his colorful life. As owner of Nick Metropolis Collectible Furniture in Los Angeles, Metropolis is as delightfully eccentric as the array of items sold and rented in his store. Upon entering, a customer may find everything from life-size statues of The Simpsons family to vintage photo frames to religious figurines to large metal dinosaurs to gaudy plastic furniture – to name just a few.
Metropolis, the self-proclaimed “humble king of collectible furniture,” came out to the West Coast with musicians like The Doors, Bob Dylan and The Birds rising in fame and popularity. “I got really blessed as a 19-year-old kid to bail out of Rochester, where it’s like minus three degrees in the winter, and just come out here where Hollywood and the Sunset Strip and the clubs and music were in their prime,” says Metropolis.
At an earlier age, Metropolis strongly resembled a young George Harrison of The Beatles. He even believes his life has paralleled Harrison’s somewhat, with analogous hippie days of smoking pot, meditating and living a vegetarian lifestyle. Years later, he found himself having a beer next to Harrison in California, and even later, discovering another customer had dated Harrison.
Metropolis believes that because of his daily writing, synchronicity is part of his day-to-day life. Even when he was down to his last “bagel and cream cheese,” this spiritual conviction has helped,like when Miley Cyrus spent $16,000 when he was behind in state taxes. Other celebrity customers include Drew Barrymore, Bill Murray, Chris Brown and Rick Ross.
With about 300 people walking in and out of the store everyday, Nick Metropolis Collectible Furniture plays host to both those from extreme wealth and extreme poverty. Metropolis says he pays it forward and aids the latter by hosting a free section full of odds and ends that he buys from downsizing pickers. “It’s a movie everyday,” says Metropolis. “It’s really not about furniture, it’s about character and every walk of life that comes in here.”