Environs

By Chord Bezerra
Photography by Todd Franson
Published on April 8, 2004, 12:00am | Comments

Matchstick memories abound in this 2 BR, 2 BA apartment in the ever-popular Dupont Circle neighborhood. Comes fully equipped with space to sit and talk -- and plenty of items to talk about.

After nearly two decades of living in his Dupont Circle apartment, David de la Tour has become quite comfortable. Over the years he has filled his apartment with a bold collection of art, an anthology of matchbooks, and plenty of places to sit, talk and relax.

David: I have lived here over 17 years now. This apartment has been perfect for me. I wanted something earthy and old. This place had a fireplace and wood floors, which was wonderful. I read tarot cards and this apartment allows me to create this space where people can sit down and open up and talk for hours.



There is a lot of symbolism throughout the apartment. I am very pantheistic -- I think all religions have lots to offer. If you look around the apartment, [you'll notice that] every religion has some representation -- Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam. I was brought up Catholic but I had an out-of-body experience when I was five years old. I was outside in the backyard playing and the next thing I knew I was looking down at this little kid and I realized that my awareness was not in that little kid anymore. That happened a few times and my parents would always tell me I was very "creative." That influences my living space one hundred percent. All the objects in the apartment are here because they struck me energetically and spiritually.



[In the living room] Most of the art in the apartment was created by artists that I have met. The art is very in your face. There are some more sedate pieces but those are all in my bedroom. I much prefer these big paintings out here. Most everything in the apartment has its own story, which can go on for a long time. For example -- a woman that I lived with did this piece of art above the couch. She started painting when she lived here and it was something that just came out of her -- it was a natural talent. She was convinced she had learned it in a past life because she had never studied art before.



[In the dining room] These are matchbooks from all the places I have been. I started collecting them when I first started going out to bars, which was when disco was coming up -- I was fascinated with it. All these big nightclubs had really impressive matchbooks and I just started picking them up. It just became a thing. This matchbook is from my favorite club in Boston. When I went to college there I went out to this club every weekend. It wasn't until I came out and later came back to Boston that I realized the same club had a gay night on Sunday [laughs]. It was called Boston, Boston. It was bigger than Tracks was here. They had three different DJs and three different rooms. I had a lot of good memories there. The matchbook is sitting on top because every time I see those matches it brings back so many memories.





 [In the bedroom] The calmer things are in here. This is an authentic Navajo dream catcher that I got from a shaman -- I was not taking any chances when I bought it. An artist friend of mine made these lamps. When he first started doing them he needed people to buy his stuff and I said sure. This model is actually named after me. I was looking for something bizarre and he worked with me to make it. He has it on his web page and it is called "The de la Tour." I don't know if it's a big seller -- I'd be afraid to know. You think the name alone would make it fantastic [Laughs].


I lived in Paris for a little bit when I was 23. I had some wild and magical experiences there. What really appealed to me was the whole concept of the turn-of-the-century French salon. It was a place where artists and philosophers and radicals would talk about the issues of the day. The salons had a lot of color, a lot of furniture, a lot of little places to sit and there would always be people around. I thought that was the kind of place I wanted to create -- a place where there is lots going on and lots of places to sit.

Does your house, condo or apartment have a story to tell? Let Environs know about it. E-mail environs@metroweekly.com.


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