Nick Battaglia (@black_framed_glasses), aka Mr. 1965, prefers the older things in life. From his antique-filled apartment, to his wardrobe, and even his favorite restaurants, Nick’s fascination with all things retro is more of a lifestyle than it is a hobby.
“I for sure think this is a very quirky and unconventional life,” says Nick. “I remember looking for a roommate one time and I was talking to my friend, and he was like, ‘I don’t want to live on the set of I Love Lucy.’ And I thought, ‘oh…,’ because I did!”
Nick’s interest in the sixties started when he was young. “As a child I grew up listening to my parents’ music which primarily was from the sixties,” recalls Nick. “I also remember watching quite a bit of film and fashion, and thinking, ‘Why don’t we dress like that?’ I didn’t understand the disconnect between why they had it and why we don’t.”
Growing up, Nick found himself falling in love with sixties pieces at antique fairs, and that interest eventually grew into a multifaceted lifestyle approach. To get a sense of just how much that interest has manifested, all it takes is a quick tour of Nick’s apartment.
“To somebody who’s never seen my apartment before, I would describe it as straight-up funky sixties,” Nick says. “You have animal heads, [and] you have velvet paintings. It’s kind of kitschy. I just want it to be a 1960s apartment.”
In addition to the retro sixties decor, there are retro appliances throughout the apartment, particularly in the kitchen. Authentic sixties coffee grinders and mixers are used daily, and an oven, which is the same model that was used in The Dick Van Dyke Show, serves as the centerpiece of the space. “It’s beautiful,” says Nick of the vintage oven. “It’s like driving a Cadillac while you’re cooking.”
The only thing more authentically “sixties” than Nick’s apartment, might be Nick himself. “I would describe my wardrobe as pretty varied,” says Nick, while combing through his closet. “I enjoy everything from shirts and shorts to suits.”
Nick explains that people tend to react one of two ways when they see him walking down the street. Some people will shrug and keep walking, while others will comment and say something. One thing that Nick has noticed is that people are always shocked to find out that his clothes are actually vintage. “It surprises a lot of people that clothing, things, and items still exist, still work, still function and still maintain their original integrity,” he says.
If you catch Nick strolling through the neighborhood in a vintage wool suit, chances are he’s heading to The Silver Skillet, a local diner that’s remained almost completely unchanged since it opened in the sixties. “Everything is vintage, so he fits right in,” says Lari, a waitress at the diner. “I really push it when I go to The Silver Skillet,” Nick says. “Cuz the reactions are just always fun.”
While Nick knows his lifestyle isn’t for everyone, or as he puts it, is “an acquired taste,” he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Sometimes I still can’t believe that I can take this passion that started as a child and just turn it into my life,” he says. Mr. 1965 might be infatuated with the past, but with his passions and uniqueness so clearly defined, the future’s looking bright.
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