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Preview: For the love of thrift

For the love of thrift



Thrifting in New York and living the good life



Updated: 2018-03-05T08:42:47.304-08:00

 



Shoes, a bit like chocolate...

2011-02-15T19:14:19.535-08:00

I love thrifting shoes, it is a weakness of mine. I treat shoes terribly and they never last me long, so thrifting allows me to feed the passion and keep a good shoe collection. Some recent finds:

  • Housing Works Upper West Side, Pour la Victoire sandals (so painful but oh, so beautiful!)
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Housing Works, 23rd street. Classic.

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  • Cat Protection League, Brevard. Funky.
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  • Housing Works Upper West Side. Vintage croc.


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What a hoot

2010-12-19T18:12:07.772-08:00

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Meet David James, the owl who is a cookie jar in his spare time.

Angela aka “the Bounty-Huntress” was giving away this beautiful owl rescued from Goodwill in celebration for her 38th Birthday. I put my name down, crossed my fingers, and waited…..and I won, Hurrah!!!!!!!! David James made the trip all the way from Austin to NYC. He arrived with a bellyful of tootsie pops, and wrapped in beautiful vintage paper.
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The boyfriend looked bemused as I excitedly unwrapped him. However, he did approve of him immediately, as the boyfriend is a Brit and by coincidence his team, Sheffield Wednesday, is nicknamed “the owls”. The owl was immediately named David James after some famous Sheffield footballer. David now sits happily on my Manhattan tiny kitchen, looking over all activities with his sleepy, wise guy looks. He is an owl, after all.

Thank you Angela!(image) (image)



Clowning around...

2010-11-06T11:20:54.009-07:00

The mission: Sophie and I go the Cure thrift store to buy a winter coat. The results: One vintage Oleg Cassini top and a dancing clown. I took my friend Sophie to The Cure thrift shop to try and thrift her a winter coat. Off we went, on the winter coat mission. We perused the selection, chatted to the very friendly shop assistant and had a look at what The Cure had. One very promising winter coat was a little too tight, humph…..but we then spotted…..oooooooohhhh ……a very spangly sequined classic black vintage Oleg Cassini top. It fit Sophie like a glove. And such a timeless piece, an investment - we told ourselves. If Oleg Cassini was good enough for Jackie O, it was good enough for Sophie. As we are paying for the Oleg Cassini top, I spot the most adorable vintage music box of a dancing clown. We cooed over it, and decided he was lovely. The music is so dream like, I might just decide to start collecting vintage music boxes....We abandon our winter coat mission with a spangly top and a dancing clown. The issue with specific thrift missions is that they are seldom successful. The point of thrifting is the surprise of never knowing what you are going to find. It is best if you remember that you need something specific as you thrift, and help it guide you to the right thrift shops. And whilst looking, why not get distracted with vintage clowns? [...]



Kitchenalia

2010-10-24T12:12:39.450-07:00

I've developed a recent penchant for retro kitchen utensils. These are easy to get at antique markets and of course...ebay. I haven't been able to thrift any yet, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

Here are some of my favourite retro kitchen items:

1- vintage cookie cutters (big on my nostalgia factor - when I was a kid, me and my mom used similar cookie cutters to make gingerbread cookies!). If you are on the hunt for old cookie cutters, the ones with the wooden handles tend to be most coveted as they are from the 1920's/1930's. I got these at an antiques market in Brevard, North Carolina, with my aunt Sallye.

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2- An icecream scoop. This blue is classic of the 1950s, classic American diner.

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3- My wonderful 1950's 'high speed' beater. Love the juicy red handle! And all these years later it works a treat. I got it on ebay.

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Here in NYC thrift stores are quite savy about the value of vintage collectibles. When I've spotted retro kitchen items they have been usually for auction, I remember seeing them at the Vintage Thrift Store.




The grand bazaar - the grand daddy of all markets

2010-09-13T14:37:22.755-07:00

I had the good fortune of having to travel to Istanbul with work. I took all the things a grown woman needs: suit, laptop, business cards, mom. Yes, my mom met me in Istanbul and in between work meetings, we hit the streets with a map and plenty of sight seeing and shopping stamina. We headed straight for the world famous Grand Bazaar, established in 1461 and one of the largest covered markets in the world. Walking its winding corridors is an amazing assault of the senses: the smells of spices and apple tea, the sounds, the music, the selling chants, the beautiful fabrics, the brightly coloured tiles and lamps, you really can - and will - get lost and explore for hours.We bought plenty of delicious Turkish delight and apple tea. We also decided we wanted pretty throws/bedspreads. My mom bought a beautiful raw coloured bedspread - it took her about 30 mins. I decided I wanted a brightly coloured bedspread, spotted one interesting looking shop and decided that would be the one. You see, there is a whole routine to buying a throw or a rug. You are invited into a little crowded market shop/stall covered with fabrics everywhere. You then sit down and are offered apple tea. As you sip your tea, your seller chats with you about what you are looking for and starts unfurling the fabrics. The more fabrics you see, the harder it is to walk away without buying anything, so choose your shop carefully! I was looking at suzanis - the most gorgeous bright silk embroideries from Uzbekistan. They are handmade by women as a way of showing off their handiwork when they get married. They are beautiful and full of symbols. As I made up my mind as to which suzani I wanted, the seller flirted away (as Turkish men do), offered us more apple tea, telling us suzani history and chatting about Istanbul. I must have seen about 20 suzanis (my mom rolling her eyes about my indecision). An enjoyable hour and a half later (and an exasperated mother), we emerged with two pillowcases and a suzani full sized bedspread (and the vendor's phone number - who kindly offered himself as an Istanbul guide...) for about $160. I bargained for ages - essential behaviour at the grand bazaar - starting from the standard offer of half the price. Triumphant we walked into the sun filled streets of Istanbul. My suzani is bright pink with large circles symbolizing his and her families. Notice how at the center of the large circles you have a flower with two different colours (representing a man and a woman) and then the flowers blossoming and radiating out of it - representing the growing family. Also the square rim bordering the suzani is in two colours - white and a dark green - representing the good times - and the bad times - that marriages go through. Little circles in the middle of the suzani represent the couple's children. I just love it! Istanbul is a fascinating city, an exotic blend of Europe and Asia, with great shopping and bargaining as well as numerous culturally interesting sights, such as the stunningly beautuful Blue Mosque. Check out thrift Mondays at Apron thrift girl. [...]



An instant classic: the thrifted typewriter

2010-09-07T10:32:58.118-07:00

(image) My boyfriend has always wanted a typewriter. As I knew that his birthday was coming up I decided I would thrift one. I searched high and low, and then one day - there it was. In Hell's kitchen on 39th, for $40, looking forlorn in a corner. I dusted her off, brought her home and offered her up triumphantly.

(image) (image) I love hearing the rare rat-tat-tat and swoosh when on occasion he fancies himself an old school writer and sits at the desk typing away. One day I glanced at the paper still sitting tightly in the typewriter and it read:

I once wrote a story for my girlfriend about a beach, a typewriter and a game of scrabble. My typewriter has no ONE key and the O sticks. It also has no attention-grabbing mind-numbing portal to Google, Facebook and Czech lesbian websites. All it does is write each document hammered into the page with a sense of purpose alien to modern PCs. I imagine it is from the 1930s or so. Where the typewriter has been or who's fingers have struck it are unknown to me. What was written here? Did you write novel as I'd like to believe? Have characters sprang from these simple machinations? Have you written love letters that changed the recipient's life for ever? Perhaps poetry has poured through your metal chassis or a thesis on organic chemistry that changed the way we conceive this planet of ours?

From my boyfriend L, the writer

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Check out the thrift parties at apron thrift girl and southern hospitality.



Paperback thrifter

2010-09-09T19:33:50.071-07:00

(image) In the heart of Soho, on sleepy Crosby street, lies one of the most unique thrift stores in the city. Unbeknown to the hordes of tourists on the neighboring Broadway, lies a thrift book store haven complete with its own cafe. (image) Housing Works book store is in a beautiful building of typical Soho architecture. The store is very large and has a great book collection - all second hand.

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For the casual browser, the books are curated into helpful sections at the front of the bookstore, wittily described:
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As well as being a fabulous bookstore, Housing works bookstore is also a great place to work, study and meet friends. It has a fabulous cafe, complete with Wi-Fi, and a great cafe where you ca grab a coffee or a cold beer. Housing works bookstore has an action packed events programme, with readings, discussions and Moth sessions (competitive story slams) - I highly recommend. (image)



Hudson treasures

2010-06-19T09:31:48.142-07:00

New York City has a way of sucking you in and keeping you busy for weekends on end. However, even the most hardcore of New Yorkers need to get away from the City once in a while. It feels good to get away from the buildings, crowds and sirens and be reminded of space and silence.Whilst chatting about weekend getaways, a friend recommended Hudson, a little village not too far away and apparently an antiquer's paradise. I didn't need any more convincing and the boyfriend didn't need much persuading. We were off that Saturday morning.The train trip to Hudson is a beautiful 2 hour ride up the banks of the Hudson river. Just being on the train, with newspapers and sandwiches, already felt like an adventure. Once we got to Hudson, we headed to the Bed & Breakfast that I hastily booked online, the Croff House. A beautiful house, impeccably decorated and with attentive friendly owners looking over every single detail. To be honest, the room was so wonderful, I could have happily hibernated there for the weekend, what with the fireplace and the claw footed bathtub... I'd love to return in the Autumn when the leaves must be spectacular and we have an excuse to stay inside. When my friend had said that Hudson was an antiquer's paradise, she was quite right. Hudson is a beautiful, lovely, small town with over 65 antique shops over 5 blocks. A shop owner told us that in the 60s the city was in dire straits as there was little employment and people migrated to NYC and Albany. However, in the 80s, one antique shop opened. Slowly, many followed and the city flourished to become an antiques hub, with art galleries, restaurants and cafes, and summer homes.Much to my chagrin, I managed to miss the city's one thrift store - it closes on Sunday. However, the antique shops kept me very busy. There are antique stores for all tastes and covering all periods. Some look similar to art galleries - with prices to match - whilst others are nicely junky and cluttered.Besides the great antiquing, Hudson also has some nice cafes, restaurants and a bar in a bookstore, where you can have a beer whilst enjoying a book.Among all the antiquing we found a $40 industrial looking iron office lamp, a bright shade of blue. After all the antiquing and relaxing in Hudson, we boarded the train back to Manhattan, the lamp tucked under my arm.[...]



My very first Pyrex

2010-04-17T16:59:21.101-07:00

I spotted it on my usual weekend trip to Housing works. In the household section, at the back of a shelf, was a mustardy yellow and very retro Pyrex casserole. The lid rattled slightly and it had a nice heavy feel to it. I promptly paid the $12 (yes, Manhattan prices....) and brought it home.

(image) Pyrex was made in the 50s and makes for the perfect kitchen accessory for any vintage lover. The stuff was built to last and the designs are wonderfully retro. As a result, it has now become quite collectable. It makes the perfect item to thrift, so keep your eyes open for it. If you thrift some Pyrex, check out the Pyrex love website to figure out what you've got. I believe my casserole is part of the Butterfly gold collection, who knew?

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The Cure thrift store

2010-09-09T19:35:49.942-07:00

Throughout the winter I trudged through the snow, braved the wild winds and got drenched in the rain as I braved the elements to thrift in the city. Now, as New York City welcomes its first days of spring I've decided to emerge from my prolonged blog hibernation. Let me tell you about a thrift store I discovered this past winter: The Cure Thrift shop. My friend Flora, my fellow thrift addict, told me about it and promised great things. Well the girl was right - this place rocks.The best thing about the Cure is the furniture, this is the best thrift furniture in Manhattan. The place has everything and is organized in room sections:Bedroom Kitchen - check out the super cool retro oven Office - some nice mid century furniture dotted around A book area. Flora perusing the selection.This thrift store is gigantic (remember there is no space in Manhattan!) and I was very impressed. I fell in love with a couple of furniture pieces, and although I spotted some good deals, the majority had a hefty tag - cheaper than an antique shop but not exactly thrifty. You pay for the good selection and nice layout. The basement is filled with clothes, shoes and handbags - and has a men's section. Luckily they have a big spring sale going on - they advertise their sales on their website and on craigslist - and for the last two sale days they will be holding a $15 per stuffed bag. Watch this space!For the love of thrift rating (from 1 to 10): Selection: 9 (10 if you're looking for furniture)Presentation: 9Niceness of staff: 8Bargain factor (ie pricing): 7Thrift turnover: 8 The Cure thrift store is on East 12th and 4th avenue and is open late on week days (8:30) and on the weekends (8pm).[...]



Use your head

2010-09-09T19:37:41.250-07:00

Imagine my delight when a lady gave me a leaflet for a new thrift store as I was strolling through NoLita during one lunch break last October. My heart raced at the prospect of finding a thrift store in a part of town famous for its boutiques and independent designers. It turned out that Use your head: shop for a cause wasn't out of place in this neighbourhood; this is the ultimate Manhattan high end boutique thrift store.Rest assured that Use your head is the real deal - not a consignement store or a vintage store, but a true thrift store where your money goes to help the Soho partnership, a nonprofit for helping the homeless get jobs and off the streets. In fact, the lady who gave me the leaflet was called Renee and she had been helped off the streets by the organization. How cool is that?The staff at Use your head are friendly and chatty and make you feel at ease - no boutique snootiness going on here. In fact, the girl working there gave me the low down on the place. The shop belongs to Henry Buhl, a gentleman in his 70s who has many friends and is extremely active in the community - he started the Soho partnership.What makes this store so New York, is that Henry Buhl's friends are people like Lauren Hutton and Jane Fonda who regularly drop clothes off at the store. On another trip there I was told that they had just received a donation of vintage clothes from Sotheby's. Designer shops in the area also donate regularly to the shop - including Nicole Miller, Prada and Marc Jacobs. As a result, the shop is very edited with high end clothes. The pricetags are hefty for a thrift shop but low considering that the boutique next door would probably charge you 5 times the price. Some examples are a Chloe dress ($120), a silk YSL Rive gauche blouse ($45), a Ferragamo jacket ($350). They also have some amazing vintage finds - I read that recently a lady donated clothes from Oscar de la Renta, YSL and Valentino after she refused the request from the fashion houses to arquive the clothes.As well as clothes they also have shoes and handbags. I snatched a delicious vintage handbag for a mere $20.If you are in town, do pay them a visit - you will see some beautiful clothes, maybe a celebrity or two, and if you buy something you can look gorgeous while helping support a great cause!For the love of thrift rating (from 1 to 10): Selection: 10Presentation: 10Niceness of staff: 10Bargain factor (ie pricing): 7 (if you're looking for designer wear)Thrift turnover: 8 Use your head: shop for a cause thrift store is on 262 Mott Street[...]



The little black dress

2010-01-27T20:36:44.704-08:00

Every thrift girl knows how important an LBD is.

Thrifted in goodwill, courtesy of lookbook, all the way across the East river ie Brooklyn.

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Merry Xmas!

2009-12-24T09:44:17.361-08:00

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all you lovely bloggers! Time to eat, drink, be jolly, grateful and enjoy family and friends - may the festivities begin! x



A little extravagance....

2010-09-09T19:32:57.748-07:00

(image) The Upper East Side's Council Thrift Shop is one of my favourites in NYC. The volunteers are such sweethearts, always with a smile and willing to chat for ages about whatever you've bought or tried on. The shop has a great down-to-earth community vibe. It is a little dishevelled but makes up for this in spades with staff friendlieness - and great stock.

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They sell clothes - for men and women - and often have designer garb. They also have shoes, books, accessories, housewares and furniture. This place is great for nabbing yourself a bargain, the prices tend to be fair and there is always a sale going on.
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I went there this October and they had just put all their Fall/Winter stock out. It was mostly designer wear and it was all 50% off. There was some excellent stuff, from Armani, to Valentino and Michael Kors et al. I spied a jacket that was absolutely gorgeous and brand new from Mackage, a brand I'd never heard of. It was $180 (GULP) but with the discount it was $90. Yikes - pricey - and unusually expensive for the Council Thrift store! However, it was soooo funky that after much umming and ahhhing and in-store modelling - I bought it. To console myself I later checked their website and saw that their jackets go for $500 and up. That made me feel less of a sap.


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So, I love the jacket but it is my most expensive thrift shop buy ever. Extravagance? Perhaps. However, this is where I throw the allmighty thrift moral punch - all proceeds go to support the National Council of Jewish Women of New York who focus on progressive stances on issues such as child welfare, women's rights and reproductive freedom. Yeah!! This jacket is worth every single cent!!

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The Council Thrift Shop is on 84th between 2nd and 3rd avenues. It is open Mon-Wed,11am-5:45pm; Thu, 11am-7:45pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-4:45pm. Closed Sundays.

For the love of thrift rating (from 1 to 10):
Selection: 8
Presentation: 8
Niceness of staff: 10
Bargain factor (ie pricing): 9
Thrift turnover: 8




Second hand man

2009-12-03T19:01:30.984-08:00

Because guys love thrift too.

From Ireland - loving the enormous scarf and thrifted jacket
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From Germany (all thrifted) - maybe this big scarf thing is a trend....

(image) From the US, shoes and shirt from the Salvation army (maybe he wants to jump off the ledge beacause he didn't thrift his jeans...)

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From Brooklyn, New York - thrifted vest - let's hear it for the home boy! Yeah!

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Are you a guy that thrifts? Are you a girl that thrifts with or for her guy?

My man wears thrift - on occasion - but I'm the one with the addiction....




Thrifted Thanksgiving 2009

2009-11-29T20:17:17.722-08:00

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The boyfriend and I followed the tradition of hosting Thanksgiving for our New York friends. A mixture of foreigners and holiday orphans gathered at ours for a day of eating, drinking and being merry.

On Thanksgiving eve, I realised that we didn't have enough wine glasses for everyone, so I went on an emergency thrifting expedition. First stop - Housing Works Soho. I bought one wine glass and err......a pair of ultra cute shoes. OK, so they weren't on my shopping list, but how could I resist them? Second stop - Goodwill on east 23rd street - brilliant for housewares. As if by magic, there they were, 4 beautifully tall and elegant wine glasses, 1.99 each. Bingo! As we had the exact number of glasses for our guests, we asked our guests to put a little sticker on their glass so they could keep track of it throughout the evening - a great idea.

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Thanksgiving day was wonderful. We actually saw the parade, after all, we do live one and a half blocks away from Central Park West. For the first time, we managed to get our lazy selves out of bed and onto the street to see the giant balloons - well worth it! The Thanksgiving meal was divine (my man cooked all of it) and - of course - the table was set with my thrifted china finds. The amount of food we ate was legendary but - most importantly - we were grateful for being among friends and loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving! Here's to family and friends!
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Azulejo inspiration

2009-11-21T16:13:39.394-08:00

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I was rather pleased with myself last weekend at the Upper West Side Housing Works thrift store. I spotted a beautiful blue handpainted pitcher that had a vaguely familar look. I turned it upside down, and there it was: "Made in Portugal". I promptly paid $6 and proudly brought it
home.
I'm Portuguese you see, and we are pretty much obssessed with blue and white ceramics. We have a long history of making pottery and the Portuguese have the most beautiful handpainted tiles. Yes, tiles. You will find them decorating walls everywhere, churches, rail stations, houses, monuments, etc. They often depict historical scenes and are a major part of Portuguese architecture and history. They are called Azulejos (I love this word). The name is derived from the arabic (from back in the day when Portugal was occupied by the Moors), and the word azul - also means the colour blue. They tend to be blue and white but you may also find yellow and some other colours.

My favourite azulejos are the ones on the church (Igreja do Carmo) in my home tome of Porto. Absolutely beautiful.(image)


And of course the tiles of Porto's railway station Sao Bento, also a beauty.

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The Green Lady

2009-11-19T16:19:35.756-08:00

(image) On my thrift wish list is a print of the wonderfully kitsch "Chinese lady' by Vladimir Tretchikoff . I love its gaudy colours and it reminds me of the bright pop art that painters like Andy Warhol immortalized. It is lovely in a vintage nostalgic kind of way and above all - it is fun and doesn't take itself too seriously.

The 'Green lady' was painted in 1952 (when Tretchikoff was 39) and became the world's biggest-selling print. In effect, Tretchikoff was the world's first mass-market artist. The 'Green lady', described as the "Mona Lisa of kitsch", hung on the walls of half a million suburban homes around the world. I remember seeing her in restaurants and homes of friends' parents decorating otherwise dark and drab places. She was everywhere.

She is actually a real person. She was called Lenka and was Tretchikoff's lover, they met in a NYC restauraunt in the late 40s. Apparently Lenka had a fascination for all things paranormal.

Although Treatchikoff wasn't taken seriously by the big art collectors after he went for a mass market approach, his print sales made him the most highly paid artist in the world after Picasso.

My wishful thinking is that someone somewhere in NYC will decide that they canot live with the Green Lady anymore and will give her to a good home....I will find her in a thrift store, dust her off and hang her on my living room wall. She'll look perfect.

For more vintage goodness, see Vintage Thingies Thursdays



Autumn/fall 2009

2009-11-05T19:03:53.958-08:00

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(image) Winter coat - Glasgow, Scotland, Marie Curie Cancer Care thrift shop
Skirt - Goodwill, East Village, NYC
Shoes - Salvation army, Williamsburg, NYC
Autumn leaves - Central Park



Polka dotty

2009-11-01T08:00:32.549-08:00

Rainy days ask for a splash of colour to cheer us all up. Here are some polka dots from those trendy people at lookbook:
  • From Berlin, a vintage dress and a handbag from a London fleamarket.

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  • Thrifted polka dot skirt (image)
  • From New York City, thrifted dress and belt. Love the peeptoes.

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A Brooklyn beacon

2010-09-09T19:41:50.605-07:00

Beacon's closet in hipster centric Williamsburg is a must go destination for any New York thrift shopper. Although this isn't your classic thrift store - the funds don't go to support a noble cause - Beacon's closet is definitely thrifty, with plenty of bargains to be found.The shop is located in an old warehouse space and is ginormous. It is arranged by colours - see the pretty photos - and has a great selection of clothes, vintage and modern. The shoes are fabulous and there is a good dress selection if you're looking for something with a little va va voom.Men need not feel neglected at Beacon's, there is a good men's selection and there are some comfy chairs at the entrance where they can read a newspaper as they wait for their girlfriends. Alternatively, you can park your manfriend at the record store a couple of blocks away. Happiness all round!Do you want to indulge in some new shoes but cannot face eating cheese and toast until payday? No worries, swap your old threads for cash or Beacon's closet store credit. Keep in mind that the cash you get for your clothes depends on:- How fashionable/desirable are they? Would anyone want to wear them?- Are they in good nick?- Are they designer? However, see first point. Nobody wants your nylon purple mesh Versace trousers.Last time I was at Beacon's, I bought a huge, girly dusk pink silk scarf - for $11. I love this place!For the love of thrift rating (from 1 to 10):Selection: 9Presentation: 9Niceness of staff: 7Bargain factor (ie pricing): 8Thrift turnover: 9[...]



Something old, something borrowed, something blue

2009-10-07T11:25:27.742-07:00

(image) Moving into a completely empty apartment with nothing but a couple of suitcases filled with clothes, was, I admit it, a little daunting. However, in a city filled with thrift shops, and in the country that gave you Craigslist, I quickly realised that the process of making a home was going to be a lot of fun.

In NYC, there is no reason to go to Ikea or other similar mass-produced, yawn-inducing stores. I want a home with personality. A home where things have a story about who they belonged to, the house they lived in, or how they were hunted down and found. And I'd rather not have to assemble my furniture – lego for grown ups is simply not my thing.

Each day, after we'd moved in, L and I obsessively scoured the Manhattan furniture section of Craigslist. This is one of our early finds and one of my first ‘home’ projects. The dresser had the exact shape I was looking for and in its shabby, off-white state was going for only $30. I dragged a grumbling L miles down south to the financial district.


We followed our map through an anonymous part of town but then found ourselves in a funky apartment where the owner sat us down, poured us tea, and wanted to know our life history. Hmm, we were buying a dresser, not considering an adoption. Nevertheless, we chatted for ages and she kindly sold the dresser to us and volunteered her reluctant boyfriend to deliver it to our door. Success!
(image) From the very beginning I knew I wanted a brightly coloured dresser in my living room. And so I transformed the dresser from its orginal sad white into this gorgeous blue beast, and finished it with these sleek burgundy drawer pulls from Anthropologie.
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Thrift for Traviata, Vintage for Verdi

2010-09-09T19:44:14.396-07:00

(image) Amongst Manhattan's array of thrift stores, few have the quirk and charm of the City Opera Thrift Shop. This Bergdorf Goodman of secondhand stores lures you in with it's gorgeous window displays - courtesy of the students of the nearby School of Visual Arts - and offers up an assortment of upscale designer wear.

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The collection of dresses, women's shoes and men's suits make it an excellent place to shop for a special occasion. The styles on offer cater nicely for all ages; I can imagine bringing my mum here (and her squealing in delight at the velvet jackets and silk dresses). There are plenty of clothes for us younger types too, when I was there last a young woman was trying on a cute fitted leather jacket. If you want a Dior jacket this is the thrift store to visit - but if you're looking to stretch your last 20 dollars as far as you can you might want to steer clear.

(image) It's not just having art students dress the windows and the designer threads that makes this place so New York, it's where the thrift dollars go - here is a clothes tag:


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Hmmmm, my shoe indulgences have contributed towards Madame Butterfly; Candide; Don Giovanni; Tosca....

(image) The New York City Opera supports groundbreaking opera and has 25% of tickets priced at $25 and less - now that is thrifty.

For the love of thrift rating (from 1 to 10):
Selection: 9
Presentation: 9
Niceness of staff: 8
Bargain factor (ie pricing): 7 (if you're looking for designer wear)
Thrift turnover: 8


The New York City Opera thrift store is on East 23rd Street. As well as women's and men's clothes and shoes, they have furniture, books and often opera records and posters.



Summer, are you leaving already?

2009-09-11T17:09:07.534-07:00



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As I cling onto summer for dear life, here is a look from earlier this year, boots thrifted in Chelsea flea market, belt thrifted at housing works and an urban outfitters dress with a retro feel to it. Summer, please stay!



Coney island baby

2009-09-07T16:02:48.590-07:00

In NYC you can feel a little nip in the air signalling that summer is ending, EEEeeeek! There are loads of things to see and do and there are summer clothes I haven't even worn yet. In an attempt to do the things we've been procrastinating for ages, the boyfriend and I set off on an impromptu "Do everything weekend". First and foremost on the list - Coney Island.Wow. I get that funny NYC feeling that I've been here before having seen it in the movies and on TV so many times. It is a sight to behold. Trashy, over the top, fun and community oriented, all in one. The beach is full of families and the water seems crowded with grannies, aunties, fat men in Tshirts, muscular men in tattoos and snotty children. We stroll around taking in all the sights. I'm wearing a red dress I bought at a fleamarket in Buenos Aires, Argentina.From the beach we head over to Wonder Wheel, the large ferris wheel. Feeling brave we get onto the cyclone - frankly just to be able to say that we have done it. 90 secs on the ricketiest roller coaster and we go through the feelings of elation, fear and dread. And then it's over and our legs are shaky and we cannot stop giggling. Then of course we have a Nathan hot dog and then the freak show - with ALIVE acts from Serpentina (lady with large snake), a sword swallower and fire swallower, a bendy woman on an electric chair and other assorted oddities. I'm afraid there was no thrifting done in Coney Island - although imagine the crazy goodies you would find there!The next day, we head to Governor's island and rent bicycles. The views of Manhattan are amazing - this is a must do summer trip. It is 5 minutes away from the city and it feels you are miles away. I'm all thrifted in a red silk dress I got at the greenflea, handbag and bangle (from junk man at the greenflea) and shoes from a thrift store on the Upper East Side (the Spence Chaplin thrift store).And guess what?? There are no thrift stores on Governor's island. That should come as no surprise because this enigmatic piece of prime NYC real estate is uninhabited and exclusively for public purposes. [...]