I’ve had a “thing” for New York City since my college days when I lived just 25 miles north of Manhattan. I always dreamed of living there like my cousin Molly, but it wasn’t meant to be. In the 1980s I ended up in San Francisco instead for three wonderful years. Later I moved down the peninsula to the Silicon Valley. California had became my new home and I’ve never regretted it.
Still a chance to dip my toes into NYC for a few days doesn’t go unheeded. It’s like a siren call. So I joined my husband on a business trip and then we took a few days for ourselves. While he was off giving a workshop for two days I was planning on thrifting and antiquing.
But first our hotel. We were on the 11th floor of Modernhaus (in the heart of Soho) with a wall of windows and a skyline view.
That view was also available from the glass bathroom!
Thankfully there was a shade you could lower to make the bathroom private ’cause this girl likes a bit of privacy!
The next morning after an early lunch at Soho Diner, I headed to my first stop, Aptiques by Authentic Pre-Owned on W. Broadway. It’s a gem of a consignment store filled with both quirky and quality items. The clerk was friendly and helpful and it was a pleasure looking around. Alas nothing was priced, there were “Do Not Touch” signs along with “No Photography or Videos.” I did have prices checked on a couple of items but they were priced higher than I could list them for in my Etsy store!
The clerk did allow me to take one photo. Here’s a not-very-good photo of their large brass Etruscan horse. Price unknown. (He’s on their website too, where you have to contact them for the prices. Not sure why they are reluctant to post prices.)
Defeated by the Aptique prices, I headed over to the Housing Works Thrift Store on Crosby St. some blocks away. They have a fabulous bookstore and next door their clothing and housewares store. Couldn’t resist the bookstore and bought myself two books for the trip…one memoir and one mystery. Two of my favorite categories! Unfortunately they didn’t have many housewares/decor items. It was slim pickings. I ended up buying one thing–an old pewter tankard.
I keep telling myself to stop buying pewter. Most doesn’t have a lot of value, but I thought this had some age and for $10 worth the gamble.
There is a mark on the outside with 1872, which could be the date it was made or the date the company was started.
Inside is a worn maker’s mark, but darn it I haven’t had any luck figuring it out. What I can decipher looks like “KELLEY_ IN BAYR___”. Any other guesses??
By this point my arthritic feet with aching so I headed back to the hotel picking up a fruit salad at the corner market for later. I didn’t think $5.80 was too bad considering it had a bit of papaya and kiwi.
As I was researching other stores in the area I realized that many of the thrift stores were “temporarily closed,” likely victims of the pandemic and most of the antique stores were posh, high-end places. While I had been hopeful for Aptiques because it was a consignment store, the prices were definitely in the high-end antique-store range. The Yelp reviews for the store are very positive and I’m sure it is an appealing place for the well-heeled, cost-is-no-option folks. For me it was a look-only venue!
The next day I headed to nearby Church Street Surplus. It deals primarily in military items, jeans and leather coats with a few other interesting bits thrown in.
They make use of every bit of space!
I was tempted by one of the vintage hand-crocheted throws/tablecloth but at $50 it was priced about what I would sell it for.
But I did find something for my eldest daughter that I know she’ll love. At first glance it looks like a normal new/old stock vintage blouse with great tailoring and details. But hold the phone it’s part of uniform from a “Womens Detention Center.” How cool is that!
Turns out the Ike Clark of Dallas company was incorporated in 1959 and dissolved in 1963. They had a couple of these blouses in the store and why, oh why, didn’t I buy some to resell! Even at $29 there was profit to be made. I am kicking myself. (Kick, kick, kick.)
Well, now that I’m done castigating myself, I’ll close. Part 2 of New York City is coming up soon.