All posts tagged: Second Hand

Summer Second Hand Bonanza: Fleas, Vintage Garb and More

The bustling Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene. (Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Flea) If it’s true that one person’s trash is another’s treasure, this is good news for humanity, indeed, because there sure is a lot of stuff changing hands all over the place. From stoops to yards to your Internet browser, there are year-round, 24-7 opportunities to buy and sell everything vintage, used, left behind and repurposed. Here are some thrifty opportunities you can check out this weekend.  The World’s Longest Yard Sale For the most part, you can shop yard (or stoop) sales every weekend no matter where you live, but if you’re hardcore into this classic American commercial enterprise, a trip to the 127 Corridor Sale, a.k.a. the World’s Longest Yardsale, should go on your life list. Headquartered at the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce in Jamestown, Tennessee, the sale runs 690 miles long, on rural roads from five miles north of Addison, Michigan, to Gadsden, Alabama. You could spend this weekend prepping a trip to — and your wish list for— …

9 Things You Must Know to Thrift Like a Pro

(Photo: TueNight) Ever since I was little, I have been singularly obsessed with Other People’s Clothes. I say this as a proper noun because, well, it’s a proper little obsession. I love new clothes too, but there’s nothing that makes me happier than buying something that’s already been broken in. This, of course, makes my mother practically apoplectic. She grew up in poverty, was adamant that I have brand-new clothes for every occasion so that I looked crisp and clean. My unrequited love for vintage and thrift was confounding and concerning for her. I can see her plight: a single mother working multiple jobs to give her child the things she never had, and yet the child insists on second-hand everything as the main source of her wardrobe. It’s nothing personal, Mom. I just prefer that lived-in look. My love for these items took on a life of its own in college, where I discovered the joy of “borrowing” my boyfriends’ items of clothing. I pilfered college sweatshirts and created quite the stash of broken-in …

Day in the Life of a Brooklyn Stoop Sale

(Photo: TueNight) A few weekends ago I stooped to conquer… the clutter in my home, that is. It almost didn’t happen. Our Brooklyn co-op’s summer stoop sale was scheduled for Saturday, aligning with our basement clean-up, so that we could really get rid of some crap. We placed an ad on Craigslist. We created an event on Facebook. We made flyers. We boxed up our unwanted junk. There’s nothing like a stoop sale to force you to go through every inch of your home, dividing and pricing your life’s accumulations into: 1. A few rare, ‘80s new wave albums that, unless someone gives me $100 for them, are heading back into my collection. You never know, I still might listen. 2. A printer that still kind of works. Someone might want it for $30. 3. Dresses, shirts and shoes. $1 each. No problem. 4. Old baking pans. If someone can haul these away, my karmic load will lift and I will be able to live life unencumbered. 5. Trash. I was hoping to get rid of …

Saying Goodbye To Creepy Baby

Creepy Baby. (Photo courtesy Tamar Anitai) As a teenager, I quickly learned that in my household there wasn’t a lot money “just laying around” (unless you happened to find a $20 bill just laying on the ground). Unfortunately, a scarcity of cash was in direct odds with my innate love of new things that, to this day, is the reason my alcove is usually filled with packages. But this isn’t an anecdote about the emotional highs and lows of online shopping. Childhood trips to the mall were pretty much off the table (no funds = no fun), trips to Marshalls were on an as-needed basis only. But thrift stores were like a Supermarket Sweep gold mine, minus the heavy turkeys, cat litter and ticking timer. Nothing was off limits, and quantity was key. A life-long love of 25-cent vinyl and old-man golf pants (to think  — I wasted my thinnest years in plaid grandpa bottoms) and ironic tees began, as did a steady collection of lunch boxes, Avon figurines and ‘70s macramé basement castoffs, as …

A Gemsbok Named Velvet Or Why I Love Taxidermy

Jody’s majestic gemsbok, Velvet. (Photo: Jody Jones / TueNight) It may sound strange — perhaps even stranger than strange — to have a five-foot tall piece of taxidermy in a 500 square foot apartment. Well, I guess I’m stranger than strange. I’m not a big fan of vintage. I don’t like popping tags. Smelling like mothballs and failed deodorant is not my idea of fashion or fun. Yard sales? Meh. Someone else’s crap is generally going to be my crap as well. I will not dumpster dive. You tend to get what you pay for. But based on my love of taxidermy, I guess you could say that I have an affinity for things that used to be something else, which is, I suppose, the same as the adoption and renovation of found items. There she was, right between the piglet and the jackalope. Glorious, glorious Velvet. She was exactly what I wanted. To me, there’s nothing more beautiful than majestic animals — especially mammals. So why wouldn’t I want to have one as part of my …

Turning Around an Old Thrift Shop

A little bit of merchandising goes a long way (Photo: Shelly Rabuse/TueNight) It wasn’t really hard to convince me to volunteer at a second-hand shop. I’d been a thrift-shop/flea market/garage sale junkie ever since I scored the best wagon ever at a neighbor’s garage sale for a buck. Not chump change for an eight-year-old. But what I didn’t realize was how a once-a-week job to consign clothing would become an all-consuming passion. It started with a weekly lunch date with a friend who worked at a charitable consignment shop. The shop is in a well-heeled area of suburban Philadelphia. Downstairs the store sold household items, jewelry and art, and upstairs they sold clothing. My friend wasn’t always ready to go when I arrived so I’d hang out, peruse the jewelry cases and eventually I started volunteering. I discovered I really enjoyed it: I’d scoop up great vintage pieces I could rework for my own handmade jewelry line and found pleasure in sprucing up messy displays. Plus, I was “giving back” in the process. The store’s profits were equally divided between …

How to Find the Best Second-Hand Culinary Items

(Photo: TueNight) Occasionally, I fantasize about getting out of the incredibly competitive racket that is food writing. I’d put my second-hand shopping gene into high gear and hang a different kind of shingle — as a local merchant. The shop would stock gently used kitchenware and cookbooks. There might be a small lunch counter serving strong coffee, grilled cheese, soup of the day and a really good cookie. First person I’d hire is my mom, a former antiques shopkeeper and the subject of “Confessions of a Garage Sale Addict,” an April 1973 story that ran in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Susan wasn’t much of a cook (I’m working on it), but she was and remains a master at spotting the choicest relics from a second-hand/vintage haystack. It takes a special kind of crazy to bring home a 500-pound oak icebox for display in the living room. Together, we’d comb the world of fleas, estates, garages, attics and basements for all things culinary and kitchen-y to fill the shelves. But we’re a picky pair; we’d buy as …

Creating Quality Time With My Son and a Power Sander

The end result of a very special mother-and-son project. (Photo: Wendy Goldman Scherer/TueNight) I love junk. I like old stuff. Interesting shapes. Putting together odd combinations and using items for something other than what they were intended to be used for. I was also an obsessive flea marketer and garage saler before it was considered stylish. (Is it considered stylish?) I was an upcycler before upcycle was a word. My husband, Andrew, is an enabler like no other. He humors me on early weekend drives while we follow signs to the next sale or as I pull out my phone to scope them out using iGarageSale and Garage Sale Rover. My teenage sons? They tolerate it. Sometimes. My oldest son just finished his freshman year of college. He’s an art major. He’s quiet and he likes his solitude. But I really wanted to figure out a way to spend time with him — something that involved a shared goal. And then it came to me! This kid has the best taste. He’s always decorating his …

Margit’s Note: I’ll Sell It To You For a Dollar

Hey cats, We’re out haggling for great bargains this week, so just a quick note about our fabulous Second-Hand issue. We’ve stocked this ish with thrift shops, sidewalk sales, vintage sparklies and even a giant gemsbok. Here’s what we have for you to rummage though this week: Kristin Booker helps you thrift shop like a pro. Tamar Anitai says goodbye to “Creepy Baby” (and oh is it creepy). Shelly Rabuse shares how she revamped a consignment shop from ho-hum to humming. I write about Brooklyn’s finest — a Stoop Sale. Kim O’Donnel will find you a good second-hand spatula — and many other kitchen items. Wendy Goldman Scherer finds quality time with her son through power sanding. And Jody Jones explains her love for taxidermy. Love it two times baby, Margit