Posted by: Lindsay | November 6, 2009

Thank you Ben Folds.

What I’ve kept with me
and what I’ve thrown away,
Don’t know where the hell I’ve ended up
on this glary, random day…
Were the things I really cared about
just left along the way
for being too pent up and proud?

Woke up way too late
feeling hung over and old
and the sun was shining bright
and I walked barefoot
down the road.
Started thinking about
my old man;
it seems that all men
wanna get into a car and go
anywhere.

Here I stand – sad and free
I can’t cry and I can’t see what I’ve done
Oh, God. . . what have I done?

Don’t you know I’m numb, man?
No, I can’t feel a thing at all
’cause it’s all smiles and business
these days
and I’m indifferent to the loss.
I’ve faith that there’s a soul somewhere
who’s leading me around
I wonder if she knows
which way is down.

I poured my heart out
I poured my heart out
It evaporated. . . See?

Blind man on a canyon’s edge
of a panoramic scene
or maybe I’m a kite
that’s flying high and random
dangling a string,
Or slumped over in a vacant room
head on a stranger’s knee…

I’m sure back home
they think I’ve lost my mind.

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Posted by: Lindsay | November 3, 2009

Ew. Explanation #1.

Check this black mold shit out:

moldy house 003

And we’re expected to keep cooking…. The smell has gotten even worse.

moldy house 012

Ew.

Ew.

Posted by: Lindsay | October 9, 2009

Top Five Brooklyn Vintage/Thrift Shops

#5. Junk — 197 N. 9th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

This little store appeared on the corner of Driggs and N. 9th St unexpectedly. I walked down the staircase and into the well-lit underground basement-type to find a treasure chest of home decor and furniture. There were tons of couches, dining room tables, coffee tables, overstuffed chairs, wooden chairs, bookshelves, end tables, side tables, and love seats all situated in the mini-room style, like IKEA – only much cooler. The sunlight shone through the windows in a very inviting manner that made me want to curl up on one particular couch ($200) and fall asleep. The prices were pretty fantastic at this store for the products they were offering. Unfortunately I didn’t have the energy or manpower to get the couch back to Park Slope, but I did find a few funky hats and records in the back.  Junk was not a store that I would recommend as far as for clothes shopping, but definitely check it out if you’re redecorating or new to the area.

Also, just as an additional tidbit, a girl came in while I was there looking for little animal figurine-style toys and surprisingly found a wide array. I was impressed by the peculiarity of needs that this store could suffice.

#4. The Thing — 1001 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY

I visited The Thing first on my original thrift store outing about three weeks ago. Walking down Manhattan Ave provided an intriguing sight of The Thing as it seemed to spill out both its windows and door into the sidewalk in front. There were hanging jackets and clothes on a rolling rack and an entire set of dining room chairs; there were televisions facing the street out the window and festive lights dangled above the sidewalk chaos. I was obviously the first arrival of the day, but the lone employee was friendly and made small talk with me before turning on the Ramones to dance around to while he worked. I found his happiness infectious, especially as I managed my way through piles of filled heavy-duty black plastic trash bags and into The Thing. There were two racks of clothes – a side for men’s and one for women’s – in the middle of the store, and bookshelves lining every wall. However, The Thing’s most impressive collection was of records, of which there was an entire back room full. Such a random store – I walked away with ten paperback books, a skirt, a blouse, and my new favorite scarf, all for $15!  Check it out if you’re looking for records, books, TVs, lamps, or ANYTHING for that matter.

#3. Re/Dress NYC — 109 Boerum Place, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY

Dude, check it. This place is advertised for size 14+, but I found over $100 worth of clothes that definitely fit me, and I’m more like a size 8. Entering Re/Dress, I walked into a huge room filled with tons of colors and options and styles. The two sales girls were incredibly friendly and helpful, and did not seem dismayed or uncomfortable with me ransacking through the vintage racks. Apparently I visited Re/Dress just after their fall sale, so most of the items I found were either just $10 or 50% off! As a consignment store, Re/Dress had a wide variety of style options – be it vintage clothing, Mod-styles, fur coats, tons of holiday sweaters, and a multitude of skirts ranging from size 6 to size 16. I was hoping for a better selection of shoes, but Re/Dress still had plenty (just none that I wanted…) lining the back wall of the store and atop almost every clothing rack. I found clutches, purses, tote bags, and bags with every possible color of sequin; there was also a variety of jewelry and other accessories to comb through. Also impressive: the fitting rooms! Like giant zebra print tents, I felt like I was backstage at Fashion Week getting ready to strut my shit down the catwalk. The mirror was huge and made me look damn good in all my selections. I ended up choosing a single dress for $20 that I’ve already worn out and gotten compliments for. The prices are great at Re/Dress NYC and now that they’re open seven days a week, what are you waiting for?

#2. Atlantis Attic — 771 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

It was difficult to decide which store deserved second place as opposed to first, so the fact that Atlantis Attic is number two should not deter you in any way, shape, or form from making it a top priority. I literally shop here every Tuesday and Thursday. Receiving three new shipments a week, Atlantis Attic is a warehouse of incredibly cheap vintage and used clothing that never fails to impress. Atlantis Attic is not considered a vintage or consignment store, but definitely emits the vintagey, hipstery vibe. Instead, it’s a thrift store, with prices that even the most broke Brooklynite (cough cough, me) can afford. This place is so big that there are TWO shoe sections (one of which provided me with FIVE new pairs of shoes on my first trip – J. Crew and Doc Martens included) and every style of clothing you could imagine. I have found vintage dresses and sweaters and skirts, high-waisted pants, fur coats and winter jackets, men’s pants and work shirts, sports jerseys, work boots, stylish heels, loafers, and almost every outfit imaginable! On my first trip, I left with five pairs of shoes, three skirts, two sweaters, two dresses, and a velvet purse, all for $90. Despite its place at number one, the next store still doesn’t make me want to go to Williamsburg to go shopping this bad.

#1. Monk Vintage Thrift Shop — 579 5th Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY [also at 496 Driggs Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY]

I first visited the Williamsburg shop on my first day of vintage/thrift exploring. I had rounded the corner with Junk and then Buffalo Exchange, and was feeling rather downtrodden about my findings. It was with reluctance that I even entered Monk, but was truly ecstatic with my experience there. Unlike its neighbor Buffalo Exchange, which was swarming with your typical Williamsburg hipsters, Monk was completely empty with the exception of its employees, two girls dressed more goth than I’ve seen yet or since in New York City. The store was filled to the brim with every possible vintage style for which one could be searching. I ended up filling a rolling rack just to take into the tiny fitting room with me and still milling around for an hour afterward editing my choices and adding more to the pile. Despite the quality in clothes, books, belts, shoes, and accessories, I bought everything I wanted and didn’t even break the bank. I ended up with two belts, four vintage dresses, a sweater, and a skirt. *Pictures coming*

The 5th Ave store was a completely different experience, albeit, still totally pleasurable. Outside the 5th Ave store were piles of books and maybe a few chairs, and an Indian man greeted me as I entered. Much smaller than the Williamsburg store, I didn’t realize they were at all associated except by name. Boots and shoes lined every inch of the shelves on the wall with sizes written largely on the toes so it was easy to discern possible purchases, although the shoes were all far too small to fit my size 9 feet – so beware large-footed shoppers. There were racks packed with vintage skirts, blouses and sweaters for women, and an equally large selection of clothes for men. I found quite a few ties that I liked (although they were all over $10, and I’m just not that kind of shopper) but no pants for me or for my boyfriend. In the back of the store were a few dining room hutches with VCRs, DVD players, purses, wine glasses, dining sets, and silverware displayed. I ended up with a new J. Crew sweater for $6 and a brown overcoat for $20. Had the shoes been bigger, you can bet I would have walked out with a few pairs of those as well.

Posted by: Lindsay | October 7, 2009

Upcoming post: Top 5 Brooklyn Thrift Stores

I’m still trying to figure out my new city, and I figured, “What better way to start than to find the best shopping?” So that’s what I have been doing pretty consistently for the past few weeks. Since I only have one day off a week, it has been tricky. Also, this is Brooklyn, so of course nothing opens until noon and most stores that I’m interested in are only open, like, four days a week.

However, today I have completed my original search! In the past three weeks I have traversed the great Brooklyn roads and subway rails to almost twenty thrift, vintage, and consignment stores and I believe I have found the top five great treasures. Get ready for it.

Posted by: Lindsay | October 5, 2009

spurious life.

At the exact moment that the displacement of accents began with the syncopation in the string quartet, she simply entered the room. Her seraphic face highlighted by the scintilla of sunlight shining through the curtains, her slender, toned legs accented by her tight-fitted navy pencil skirt and matching stilettos, he couldn’t look away. Pleasantries extended along the table and immediately her sobriquet filled his body with the intense pulse of his blood and he was only sentient for Mimi. Her name in his mouth tasted like the most sanguine summer watermelon and her sublime citrus perfume seemed to waft across the room and straight up his nose in the most insatiable manner. At the most seditious moment during this sudden, hypnotic spasm of the soul, it was as if Mimi could hear his heart stentorianly pounding her name and for no apparent reason at all, she looked directly into his faltering eyes. To slake the soporific reaction this young woman was causing him, our very own sybarite, Martin, excused himself for a drink that would allow for some fresh air to clear his senses.

Considering he was at his own sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner, he felt that he could speciously manage a sportive attitude to maintain his characteristic and preferred stasis around her, as opposed to the surfeit anxiety he had just experienced that didn’t leave much room for any sort of stratagem. Mimi’s was a name he had often heard mentioned and, despite being his sister’s closest friend from university, he hoped the stigma of the younger brother would not be held against him in her eyes. Clutching a double whiskey in his left hand, he sipped while contemplating the spartan disposition he needed to supplant his own sardonic and acerbic personality in order to win her approval.

Without a secured plan, Martin gulped down his drink, ordered another, and made his way into the extravagant dining room where no fewer than forty of his West Side parents’ closest friends were shouting at and over each other, like young lions being fed at a zoo, each trying to prove that his own sinecure is easier than his neighbors’ or that his own boss employs more martinet restrictions. Unlike the other sycophants in the room, Martin and his stolid reputation had progressed him quickly and effectively up the growing world of digital business, and the guests were all much too aware. His recent dismemberment of a beloved cartooning company and subsequent destruction of its children’s theme parks had done little to sully his reputation. Instead, his now-ex-partner’s inability to complete the transaction had besmirched his entire career and his was a self-implosion few anticipated. Nonetheless, Martin entered prideful and cavalier before he turned to tacitly engage Mimi sitting down the table.

Instead, as his eyes sought her out, hoping to be filled again with her resplendence, a glimmer caught his eye and his glance stopped upon her ring finger, attached to her perfect left hand, resting softly on another hand, a man’s – a man who was leaned suspicious close to his dear, whispering directly into her neck and causing her subtle giggles to slowly echo down the table and straight into our dear Martin’s rejecting ears. It was then that his father decided to begin the evening’s toasts for his only daughter’s big day.

“Like all fathers, I’m sure, this day we are celebrating comes wholly bittersweet. I used to grab my rifle every time a young man would come to my door when Marilee was in high school, but those tactics have changed. And my family could not be more blessed than to welcome Doug into our homes and our lives — Martin, would you like to say something?”

He had returned to his feet more out of anger than passion, but his surliness was lost on his father, who also failed to assess that his son was unrelentingly focused on the young woman with whom he’d just been acquainted. “Martin?” he pressed.

Caught off guard and with boiling blood, he began, “er, hm… yes, yes I would like to address the room.” He always spoke with such exacting precision, like his voice could break the equilibrium that had built up around him and he was constantly terrified of the ensuing chaos. “I would like to congratulate my beautiful twin sister on finding the man she always said she never needed, but whom I am sure she definitely wants. May their symbiosis incur with strong marital love and lustful passion like fervent bonobos,” he concluded with a smirk of disguised pain and spurious sarcasm. Whether or not his solecism was comprehended mattered little to Martin and his sad, lonely broken heart while the clapping and celebration continued. It was only when his fiancée scurried up out of her chair to kiss his cheek that he remembered his life before Mimi at all.

Posted by: Lindsay | October 3, 2009

Libraries are free.

2414693391_fdd4cdf7c8Beautiful. I love libraries. In DC, I spent most of my time at the West End branch reading about politics and generational theories. Now in Brooklyn I have already fallen in love with the Brooklyn Central Library, and the architecture is only part of the reason.

2435297750_b6a5a15439 The first thing I noticed about the building as I walked from around the trees at Grand Army Plaza were the magnificent and intricate gold symbols climbing up the entrance way, ascending from the black iron doors. Absolutely wonderful! I was immediately taken with the whale on the left. What simplicity! What symbolism!

This picture seems to indicate that the man standing to the immediate right of the Melvillian whale is Walt Whitman, one of my favorite poets because of his influence on my own transient, unpredictable life (“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road/ Healthy, free, the world before me/ The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.”) However, try as I might, I had difficulty finding any information about these symbols. Are they all literary references? Does anyone know what they mean? Or who chose them? Or who designed them?

I am frustrated by the lack of information.

2435295984_b5b834cba5
Photo credits: WallyG from the Brooklyn Public Library pool on flickr.com

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