The Heart of the Matter
Our first thrifting trip to Brooklyn turned out to be a rather madcap, or perhaps we should say slapstick, affair, full of amusements, delights, near misses, frustrations, and lots of time getting lost and found and lost and found again—exactly what we might have expected, given that against our better judgment, we left Francine, one of the least practical of The Style Sisters, in charge of the arrangements.
Rather than keep you in suspense, we’ll tell you that all’s well that end’s well. At literally the very last moment before we had to head back to Manhattan or seriously risk missing our transport rendezvous, we found we had galloped beyond DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass—the neighborhood we had intended to focus on) into downtown Brooklyn—and right in front of the multi-story Unique Thrift Store we were rather frantically seeking after all other possibilities had played out. Racing up and down the long, long racks, we snagged a jersey, a blouse, and a long-sleeved tee in just about 15 minutes (two pairs of cotton ankle socks as well).
The olive-gold-brown jersey was a bit of a thrift-or-die sort of thing: “After all this crazy running around, we will not leave this city without something, Francine, so look sharp!” Usually, we would leave behind such a moderate-quality, one-trick pony; we could picture it only with this particular skirt. Luckily, they did turn out to be well-matched. We may find other uses for it; and, if nothing else, it’s a reminder to guard against desperation buys. Money wasted is money wasted, whether it’s big money or little. (These were all little money, by the way, at or close to our usual 5.00 price point.)
What Francine Did
We are not lambasting or even criticizing. We are only pointing out, so that everyone can learn and do better next time. (That is our story and we are sticking to it.) Francine’s gaffes: She forgot our list of thrift store names and addresses and our maps; insisted on bringing the camera so that half the time we were looking through the lens instead of where we were going; decided this would be a wonderful time to make an audio journal for our dear brother (who decamped to the Left Coast some years ago and sorely misses the Right Coast, Big City accents) so that when we weren’t fiddling with the camera, we were fumbling with the tiny tape recorder; and demanded that we all walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. You see? Impractical and unfocused. But exuberant, so we usually forgive her her trespasses. And anyway, she’s unrepentant.
Besides, we did thoroughly enjoy our transit over the bridge, and we ran into some awfully nice people as we sought our elusive quarry: cops; tourists in the subway; mothers pushing baby carriages; a German couple sitting on the stoop of a brownstone; a clerk in Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Bookshop; a young barrista at The Brooklyn Roasting Company, an industrial-chic coffee bar right on (practically in) the East River. (The Man in the Plaid Shirt was nice, too. He responded to our SOS by patiently reading us thrift store addresses over the phone.)
Brooklyn has not seen the last of us.
All photos copyright Elizabeth Nash 2014.
Categories: Look What We Found at the Thrift Store!
Tags: Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Bookshop, Brooklyn Roasting Company, Brooklyn Thrifting, DUMBO Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Diaries, The Man in the Plaid Shirt, Thrift Shopping, Thrift Stores, Thrifting, Unique Thrift Store