Wednesday, January 28, 2009

antique roadshow

Shortly after we moved to Atlanta, Joe and I drove by this antique shop en route to another destination. The storefront itself looked sort of questionable, and it was in a part of the neighborhood that was plus/minus on the sketchiness scale, leaning more towards the sketch, as was the fact that the store itself looked like a place one might stop to buy bail bonds. But still, there was something about the store that intrigued me, and through the bars on the windows, it looked like there may have been some interesting junk inside.

"Can we stop by that antique store sometime?" I asked Joe eventually, our third time driving by the place in as many weeks.

"HAHAHAHAHA!" he replied, and that has been his answer to my request ever since, despite my repeat and increasingly peevish blandishments that no, I am, in fact, serious.

So today, in an effort to tear myself away from that delicious three week-old baby and actually leave the house for the first time this week, I decided that screw it, I would just walk there. It wasn't that far, it just seemed like it would be far, just like everything else in Atlanta seems far apart because the landscape between is always viewed from the inside of a moving vehicle. I walked to the antique store and went inside and looked around. AND IT WAS AWESOME.

In one sense it was like any other antique store you've ever seen. It had that same musty odor, for example, and every single surface of floor and wall space was plastered with some eclectic mix of hideous, retro-kitch, and cool ignored decor item. But the way the shop was set up was very interesting. In each corner, one set of items were arranged very theatrically, almost like set piece, or a still life. It made you appreciate the items more. It made you want to buy things that you had no reason to own.

Inexplicably, some of the coolest items were labeled "NOT 4 SALE," like this multi-pronged lamp shown below, or these retro-cool metal-coil space heaters that look like the Eye of Sauron in "Lord of the Rings," which would surely burn down our entire house if I actually was able to buy it and plug it in at home. But oh, what a stylish fire it would be! There were tons of other things that I would have bought had I the money, the design aesthetic, and the space to keep it--but alas, I have none of those things, so lose-lose. (Lose-lose-lose?) For instance, see that wood-carved otter on the left in that second picture below? That would be something that I would consider AWESOME at someone else's house, though in my own house, it would rapidly be covered by sheaves of old mail and Matchbox cars, and would probably start to pick up dust until I just started to resent the damn thing. So that was the gist of this whole store. Theoretically awesome, but probably not for me.

I did come very close to buying two items, one a seemingly brand new Timbuk2 messenger/laptop bag, and the second a giant tan, cream and orange Obama campaign poster. However, upon closer examination, the messenger bag was pink--sort of a cotton candy pink, which I just couldn't stomach; maybe I would have conceded to hot pink or magenta, but COTTON CANDY?--and the Obama poster was out of stock. The lady (she had one very prominent front tooth that I could not stop looking at, even though I tried very hard not to--it's like when you see Jewel close-up for the first time) said she could sell me the display copy, but it was a little wrinkled, and anyway, she said that she would be getting some more in, so that gave me some time to sleep on it.

So in sum: walking to places = good! Especially since it cuts down on the temptation to buy a gigantic rusted water fountain and lug it all the way home in a vain attempt to artsy your house up.

(Full photo set, unfortunately rendered via phone cam, here.)


  1. It made you appreciate the items more. very nice:)

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