Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
This store looks like someone picked up 10 lived-in homes, shook them very hard, and then poured their entire contents into one corner retail space. The smaller items have settled to the front of the store, the way dog hair and cracker crumbs settle into the far corner of your purse and get comfortable. Here, near the register, you’ll find your loose cassette tapes, pewter salt shakers missing their pewter pepper shakers, rotary phones (both working and nonworking), single pens, torn postcards, etc. As you move farther back into the bowels of the store, you’ll find larger and therefore more valuable pieces: late-’80s pressboard armoires, stained poster prints of waterfowl mid-flight, a drawer full of loose bolts (single bolts are behind you, toward the front), Naugahyde dining room chairs, and the like. In the very back of the store, you are almost guaranteed to find a set of metal lockers whose doors are too dented to close. I have seen truly beautiful pieces of furniture here, and they get snapped up in minutes. You’ll probably be surprised the items aren’t a bit cheaper, given their condition. Don’t even think about complaining aloud: You just bought a rowhouse, you upwardly mobile son of a bitch, and you’re shopping here because you’re desperate to look like you’ve been in this neighborhood all along. Fill up your Zipcar and come back for seconds.