Monday, March 8, 2010

My Favorite Place (2)

If you didn't read this first one, you should.


Every store I've ever been in has had its defining smell and feel.

You know what I'm talking about- that general atmosphere of a place. Department stores have that crisp, clean, commercialized feel; a superstore like Wal-Mart has that mass-production, disconnected consumerist, fast-paced feel; a boutique has that delicate, subtley old-timey, expensive feel. I can usually tell if a store is worth spending time in within five seconds of stepping in the door.

But thrift stores are different. Each one has a distinct aura about it.

Thrift stores are like people. They have character, moods, dynamic. They're unpredictable, full of pleasant and unpleasant surprises, and most of all, they've got lots stories to tell.

I love browsing through thrift stores, and it's not just because I often find useful, cute, and even obsolete items for unbelievable prices. When I buy something from a thrift store, I feel like I'm spending my money to buy not only the item, but also the history it comes with and all the memories of the person who owned it before me, especially if the item is particularly out of the ordinary.

Did someone wear this jeweled necklace to a fancy dinner party in New York?
Was this dress hand-sewn by a mother for her child?

Did someone get a job while interviewing in this suit?

Have these shoes been walked in by a backpacker through foreign lands?

There are stories stitched into the threads of a thrift-store shirt, pressed into the pages of a tattered book, spun into the grooves of the old, vinyl records thrown haphazardly into the back of the store.

Thrift stores are a bridge between the old and the new age, a mess of miscellanously preserved treasures. A museum for intangible things, in a sense. An antique shop in disguise, one that doesn't care to flaunt the age of its contents.
And the best part about it is the fact that even though you know the stories are there, you'll never know what they are.


  1. I loved your post about airports... well because I love them too ha ha! I love knowing that in a few hours I'm going to be "somewhere" doing something new and exciting.

    I'd never really thought that way about thrift stores, all the history behind everything. It makes me wish the clothing could talk and tell me where it's been and what it's seen.

  2. This is completely beautiful :)


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