Top 5 Thrifting Finds

People like Top 5 and 10 lists, right? Of course they do!

And I like thrifting. I’ve been an avid thrifter since I was a teenager. Some of my most prized possessions are other people’s garbage. I love Salvation Army stores, rummage sales, yard sales, Goodwill stores, and vintage stores (even though when everything’s the good stuff like it often is at vintage stores, it takes some of the fun out of looking).

So it’s about time that I did a Top 5 list of my best second-hand finds. And here they are:

5. Collection of Radical Books

photo(4)Apparently somebody in my neighborhood gave up their utopian ideals with their college years, because they donated copies of Our Bodies, Ourselves, Killing Rage, and Borderlands/La Frontera to my local Salvation Army store. And, as I’m still a big ol’ lefty, I was happy to grab them and pay about a dollar each for these amazing titles. Granted, I’m also happy to support local radical bookstores like Bluestockings, but you can’t argue with getting something this awesome for a dollar.

4. Complete Compact Oxford English Dictionary

photo(2)This dictionary has EVERY WORD in the English language up to the time of its publication (in this case around 1980). Every. Word. Interesting to any speaker of the language, but especially to a writer. And a freakin’ steal for $20 (though that’s on the high end of prices I’ve paid for cool second-hand things).

3. My Beloved Guitar, Myrtle

photo(6)Okay, technically Myrtle was not a thrifting find because she was found in the freakin’ garbage for absolutely free. Somebody abandoned this little love with busted strings but really no other problems. A little soap and a few new strings, and she was playing “Bella Ciao” and “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” in no time.

2. Amazing Designer Dress with Sequins and a Cat on It

photo(5)I’m not one to get all worked up about designer clothes, I’m really not. And I don’t usually wear dresses–in fact, when I dress up it’s usually in a button down, a tie, and a vest. But this dress was probably the coolest article of clothing I’d ever seen. I loved it so much that I wore it to my wedding (I got married in a community garden in Manhattan’s East Village, so it was totally appropriate). That’s how I roll.

1. Gargoyle Snow Globe

photo(3)So you’re probably wondering how this little gargoyle snow glob ranked higher on the list than my awesome dress, and my sturdy little guitar, and my OED. Yeah, it’s pretty cute, and kinda metal, but so what? So what indeed. The beauty of this gargoyle snow globe is that when you turn the knob on the bottom, it plays “Hey, Jude.” That’s right. The Beatles “Hey, Jude.” I’m not sure who invented this thing, but I truly want to be their friend.

Anybody else out there a thrifter? What have you found that’s awesome?


About thebaffledkingcomposing

Pamela DiFrancesco is a writer with a community college degree in journalism, a fancy art school degree in fiction and a penchant for community organizing. A native of Pennsylvania coal country, Pamela lives in Astoria, Queens, writes, and does whatever else it takes to pay the bills. In the past, Pamela has worked for newspapers and taught children journalism in an after-school program. Pamela's fiction can be found on the web at Cezanne's Carrot and Monkeybicycle, in print in The Carolina Quarterly (who nominated "The Chuck Berry Tape Massacre" for the Best American Mystery Writing anthology) and forthcoming in The New Ohio Review. When not writing, Pamela practices acts of love and kindness in hopes of a radically different world, and is preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse through acts of badassery.
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