Spend a Couple Minutes,Web Sites »What’s On the Menu

New York Public Library Project

What’s on the Menu is a project from the New York Public Library to transcribe vintage menus for prosperity.
They have over 40,000 menus from the 1840?s on and you, yes you, can help by transcribing dishes in your spare time all while discovering dishes like Consomme Madrilene Frappee and Cream Fritters Au Sabayon.

The menu covers are also great to browse.

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Posted on February 13, 2012

Web Sites »Vintage Everyday

Excellent Photo Blog

I have been completely captivated by the photo gallery blog Vintage Everyday.

From creepy old Halloween pics to portraits of Circus performers in the 1940’s, from heartbreaking images of London after a bombing to scary NYC subways in the 80’s, there’s so many fascinating images to behold in this neat, clean, well curated site.

It is indeed updated everyday, so be sure to bookmark this one and don’t be surprised if time simply disappears as you go through the archives.

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Posted on November 7, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Brooklyn Flea

Sundays 10-5 at 27 North 6th St.

I am so happy Brooklyn Flea has decided to set up within walking distance this summer. Not too psyched that it’s on gravel which made stroller pushing impossible – but lesson learned – next time we will use our carrier.

There were the usual selections of vintage goods and silk screened tees, with the dapper vintage tie seller Travis Sylvester selling particularly tempting bow ties at reasonable prices. But I was mostly indulging in the food stuffs.

For on the spot eating I enjoyed the Frgal Cakes, a pear crumble pizza of sorts that are traditional in Czechoslovakia. Also excellent was the homemade ricotta, arugula and fresh carved prosciutto bruschettas from Salvatore Brooklyn.

I brought Jim home a merguez sandwich from Brooklyn Bangers which was nice and flavorful with an incredible kicky sauce. A refreshing warm weather watermelon juice allowed me to almost ignore the bitter sudden gusts of winds that shook the proceedings.

For take home yumminess, I opted for Lime and Pickle mayonnaise from Sam Mason’s Empire Mayonnaise, which I haven’t tried yet, but expect to be wonderful and a jar of vanilla lemon marmalade from Momofuku Milk Bar and Friends which we just enjoyed on warm English muffins. So delicious and summery.

Can’t wait to return to try what I missed, including the Mile End smoked meat sandwich and local beef jerky.

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Posted on April 3, 2011

Web Sites »My Mom, Style Icon

Their Style Was Born Before We Were

My Mom, The Style Icon is a simple concept from the mind of blogger Piper Weiss but it’s a brilliant one and the site is an awesome way to loose yourself in style inspiration. Be sure to submit your own fashionable photos of your mom from the past. The blog will become a book this year published by Chronicle Books.

Click here for the rest of My Mom, Style Icon

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Posted on September 5, 2010

Web Sites »The Frock

Vintage Heaven Online

The Frock has, for years and years been one of my favorite places to look at truly stunning vintage clothing online, dreaming of where I’d wear each piece to. Run by artist, former paralegal and man of great taste Christian Madrigal, the site grew out of a colletion of Edwardian capes gone wild. Since then, it’s a beloved source of vintage for film makers, magazines, and the rich and famous – Dita Von Teese names it her favorite spot for vintage. Below/after the jump are just a few favorites (including an Oleg Cassini that would be my wedding dress number two if I were allowed to remarry Jim every few years and a Mary Quant that I actually unwittingly own – it’s without a tag), but there are hours of browsing to be had on the site and if you have a special occasion that calls for a bank breaking gown, look no further.

Click here for the rest of The Frock

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Posted on May 31, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Manhattan Vintage

at the Metropolitan Pavilion

I hadn’t been to Manhattan Vintage in years, but am glad I made it to this months event if not to gawk at amazing gowns, jewelry, and hats, then to be surrounded by sometimes fellow lovers of vintage (sometimes kind of famous ones at that). The place is certainly not for bargain hunters (which I am, I admit) but the selections from an array of dealers are not bargain bin either. You will find well curated clothing and accessories that after a couple hours will make you spin with want.

I’d recommend it for lovers to browse, designers to find inspiration, the very wealthy, or those looking for a special something for an occasion where they don’t mind spending a little extra for a one of a kind piece. Of course, I could hardly leave empty handed and with my own special ability, managed to root out an beautiful Egyptian inspired necklace that was sold for about a third of the price most booths averaged. It came from Fool’s Gold and I love it dearly.

I also dearly love my good friend Stacy and her shop Exquisite Costume, which boasted an impressive spot full of incredible pieces.

While this season’s show is at an end as I speak this, the next one will be October 8-9. Then you can see for yourself as I neglected/was too scared of the vendors to take photos.

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Posted on April 25, 2010

Web Sites »Anonymous Works

anonymous worksBecause Reading is Fundamental…

Joey, curator of the inspiring Anonymous Works site writes of describes himself as:

“Interested in American primitive folk art, vernacular photography, outsider art, basically anything visually interesting and great.”

Interesting and great indeed! Below/after the jump are just a tiny sample of the amazing images you’ll find on the infinitely browsable site. I mean, really, a skeleton locket stick pin?! I love it too much to explain!!

Click here for the rest of Anonymous Works

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Posted on December 26, 2009

Spend a Couple Minutes »Shopping at Exquisite Costume

Exquisite Costume - 377 Broome StWhy do I mention it now?

Because Stacy has been thriving and delivering truly “exquisite” vintage for a few years now, and you STILL need to visit the shop if you haven't already.

Here's what I said back on 2/20/06

My dear friend Stacy has just opened a vintage clothing store in Soho and it is BEAUTIFUL. No eighty dollar western shirts here, dear. Unlike many vintage stores, the shelves aren't lined with junk, only truly “exquisite” garments from the 1800's to today. Stop in and take a look.

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Posted on June 15, 2009

Spend a Couple Hours »Odds Costume Rental Sale

odds costume rental saleThere are days in my little life that go down forever in my personal shopping history (remember the $5 sale at that weird Off Fifth in Worcester, Stacy?) and Tuesday was definitely one of them. Odds Costume Rental is closing its doors, a sure tragedy in many respects, but the warehouse wide sale that accompanies the bad news is one of the most mind blowing and heart stopping experiences for fans of costume and vintage. I am indebted to Diane for the tip and am thrilled to pass it on to you.

From 1930's evening gowns, to layered embroidery gypsy skirts, from police uniforms to Carmen Miranda hats, the place will make your head spin with the possibilities. There are even racks and racks of men's stuff, though I didn't peruse them with any detail.

The prices are not dirt cheap, but extraordinarily reasonable for the exceptional quality and uniqueness of the garments. The only downside of the experience is that “insiders”, mostly performers and friends, seem to get slightly better deals than people like me that just wear this stuff on the stage of life. It was a little heart breaking to see one of the in crowd get lots more than me for the same price, but hey – $85 for a fully beaded flapper dress, $30 for the cutest, weirdest 80's poof dress this side of Betsy Johnson?I really can't complain can I?

There is a dressing room, in which you must be prepared to bare it all with a gaggle of other shoppers and it's only right that you put back the pieces you decide not to buy – I can't imagine the head ache abandoned dresses give the boisterous ladies who run it. Plus, they'll yell at you if you make their day more difficult.

The sale goes on until July 1st, and if I had infinite cash and time (and arm muscles – hauling this stuff still has me shakey) I could go back every day until then. But, fortunately, I do have some self control, and I'll just send everyone I know there every day instead.

Phew, I'm still buzzing from the thrill.

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Posted on May 25, 2009

Places to Visit »Brimfield Antique and Flea Market Show

brimfield flea market massIt's easy to describe the Brimfield Flea Market in southern Massachusetts as eight football fields long, but it's really difficult to keep that finite image in mind when you're faced with the reality of its overwhelming enormity. You just have to dig in (preferably with comfortable footwear) and weave through as much as you can bear; undoubtedly you'll emerge with something unique and special. In the four hours that we spent, I think we managed to see a little less that half of everything, but we still brought back a bag full of fun goodies (here are a number of photos we took that give a pretty good sense of what it's like).

Costume jewelry is everywhere and it's usually reasonably priced, and don't forget to take home some Pakistani jingly necklaces and great African beads – though be sure to barter for the latter, different tents sell the same items for drastically different prices. There are some clothes, though having gotten there on the second-to-last day, I think it's safe to assume a number of industry people had already picked over the selection pretty well.

One of our favorite purchases was an ogre/naked lady mug by Jim Rumph (who you can read more about in this week's style icon section) and some amazing old gag gifts from the 1950's. These Korean War era Tijuana Bible type comics and off color gag boxes were all from a mind-blowing collection a guy purchased when an old Philadelphian shop went out of business. We spent lots of time going through the boxes and boxes of zany adult novelties on sale (I posted a number of photos on RC).

And speaking of adult, we found some spectacular (but way too pervy) pen and ink drawings that we only declined to buy because they were too hard core and we were concerned that it might give anyone who came to our house the wrong weirdo vibe. The best thing about them was that the artist refused to sign any of his work out of fear that his mother might see them some day.

Midway through the concourse is the food area, and believe me you'll want to rest your feet and refuel by the time you reach it; the lobster roll was acceptable and some guy was singing Jimmy Buffett songs. Make sure you drink something to stay hydrated too.

Other tips: park at the small white church, they have a bathroom, a cookie stand, and their lot is the easiest to get out of; also, bring some bags – we had our trusty Baggu and a couple of canvas totes (designed by the talented Adam Fedderly) which made carrying stuff around a lot easier; you can take photos – but if someone looks cranky, ask permission first; and just make sure to buy something if you really love it. Not only will it probably not be there when you return for it, the place is so big that you may never be able to even find the vendor again.

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Posted on May 25, 2009

Web Sites »QB Stuff

crime suspenstories qb stuffHave a great time browsing through the extensive QB Stuff gallery of precode crime and horror comics of the 1950's. Before the Comic Books Code of America got involved, covers and content used to be much darker and gruesome; my favorites are the EC Comics Crime and SuspensStories.

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Posted on April 27, 2009

Spend a Couple Minutes »Old Hollywood

old hollywood vintage greenpointOld Hollywood is a fairly new edition to my little neighborhood where dollar shops and banks still dominate the storefronts. See, little doses of gentrification can be okay when it come to places like this moving in – just as long as they leave my precious Rainbow be! While I don't actually go shopping all that often, I figured Old Hollywood was at least worth a look-see based on their lovely window displays and comprehensive blog.

While some of the clothes were outside my excessively cheap price range (blame eBay), there's a great sale rack that necessitates repeat visits. The store is terrifically stocked (by former Catbird buyer Tiffany Porter) with classic vintage sprinkled with contemporary fashions and lots of fun jewelry.

I walked away with a handful of great finds including a woven preppy hair comb, a funky plastic ring, and a fabulous belt from the '70s that's still searching my bedroom for its perfect dress-mate.

While you won't find the designer pieces of my wondrous friend Stacy's shop, Exquisite Costume, there's lots of tasteful duds and special accessories to enhance your wardrobe. And the staff is really friendly, which is a nice change of pace from the inexplicably bratty salespeople that I frequently find myself interacting with.

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Posted on April 6, 2009