Monday, August 15, 2011

Gentrification Thrifting: Get This Old Shit Outta Here So I Can Make a Million Dollars

I live in what is probably one of the most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in the entire country. None other than, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (I abate my own snickering). The rapid upgrade to new and shiny-ness is a constant topic amongst the people who live here. What new businesses have moved in? Which old ones have shut down? There are more obnoxious condos going up across the street from the projects? You have got to be f-ing kidding me.

The pace is staggering, and recessions have done little to stop it. And as a lover of all things old, anachronistic, and outdated, it is rather painful to watch.

With that in mind, I consider these following finds to be relics of the Williamsburg of old, procured with blood on my hands, so to speak, of the old moving out so that the new can move in and make a someone shit ton of money.

Last week my boyfriend and I were walking to our favorite neighborhood bar when a man yelled from a doorway "name your own price night! antiques!" Amazingly, I was set to ignore him and move on to drink-land (possibly the only force on earth stronger than deals), but my boyfriend stopped me, and we headed inside. Through the door was a disheveled storefront space that had clearly, for a long time, served as someone's home. I realized that I had probably never even really noticed it before, even having walked past it hundreds of times. It was peppered with picked-over household contents, some genuine antiques, some the standard hoarding of an potentially reusable object typical of depression era people. The yelling man was presumably the previous occupant's son, and was practically foaming at the mouth to empty the space of it's contents in order to turn into some easy-money making scenario.

Mostly it seemed like only garbage was left, but I spotted a corner of musty textiles that it seemed like no one had had the guts to sift through, and I knew I was in my element. I started digging. This was my first find:

Some bright, abstract printed yardage. Not quite sure what I will do with it, but I loved the pattern, and surely someday I will find the perfect use for it. I always do.

Then come the clothes. The most exciting find of the night was definitely the vintage Diane Von Furstenberg tee:

Fantastic bright Matisse-y graphic zebra print. You may notice the dinginess of the white. All of this stuff was all pretty musty and dirty, but through the miracle of oxy clean, this t-shirt is now bright white.

This next piece is for novelty factor. I don't think I'd ever wear it, but it is awesome none the less. And afterall, I was naming my own price.

Very wild, very 60's floral print:

This piece I will definitely wear; a bright red terry cloth boxy tank, and it's vintage Original Penguin!

And all of this I got for $5, and the satisfaction of my personal sense of responsibility from saving these things from oblivion.

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