Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vintage Vendors

One of the first things Molly and I did when we arrived in New York was to head to our favorite flower maker and dig out dusty, old, faded faux botanical treasures. Early French velvet, hand-painted leaves, polka dot painted feathers, hand-pressed velvet cabbage roses, deep aubergine paper mache berries, green stem chenille and....boxes and boxes of old flowers, stamens and leaves that had been made in New York or imported from Paris. All of this from the same place where I once found an envelope full of cash hidden 75 years ago by the original owner. Pamela, the grandaughter of the owner, is closing up shop.
The next day I walked into one of my favorite old dealers on 37th Street and there were eight people packing up box after box of of vintage glass beads, sequins, buttons and trim. A close-out bead dealer in Texas had just purchased all of the old materials - that had been lying around for the past 80 years. I quickly ran around and filled up a few boxes - not even stopping to think about what I was going to do with it all...but like Easy said - "This is the last time you'll ever see this stuff" - and she knows I am a sucker for the color, the craft and the mortality of the bits and pieces.
If things couldn't get any worse....(relatively speaking) we visited a basement I have been trying to get into for 16 years. The owner will be moving soon and has to pack everything and move it one street south. The history, life and stories that were in that basement were overwhelming. Dense with trim, flowers and beads - Molly and I were almost speechless.
Every time I come back to New York, the business changes a little - this time more than ever.

No comments: