Patchogue Before the Flood


Phil and I are ensconced in his car, air-conditioning blasting. This time we are sans Smokey, his big black almost newfie/almost chow mix.

We’re on our way to Suffolk to check out the charity thrift shops, to see if they measure up to the Nassau County branches. Patchogue is pretty ripe territory for thrifting, not yet too picked-over by Manhattan fashionistas on their way to the Hamptons.

At the Salvation Army, we find a beautiful paw-footed mahogany drop-leaf dining room table in the window ticketed at $169, which isn’t much more than you’d pay for wood grained, printed pressed board numbers elsewhere. Phil flipped through LPs priced at a buck each. He ended up buying a striped cotton, button-front sports shirt for $2 and a black linen, band collar Banana Republic label shirt for $3.

My scores included several vintage ’70s handbags for $3.99 each; a colorfully printed, black and red cotton Japanese short kimono; a gaudy, psychedelic, zipper-front ’60s jumpsuit ($6.99); men’s green batik ’50s pajamas ($4) and a Parisian, Lanvin label shirtwaist dress in a complicated late ’60s roller print ($6).

Across the street, down the block next to Blockbuster, is the Goodwill, where it’s hard to find vintage goods there anymore. It seems to be concentrating on over-stock and sale merchandise from big chain stores like Target. But there is always a good selection of brand new boxed toys— good news if you have a million birthday parties to attend. Want a Baby Crawl ‘n Walk? It’s only $4.99 here.

There were racks of glittery sequined and spangled special-occasion dresses, all priced at $24.99. These will be especially ripe for Dynasty impersonations around Halloween. If you’re a guy dating one of those Joan Collins cuties, you can find a nice selection of classic black tuxedoes— if you wear a size 37-39 or 52. Some had hang tags from Moe Ginsberg, originally priced at $320.

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