The boroughs have charming little thrifts, like Carroll Gardens’ Union Max, where you can get Bakelite, glass beads, and weird printed matter like ’70s concert programs (Elton John—with these photos, how’d we miss he was gay?) and ’50s educational comics about VD. But you can’t much furnish a home or wardrobe with those. Housing Works‘ several Manhattan thrift shops are still hard to beat for classy, usable furniture and clothing, and we have our best luck at the Chelsea store. They’re well-supplied—sometimes with new items, like the Theory shirt we picked up at half-price—and how can you say no to a red velvet sleeper couch for $95? Or, for the same price, a Mart Stam Cantilever Armchair—maybe a knockoff, and a little dinged up, but still a beauty? The small thrifts have more thrilling tchotchkes, but Housing Works is worth renting a van for.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 21, 2009