Why turn to your neighborhood small businesses first when you need to buy something? You always find cooler things in a shop that isn’t a national chain, you support your local economy, and you can shop by bike, which can even be done on a borrowed bike with no cargo holding apparatus as seen above. Of course not everyone is within biking distance of good shopping like we are in North Tonawanda, where the historic downtown’s boutiques and restaurants are a few blocks away.
I ventured out yesterday to find a dress to wear to an upcoming wedding, and the place to start around here is Everything Annie Likes on Webster Street. (It backs up to River Art Gallery & Gifts, which is the place to start if you’re buying someone a present and want something handmade.) The array of pitch-perfect vintage women’s clothing, jewelry, shoes, and housewares is good for casual browsing, but the real magic happens when you ask proprietor Annie for help with a particular mission. Within five minutes she’d pulled around fifteen suitable dresses in my size from various racks. I left with four dresses that will enter heavy rotation this summer for less than what one dress of similar quality would have cost me new. This showstopper was $26:
Across the street I noticed a new place: The Hip Gypsy opened just a week ago. They’re having a Grand Opening tomorrow with live music, snacks, and drinks if you’re in town. The interior is a wonderland of draped fabric and painting on the walls – the bathroom walls are adorned with shiny fish – and chock full of eclectic goods from tea to clothing to housewares. Of course I was drawn to the chest of sale clothing in the dressing room ($3.50 turtleneck with stars on it!) and the dish of $2 handmade and vintage jewelry on the counter. If you’ve got slightly more money to burn than I do, there are some excellent hippie-style cotton hoodies, silk shawls, patterned fabric perfect for quilting, and gorgeous handmade jewelry all over the place. I scored all of this for $6:
And I thought I was done shopping until a friend stopped by to see if we were interested in a quick run to the local Salvation Army. K. needed some t-shirts since most of his have gotten destroyed over the years: rehabbing a brick building is tough on clothing. Friend B. scored an “I speak Canadian” shirt. I picked up some sturdy work pants, a cotton shirt so I can experiment with freezer paper stencilling, and this incredible switch plate:
There’s a matching outlet cover with a quote from my main man Thomas Jefferson.
And even if it’s not in NT, I’ll end this roundup with a shoutout to the Really Really Free Market. Held in Buffalo on roughly a monthly basis, the Market is a chance to unload stuff you don’t need and pick up something new for free (and mingle with the most interesting people in the city.) Dates and locations can be found on the Barnraisers calendar.