Wednesday, September 30, 2015
How could we possibly resist a notice like this: "BEST STREET FAIR EVER LONDON TERRACE, WEST 24TH ST., NYC; SAT., 9/26"?
It went on to say: "Calling all Antique, Vintage, Collectibles Collectors, Shoppers, Dealers; Mark your calendars right this minute for the huge, one-of-a-kind, London Terrace Street Fair, Saturday, September 26th, 2015; 9:00AM-5:00PM; Fair runs along 24th street; North/South Side; between 9th and 10th Avenues, NYC. Do not miss this fantastic, multi-vendor annual event; tons and tons of unique items; Holiday gifts; bargains galore on all kinds of Thotchkies, Estate, Heritage, Flea Market, Garage Sale Finds. Stop by to Booth #20 (near to 9th Avenue) and say hello to your favorite vendors from Jackson Heights; Adrienne, Jimmy, Robert. Saturday is going to be a beautiful, sunny day; perfect weather for shopping and having fun at London Terrace Street Fair. Be there."
We'd barely arrived before we met this dapper gent, designer Jeffrey Gladstone. We had a wonderful chat and then kept running into each other in various booths up and down the block. Don't forget to check out his shoes. Luckily for him, they wouldn't fit either of us.
Actually, dapper men abounded, although we could not photograph them all. This gent gave us several wonderful poses before we finally captured this one.
Vendors and wares truly ran the gamut. This lovely young woman in a beautifully patterned turban presided over a booth of colorful jewelry, accessories and clothing.
At this same booth, Valerie tried on this blue and white print cotton denim jacket that Jean unsuccessfully tried to cajole her into buying. (FABULOUS African print (Cameroon??), but just a tad tight, said Valerie.) Aaaannnddd, did we mention that it was only $20? For a New York City market, prices were quite reasonable, which is of course "marking on a curve"!
Jean found an orangey-red cinnabar carved bracelet for under $20.
Amy Krakow had a rack of wonder after wonder. The first wonder was this marvelous smoking jacket.
And just behind it -- pulled out for your viewing pleasure -- was this marvelous purple Mongolian lamb bag. (Valerie checked it out to see how readily it would convert to a hat. About 1.5 readily on a scale of 1-10. It would have needed to be cut, by someone who knows how to cut leather.)
A meeting of the minds, and of the glasses. We meet so many women who take off their glasses to be photographed, but not these ladies. Don't take them off! We love your glasses.
We didn't just look at clothes. It was a toy buyer's paradise. This one, which brings to mind nothing so much as Tamara de Lempicka's self portrait (slyly called "Auto Portrait") came home with Valerie.
We've shown you this before, but it's so worth repeating.
Okay, back to toys. Since we were in the heart of gay Chelsea, it perhaps wasn't so surprising to run into Alan and Ken wedding day dolls.
And for the happy couple, a vintage stove.
Valerie found it hard to resist this bamboo box ornamented with a huge cicada. The workmanship is wonderful. The same vendor had an equally wonderful miniature wooden juke box/music box/cigarette box (not shown). When you turn the key, the music starts, the top of the juke box pops open, and a monkey emerges proffering a single cigarette.
Another one that got away: this metal crocodile with movable jaw. Even though it was adorable, neither of us bought it.
We were tickled when a French couple asked to photograph us. We asked the husband to photograph us with our camera afterward. His wife is next to Jean, and next to Valerie is Giselle, also from France, and a vendor of very original jewelry. Her beautiful face is unfortunately mostly hidden by her hat. We have to tell you more about Giselle one day. Last year she traveled to Asia by herself, and spent a month there, backpacking. Since we're contemporaries, she's a great role model.
Saving our best find for last, we had to show you Hot Girls' Pearls, invented by Constance Sherman, who dubs herself the Chief Cooling Officer. You refrigerate them before you wear them. When you get one of those darned hot flashes, these will save you. They'll keep you cool for about an hour, and then you pop them back in the refrigerator to revive them. Where were these when we needed them?
At the far end of the block, a little sandwich shop with outdoor seating called Rocket Man featured this catchy logo etched into its weathered metal door.
There just has to be a story behind this! As we walked east along 24th Street, we passed a building with a vintage evening gown just hanging from a 3rd floor fire escape against an otherwise rather unassuming facade. Was it an elaborate party advertisement? ("Stop by, dahling, you can't miss it. It's the apartment with a 1950's evening gown hanging outside".)
All we could do was speculate as to its meaning. What a great incarnation for a vintage strapless paste tulle evening gown! It is just one of so many New York City secrets.
Ciao until next time, kiddies!