Sometimes, an object calls your name. Some antiques are like that––full of history and untold stories you can only guess at. True adventurers understand this and thrill the hunt, hoping to claim a dusty vintage lamp or earmarked, child’s school desk and add their own story to its history. Coupled with a love of the unique and quality unmatched by much of today’s mass produced stuff, the thrill of the hunt has never called to so many. Here are some of the most interesting antiquing destinations New York City has to offer.
304 E. 5th St.
New York, NY 10003
White Trash is a celebration of mid-century, modern furniture priced for the regular Joe. From the functional to the amusing, treasures from the 1940s-1970s fill this cozy East Village find, where inventory changes rapidly and daily deals are as readily accessible as your morning cup of Joe.
Yesterday’s News / Brownstone Treasures
428 Court St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Yesterday’s News is the jewel in the crown of downtown Brooklyn’s thriving antiques shopping scene. Yesterday’s News has the feel of an antiques general store. Next to the home canning jars might be a vintage pretzel tin, or a porcelain doll. Look for hand-made, wooden desks and storage cabinets with just a hint of history. The secret to their low prices? A really cool landlord who prefers quality tenants to bloated profits.
1261 Broadway, Ste. 505
New York, NY 10001
Thirsting for an antiques fix on your lunch hour? Forgo the deli and make your way to eco-friendly Furnish Green. Hiding in plain sight on the fifth floor of a commercial office building in Midtown, Furnish keeps it on the down-low, with clients getting the good news about their low prices and environmentally-friendly mentality mostly by word of mouth. With a strong emphasis on maintaining the smallest carbon footprint possible, Furnish features an astonishing assortment of mid-century furniture and collectibles priced according to their function rather than their history. A love of fair trade, integrity of design, and simple beauty is imprinted on every item here.
Gramercy Vintage Furniture & Consignment
Furniture, carpets and rugs are accepted for consignment and donation at this homey shop, which is equal parts community center and antiques store. Gramercy’s owners haunt estate sales to bring their patrons astonishing prices on solid wood bedroom sets, desks, tables and lamps from the 1900s-1970s. The friendly, helpful staff here understand quality, value and the simple joy of getting a good deal from a neighbor you trust.
More: 5 Best Vintage Stores In Brooklyn
Don’t let the by-appointment-only deal at Dorset Finds fool you. Collectibles dealer Justin Dorset, and the cool stuff he sells, are the opposite of stuffy. Dorset may greet you at the door with infant daughter in tow, or with a vintage microscope tucked under his arm. Driven by his own, specific aesthetic, Dorset buys and sells what he likes, and prefers his furniture, lamps, clocks and toys to show their history, rather than sanitize up their interesting characteristics. “People in New York are modern-day vagabonds, they move around a lot. But their stuff doesn’t always make the move with them. That’s why there are so many great things out there waiting to be found” says Dorset. Prices range from $10 to a couple thousand, based on rarity, condition, and need for resurrection. If it’s interesting, it’s here.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.