The problem with antique stores (and I suppose the delight of them) is that no two are alike. However, they do generally fall into three main categories:
- Complete and utter junk. A store full of the remnants of garage sales past, where the selection has already been depleted of anything worth having.
- Mixed bag. This is the best kind. There’s less complete and utter junk (though I suppose that’s entirely subjective) and more unusual, fun finds that are reasonably priced. This is mecca for those of us that live for the hunt.
- Just plain snotty. Masquerading under a mom and pop or pseudo-hippy mentality, these stores are operated by hoarder elitists who have elevated ephemera to heartbreaking heights. Here, the picking is done for you. For every object there, they’ve already identified it as treasure and marked it up accordingly, which leaves you with only two choices – max out your ATM daily withdrawal or prepare to hold back the tears to keep from smearing that window shopping.
It just so happened that on my recent trip to Austin, I had an encounter of the third kind. So here are the fruits of my window shopping – some delightful, yet tragically overpriced (or appropriately priced, rather?) inspiration pieces from Austin Antique Mall: