Look who came home with me on the L train from Brooklyn this weekend.
Everyone, this is Vintage Lane End Table. Vintage Lane End Table, this is everyone.
I’ve been looking desperately for a good flea market. The old fashioned kind, where the vendors have missing teeth, crazy old ladies haggle until they’re red in the face over a jar of buttons, and stuff smells funky. I tried a few. The Brooklyn Flea: too crafty. PS 321: too small. Hell’s Kitchen: too expensive.
The Meeker Avenue Flea: just right. Well, not as podunk as I like them, but probably the closest thing I’m likely to find in NYC. Here are the reasons to love it:
1. It’s indoors, and there’s almost A/C. I know, I’m a pussy. But damn. It’s been hot.
2. They’re open 7 days a week until 7 p.m. This means there’s basically no strategic day to go, or time frame. This is good news for people who operate on chronically erratic sleep schedules and spend their days being generally indecisive. That’s a respectful amount of time to decide to haul your bones to the subway and still get there before they close.
3. Stray cats. One let me pick it up and snorgle it while I was haggling over another table. Did I get the table? No. Did the dealer get bored and walk away? Maybe. Was it worth it? Most def.
4. Funky smell. Breath through your mouth and linger in that really rank corner that people keep speeding through. There might be good stuff.
5. You can haggle. I used to be better at it when I was younger and I could kill them with cute. People would practically give me stuff. “You want this antique box, slightly sad, soft spoken, precious little boy? For you, five dollars.” And then I’d get it for two. Now, I just try to kill them with kindness, but it’s not quite as effective as being cute. “You catch more bees with honey than… anything else,” as my landlord once said.
Having said that, you shouldn’t go there. Cool stuff needs to be in my house, not yours.
It was all like a secret backroom deal. I find the table. The table has no price. The real vendor isn’t around. I walk over to one of the wonderful ladies running the joint, ask about the table while subtly pointing out the chipped veneer and water damage. She looks conflicted. She quietly informs me that it used to be priced at $75, but (she leans in and whispers) since there wasn’t a sticker, how did 30 sound? We shook on it. She asked me my sign. Libra. I asked hers. Pisces.
Listen, when that’s adjusted for Magical-New-York-City-Vintage-Wares-Inflation (MNYCVWI, it just rolls off the tongue, try it), I think I paid like 6 cents USD for it. Maybe 7. I probably could have gotten down to $25 if I worked at it, but I figured that since I plan to be back often, I didn’t want to be known as that lil bitch who haggled for five bucks. You gotta play these things smart, kids.
When I got home, I slathered some tung oil on it and the dry wood looks a little better.
I looked up how to get rid of those rings and found this semi-interesting tidbit: apparently, those dark rings are cause by the iron in the water rusting after it seeps into and destroys your wood (veneer). See, we’re learning stuff. This also means that the only way to remove them is to sand and re-stain. Not gonna happen, at least right now. But when a lamp is on top, problem solved. And the chipped veneer isn’t noticeable when it’s facing the wall. So it’s essentially mint.
Oh, and you can sort of tell in the first photo that I lowered that little weaving over my desk about 2.5 inches. That was driving me nuts, and now that picture of the desk is everywhere (everywhere important, that is. If you want to write about it too, you can also be… important.). Speaking of:
Welcome, Re-Nest hippies! You love the environment, and so do I. Let’s be friends. What’s your sign?