Archive for the ‘Cool Customers’ Category

The Mystery Spot: A Family Affair

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

One of the things that makes us proudest of The Mystery Spot is that it’s all-ages. Sure, grown-ups love it here, but so do kids. We often get an entire family coming through the door and everyone has a good time as they go off to their respective corners – whether it’s digging through the vinyl, trying on the vintage clothing, reading the weird out-of-print books, or counting the stuffed alligators scattered around the shop (at last count, seven…including the rarely captured Flying Alligator).

Here are a few of our favorite families who’ve Shopped the Spot in the past month or so…..

Sometimes we meet a new customer (or in this case, four of them) and we can’t help but fall a little bit in love with them. This was the case with the Turner-Hansen family. We doubt that when they crossed our threshold they could have imagined spending the better part of their Sunday inside, but so they did. Dad Mark Turner, noted jazz musician, discovered the record room and our bins and bins of vintage jazz vinyl, and well…..that was the last he was heard of for hours, aside from occasionally coming up for air to see what vintage pieces his lovely ten-year old daughter, Kirin, was modeling for him. Mom Helena Hansen, a double-threat psychiatrist-anthropologist, helped Kirin out and also made sure son Ananda (OK, we are officially smitten!) was having fun. Which he certainly was, all 7 3/4 years of him!

This photo only shows the tip of the iceberg of the bags and bags of vintage wonderfulness they left with. Mark holds one of his vinyl scores, The Early Bird – Charlie Parker with Miles Davis ($20.), and a Kirin a vintage 1960s brown and white polka dot romper with white collar and buttons ($39.) as well as a killer 1960s hand-tooled leather hippie purse ($35.).

We love it when old friends pop in out of the blue to visit and say hello! We haven’t seen Katherine Dieckmann in many a moon, and it was such a joy to see her walk through the door as well as meet the whole gang – husband Brian Wallis, daughter Caroline, and son Nathaniel. We mostly spent our time catching up – Katherine is an acclaimed filmmaker (Motherhood) and teaches screenwriting at Columbia University; Brian is Chief Curator at the ICP, Caroline is beautiful and wise beyond her years, and Nathaniel – well, you can tell from this photo that he’s his own man.

Modeled by the brilliant, creative, sophisticated and artistic Wallises, we present the following: one stuffed duck (NFS); one vintage camera ($35.), a Scary Celluloid Santa ($12.) and an old iron receipt holder ($10.) which Katherine happily took to its new home.

You probably recognize  the Littletons from previous appearances on these pages, as they are bonafide Friends of the Spot. Elizabeth Mitchell records with Smithsonian Folkways under her own name, accompanied by husband Daniel Littleton and daughter Storey; Liz and Dan also have the band Ida. And here’s a bit more of their wonderful extended family – Dan’s brother Miggy Littleton, wife Anna Padgett, and daughter Penny. Are they all musicians you may wonder? (Need you ask?).

Penny is three, and she loved this vintage little girl’s baby blue gingham two piece suit ($40.) so much she took it home with her. She loves to play Princesses and likes animal crackers and the Beatles. Her favorite song is Strawberry Fields Forever. Storey is now a Girl Scout! She is bridging into Juniors in June. She’s also an internationally touring rock star who (still) collects elephants and likes to knit and sew. This vintage girl’s plaid dress from the Forties ($15.) went home with her as well.

Storey and Penny were quite taken with these old – er, vintagerotary phones, and one of them came home with them  too.

Miggy Littleton is a professional record guy (he’s come to our rescue on more than one occasion) and his favorite Beatles song is All Together Now. Here we see Dan and Miggy wallowing in their element. Dig, boys, dig!

In fact, in Extended Family News, we’re proud to announce that everyone you see in the family photo – Liz and Dan’s band Ida, and Anna and Miggy’s band The Naysayer, will be performing this summer as part of our free Music for Front Porches series. As of now the date is set for Sunday, August 1, at 1 PM, on our porch, but please do check back or sign up for our mailing list to confirm the date as August approaches.

Springtime at the Spot!

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Woodstockers Stacy, Shane, and Ash Devens have totally figured out how to get the most out of their Mystery Spot dollar. Forget the vinyl room in the back – just hit the dollar record bins on the porch!

Here they proudly pose with their C & W vinyl score for the afternoon: Conway Twitty’s Hello Darlin’ for mom ($1.), George Jones The Race is On for Ash ($1.), and for dad, Ted Nugent and the Amboy DukesCall of the Wild ($1.)

(OK, so not quite C & W on that last one….)

We’ve said it before – we love it when our friends come to visit! Best buds Laurie Gwen Shapiro and Corey Powell drove up to Phoenicia for the day and after checking out our new location took us out for a delicious lunch at Sweet Sue’s. Laurie is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker whose film Keep the River on Your Right should be in your Netflix queue right now. Corey is the Editor-in-Chief of Discover Magazine, so we know where to turn whenever we have burning questions about the origins of the universe.

Laurie fell in love with a vintage 60s ribbed horizontal candy-colored striped dress ($18.) and Corey swears by Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints ($12.).

After many years of hoarding, we finally decided to release our stash of vintage T-shirts back into the wild. We’ve collected a good bin’s worth (or two) and this 1970s yellow-on-black Richford Hotel, Richford, NY vintage T-shirt ($35.) may just be one of our favorites.

Chaya – a hotel housekeeper and professional hamster racer – certainly agreed, and it went home with her.

Is it any surprise that two musicians would find themselves in the record room? Multi-instrumentalist Kelly Kyle and guitarist Sean Eden (formerly of Luna, now with the Night People, among other bands) dig the Happy Western A Go-Go and Local Gentry.

Getting Ready for the Season with Fairy Dust Magic!

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

There’s always a bit of fluffing and folding that has to be done before we fling open the doors of the Mystery Spot for our new (in this case,  ninth) season. Lucky for me I’ve got a wonderful Fairy God-Daughter, Eva, who, along with her mom Sylvia and friend Nicole, thought a girl’s day at the Mystery Spot would be just the ticket! And of course I can’t resist any opportunity to spend time with Eva.

Eva and Nicole dove right in, straightening the tops and dresses in the vintage women’s clothing room….

….hanging items on the Vintage Bargain Five Dollar Rack on the porch….

…and organizing all the vintage sweaters by color.

Even Sylvia joined the fun, folding up our avalanche of hand-made 1960s granny-square cozy afghans into some sort of semblance of presentability.

Thanks, girls!

Laura Cantrell Plays the Porch

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

We kicked off our free Music for Front Porches series on the afternoon of July 5, 2009 with a musical performance by the dazzling and delightful singer/songwriter Laura Cantrell.Folks came from near and far and a great time was had by all. Here are a few snaps from the day. Enjoy!

Laura Cantrell

Mark Lerner helps set up the gear which he so kindly loaned us for the show while Laura sound-checks.

Now we're cookin'!

Great turn-out on Main Street on a lovely Sunday afternoon in July.

Laura Cantrell

Laura and Jeremy collect the fee in a currency we all understand. Forget the gold standard, here at the Mystery Spot Vinyl is King.

Playing Catch-Up in Phoenicia

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

We have several years of photos of our customers and their favorite Mystery Spot vintage finds which we’ve been shamefully remiss in not posting sooner. Keep checking back as we sort through the archives!

Animal lovers Mary Gormley and Justin Hawkins stop by to admire our assortment of vintage cats and dogs. Mary’s Friends of Snuffy organization has been lovingly supporting our four-legged friends for several years now. Londoner Justin – the former lead singer of The Darkness - has an obsession with cats. Holding a favorite vintage 1940s ceramic black cat teapot, he let us in on a secret: “My collection of porcelain and brass cats is enormous!” (Yes, he has some wooden cats as well. He also has two real live breathing purring cats, Cully and Smellbear).

Brooklyn musicians Neil Nash-Coulon and Rozz Nash-Coulon look utterly divine in their latest Mystery Spot buys. Neil scored with one of our favorite ensembles in the shop – an original 1960s Valentino suit with cropped Eisenhower-style jacket ($125.) which came from the collection of a former fit model who tells us Mr. Valentino fit the suit to him personally. Rozz brilliantly wears this vintage Sixties Nelly DeGrab metallic teardrop maxi skirt ($44.) as a strapless dress - love!

Fred Flare’s Keith Carollo has a flair for flowers. He took home a matched pair of  vintage framed Paint-By-Number paintings of roses ($32. each). We love his ribbon flower corsage!

More PBN fans! Our old friends John Tucker and Carl Molert stopped in to say hey and couldn’t resist this adorable vintage Paint-By-Numbers painting of a sweet black spaniel and her puppies. Maybe it’s because they have two beautiful spaniels of their own? Mystery Spot shout-out to Buster and Lucy!

1950’s New Look white felt hat ($32.), vintage clip-on bowtie ($4.), NOS Sixties red, white and blue striped sweater ($20.), vintage corduroy men’s hat ($20.) and Words and Visions by Ilse Bing, as happily procured and displayed by fashion designer Jay Ott, Laura Sjogren, and Callie Lansley.

Film Friends at the Mystery Spot!

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

The Woodstock Film Festival always brings a fun group of folks into town, including many of our fellow filmmaker friends. We love it when October comes around, because we know we’ll be seeing our old pals and getting a look at their great new work.

We met animators Lisa LaBracio and Aaron Hughes a few years ago, and it’s now become an annual tradition for them to make a pilgrimage to the Mystery Spot part of their WFF itinerary. Lisa looks absolutely smashing, my dear, in this Sixties Miss Dior lemon and lime striped Carnaby Street style hat ($45.) and pours Aaron a fresh glass of an imaginary (but delicious) beverage from this Fifties pink and gold frosted glass rooster lemonade set ($55. pitcher and six glasses) which, naturally, went home with her.

We first met Lisa and Aaron through this fellow… Academy Award-winning animator and all-around swell guy Bill Plympton, who we’ve known for many a moon. (In fact were happy to introduce the folks at the WFF to him,  beginning a long and fruitful professional relationship that continues to this day).

Bill picked up a copy of Paul Franklin Just Pickin’ ($22.) for his Official Mystery Spot Portrait.

Staying on the film topic, if we may, is another friend, Beck Underwood, who we also know (along with her husband, actor-writer-director Larry Fessenden) through the independent film world. Beck is a prop stylist/art direction for movies, and in this case she’d come to us because she needed to dress a set for the film Stakeland (three guesses as to what it’s about) and was looking for just the “right” crucifix for the exorcism scene. She liked our selection. (Misc. vintage crucifixes, $5 – $15.)

Ladies of the Mystery Spot

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Lovely Ava is a vision in pink. She loved playing dress-up so much with this 1950s pink flower hat ($15.), mom and dad let her take it home.

Wedding cake artist Linda Laestadius stopped into the Mystery Spot to see if she could find a special something to wear to a vintage-themed party her company Sweet Nothings was catering. We’d just gotten in this stunning vintage 1930’s long floral tea gown ($60.), and it was love at first sight. The large-brimmed baby blue felt hat ($35.) completed the ensemble.

Artist Z.B. Alpert has had her eye on this signed 1940’s painting of a deer fight for a while now. We did a little hondling, and $125. later, it was hers’!

Singer/musician Sally Be came all the way up from the city to see Gail Ann Dorsey perform on our porch, and while she was here she couldn’t resist picking up this killer vintage black leather jacket ($55.).

Gentlemen of the Mystery Spot

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Some recent visitors and friends…..

Nobody lights up a room like our old pal Jahn (X-Sessive) Xavier Bonfiglio. We’ve known X since we photographed his band the Nitecaps when he was a teenager (and we weren’t that much older, to tell the truth!).  X started out at the tender age of sixteen playing bass for Richard Hell and the Voidoids and has continued to rock ever since. Check out his current bands Sugartime and Jahn Xavier & The Bowerytones.X serenades the Spot on this 1920’s signed mother-of-pearl inset antique Edelklang mandolin. Gorgeous instrument, right? Wait until you see the back – it only gets better!

The mandolin was originally owned by a WWI soldier who gave it to an upstate New York schoolgirl back in the 1960’s. She and her friends proceeded to carve their names (as well as names of their friends, the Beatles, Elvis and the Monkees) into the back. Rock ‘n roll folk art.

A.D. was pretty darn stoked to find a set of original 1970’s skinhead books by Richard Allen ($40. for the set of 6). When not working at Vespa Soho, A.D. sings and plays guitar with Van Cougar.

We love Marc Wolf and Craig Thompson! Marc is an Obie award-winning actor/playwright (Another American: Asking and Telling) and horticulturist who picked out We Farm for a Hobby to add to his library. Craig is a long-time friend and supporter of the Spot and the most incredible baker we know. People travel for miles to pick up the delicious baked concoctions he creates for Shandaken Bake. He zeroed in on The Book of Puppetry (did we mention he also makes puppet theaters?), and they both decided a nifty 1960’s reading lamp would round out the reading nook.

Jackson, age thirteen, channels his inner hippie toreador in this vintage 1950’s crushed purple velvet bolero jacket ($125), elegant tie ($4.), black beret ($12.). and vintage granny glasses ($20.).

Some of Our Favorite Customers!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

It’s always a fun time when our friends Chuck Fiorello and Kabuki visit! Kabuki is a renowned makeup artist who’s worked with Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Michael Jackson and Amy Sedaris – oh, and Sex and the City - to name but a few of his credits, and Chuck is his fantastic agent and jack of all trades. 

Kabuki flipped over these vintage leather Sixties hippie sandals ($20.) and Chuck took home this lovely Hall pottery ball pitcher ($20.) and a pair of Ruth Draper records ($18@.).

Speaking of the wonderfully talented Amy Sedaris, here she is, admiring a handmade model of an eyeball (NFS) we got out of an optometrist’s estate.

Vogue’s Camilla Nickerson knows good fashion when she sees it, and she wasted no time in zeroing in on this incredible Dorian label 1940’s candy-striped taffeta fitted lounging jacket with black velvet trim ($65.) within hours after it had been put out on the racks.

Our very good friend Io Flower placed this pair of jaunty ceramic dog salt and pepper shakers ($12.) at her feet for her photo in this lovely Fifties vintage gray and white pinstripe cotton frock ($30.).

Two of our favorite Phoenicians, Viva and Tessa, model two of our favorite T-shirts. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we first spotted these unbelievable vintage psychedelic artist-signed buttery-soft T-shirts, one from 1974 and one from 1975 ($30. each).

More Favorite Customers of the Mystery Spot

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Of course, you’re all favorites! Here are some memorable moments captured by our camera over the past eight years. We migrated these photos over from the Mystery Spot website, where you can click through pages and pages of happy snapshots of happy customers from Mystery Spot days past.

Back for more!
Photographer/musician Jeff Stults makes a return trip to Le Spot to pick up a cute blonde that caught his eye last time he visited. This Sixties signed oil on canvas painting of a waif-like girl set him back only $75. (He’s since told us that he named her Bavaria and has composed and recorded an entire concept album around her). Meantime, metalsmith Jason Yoder couldn’t pass up this pair of mid-century 60’s ceiling lights, a mere $50. for the two.

Comedienne Lisa DeLarios and her dog Stargil find inspiration in a vintage multicolored honeycomb crepe paper decoration ($8.). The comic (not to mention decorative) possibilities are endless!

Spot regular Kate Pierson of the B-52’s proudly displays her finds for the day. They’ll all go towards furnishing her fabulous modernist/rustic getaway, Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel, in nearby Mt. Tremper. Included are a mod 60’s canister set ($20.), a chartreuse ceramic 50’s lamp with bubble shade ($40), and a pastel drawing of a Joan Kennedy lookalike (free).

Tessa is snug as a bug in a rug in this awesome Sixties long gray flecked cardigan with oversized faux fur collar ($42.)

What a difference a year makes! Last year Akira’s main mode of transport was stroller. Now she’s a big sister (and a cowgirl)! According to doting dad Chris Stein (Blondie), she’s already showing signs of the musical talents that run deep in her gene pool. Chris and Barbara left with an armload of purchases, including a 1910 Mandarin Primer ($40.), this 1960’s National Enquirer ($10.) and a stack of art books.

Tessa models – forgive the understatement - the most killer pair of boots we have ever seen in our lives! A pair of vintage Sixties white leather mod gladiator lace-up sandal boots ($125.) straight from the estate of a former stripper. She completes the look with a deadstock 60’s patchwork cropped shirt ($28.) and Sixties Aquarius Zodiac medallion ($14).