Archive for the ‘Cool Customers’ Category

Richard Thompson checks out our Record Room

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Legendary British folk/rock musician Richard Thompson, OBE, stopped by Mystery Spot Antiques in Phoenicia the other day to do some vintage vinyl digging. He ended up with a very nice stack of records. It was great to see our old friends RT and his wonderful wife Nancy Covey, Simon, and Annalise, who are up in the Catskills this week for guitar camp (Frets and Refrains) at the Full Moon Resort, and a show at the Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock this Friday. (If the concert isn’t yet sold out, run, don’t walk to get tickets to what will be an amazing show).

Richard Thompson checks out the vintage records at The Mystery Spot in Phoenicia, NY

Our history with Richard goes way back, to the cover artwork we painted for his album Rumor and Sigh in 1991…

"Rumor & Sigh" cover artwork by Laura Levine

…to even further back, when we shot this photograph of Richard and Linda Thompson when they were promoting Shoot Out the Lights in 1982.

Richard and Linda Thompson, NYC, 1982. Photo © Laura Levine.

Hibernation Sale – 20% off through Dec. 30th!

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Burlesque superstar/Mystery Spot friend Veronica Varlow gets into the holiday spirit!

It’s that time again! Before we close our doors and hibernate for the winter, we’re throwing one last big vintage sale.

20% off everything in the shop, all month long!

Everything in the Spot is on sale throughout the month of December. Vintage clothing, vinyl records, antiques, old books, kitchenware, cozy coats, dapper men’s suits, holiday party dresses…..everything!

We’re open Saturdays (11 – 5) and Sundays (11 – 4) now through December 30th. So technically, that gives you only four more weekends before we curl up into a ball and catch up on our sleep. Catch us while you can, ’cause we won’t open again until the spring.*

We encourage you to support your local small businesses for the holiday season and all year round. You can probably get all of your holiday shopping done in Phoenicia alone by just walking Main Street.

*we’ll probably open briefly for Presidents’ Day Weekend (shhhh!)


Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Boo! Halloween greetings to you all from actor Brad Dourif, who bonded with Timmy the CPR Dummy Factory Reject Doll when he visited The Mystery Spot in Phoenicia recently. If you’ve seen any of Brad’s CHUCKY movies you’ll understand their special connection.

Brad, as you probably know, is one of the stars of Deadwood, and he tipped us off that he’ll be the “Unsub” in an upcoming episode of Criminal Minds (We can’t wait!). His list of credits is mind-blowing, from Blue Velvet to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Be on the look-out next Halloween for his latest star turn in the Chucky oeuvre, The Curse of Chucky, which will also star his daughter Fiona Dourif.

And meantime, be very, very careful out these this Halloween. You never know who you might run into in these Catskill Mountains. Happy Halloween!

Cool customer catch-up!

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

As usual, we’re a little behind posting photos of some of the cool customers who’ve come to Phoenicia and stopped by Mystery Spot Antiques this summer. (We’re a little more together over on our Facebook page).

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite people who’ve walked through our doors, and the vintage stuff they bonded with:

Earlier this summer a benevolent and mysterious stranger left a box of vintage 1940’s handmade roller skating costumes on our doorstep. Our friend and long-time customer Veronica Varlow popped in the other day and was kind enough to give one of them a spin for the Mystery Spot camera. “Danger Dame” Veronica is a woman of many talents: burlesque dancer, pin-up model, actress, producer and performance artist. When not doing her famous feathered fan dance or fire play for devoted audiences around the world (next stop, South America!), she’s writing a book which is be sure to be a bestseller.

So…about those Forties roller skating costumes. They appeared on our doorstep one random day this summer, six or seven of them neatly folded in a box. Slightly worse for wear from many years of storage, but nothing we couldn’t fix with a little bit of Biz and a long hot soak. Tucked inside the box of costumes was a faded black-and-white snapshot. We have no idea who these lovely ladies are, but a couple of the very same dresses pictured (all with matching knickers!) are now at The Spot. They were obviously (and lovingly) sewn by hand – no doubt by the young women themselves, or perhaps one of their mothers.

Remember that insane mystery lamp we posted photos of a while back? Well, it found a new home! John Lovett, a visual artist, musician (Candidate), sound artist (Lovett/Codagnone), sculptor & more, and Rodrigo DaSilva, a bartender at The Monster, scored bigtime at the Mystery Spot, picking up a cut paper silhouette ($27.), a Big Ben alarm clock with an ascending alarm ($27.), burl wood corkscrew ($18.), and….yes! our favorite mystery lamp! ($75.). Come back again soon, guys!

Brother and sister Frankie (10) and Martina (7) had a blast checking out this vintage red sparkly marching band hat ($35.) and 1960s purple lucite hippie sunglasses ($20.). Frankie says this is the “awesomest store ever!” Oh, and he also says, “relax!

Speed and stealth are good qualities to have when planning a serious shopping excursion to The Spot. We’d literally brought this utterly mod, darling 1960s Made in Hong Kong Carnaby Street style psychedelic vinyl umbrella ($35.) into the shop moments earlier when young Miranda here snapped it up to send to her friend who just started college in rainy old England. What a perfect gift indeed!

We first met Wade Oates, founder and former member of the Virgins, when he was still in his mama’s belly (at his East Village drag queen baby shower) and what a fine young man he’s grown up to be. Internationally acclaimed rock star, fashion model, and Mystery Spot connoisseur. Wade humors us with a little Mexican two-step in a vintage embroidered mariachi outfit (trousers not pictured, but yeah, we have the whole kit & kaboodle). (Photo by Grace Grant)

You’d never guess from this demure pose, but our good friend Ava (age 11) is nicknamed “Piranha” by her basketball refs. She plays point guard and power forward and is the top scorer on her team!

Ava styled herself in a sweet pink cotton 50’s day dress ($24.), 40’s brown velvet hat ($25.), 50’s brown felt handbag ($35.) and is deeply engrossed in SUMMER OF SURPRISE, plucked from the shelves of our book room, Homer’s Books d’Arte.

Remember the days when “sensitive” materials were mailed in a plain brown paper wrapper? Well, we sure do, and this lovely duo of graphic designers (he for Sacred Bones Records, she for the New Yorker) zeroed in on a prize: THE IDEAL SEX LIFE, bundled with the profusely illustrated PICTURE STORIES OF THE SEX LIFE OF MEN AND WOMAN, both still gently nestled in the plain brown wrapper they were mailed in. ($28.) (And don’t worry Mrs. XXX on the address label, we won’t blow your cover, even if the package was postmarked in 1940.)

David Correll and Sarah Ferretti also picked up a cast iron gooseneck reading lamp ($45.), a framed Victorian print of what looks to be a dying child ($40.), and several other vintage doo-dads.

Oh, also, David says to tell you that he likes cats with hats.

New Arrivals as Modeled by Our Friend Io

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Our good friend Io is eleven and likes drawing, dancing, bike riding, gymnastics, and rock climbing. She’s an avid cyclist and rides as much as eight miles a day. She’s been following the Summer Olympics with great interest, as she hopes to one day qualify in bike racing.

Io is also one of our favorite models, taking this graphic Sixties Kenny Classic tabard out for a gold medal-worthy spin.

And here she is in an exquisite Art Deco vintage crepe blouse with double collars embellished with hand-sewn beading and sequins. Our guess on era – 1930s?

Summertime at the Mystery Spot!

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Phoenicia’s been hopping this summer and here at The Mystery Spot we’ve had – as usual – the friendliest, most fascinating – and when it comes to having their photo taken, extremely cooperative – group of customers. We’ve taken a ton of photos, so do keep checking back as we try our best to post them as fast as we can.

Meantime, a small sampling of summertime fun….

Our dear friend Nancy Covey (Mrs. Richard Thompson to you!) finds a hidden gem in our record room – a mint copy of ROCK ON by THE BUNCH. This 1972 album features members of Fairport Convention including Sandy Denny and of course, Richard Thompson. 

Nancy and Richard are up in the Catskills all week, where RT is teaching master guitar classes at music camp at the Full Moon Resort. And he, Teddy Thompson, Martin Simpson, Sloan Wainwright, and Happy Traum are playing a very sold out show at the Bearsville Theater tonight.

MTV music coordinator/music blogger Eric Weiner (The Wild Honey Pie) and printmaker/textile archivist Sarah Heinemann celebrated their first anniversary with a trip to Phoenicia and of course, The Mystery Spot! Their vintage scores included a weiner dog planter ($8.), a ceramic squirrel-and-acorn Colorado ashtray ($6.), and a handful of unusual old b/w snapshots ($1 – 3 each).

Say hello to our new friend Zoe! Zoe is five years old. Her favorite thing is her kitten Munchkin, and she also likes lions a lot. For months she’s been coming by the Spot when we’ve been closed and coveting this Sixties big-eyed puppy on a cross-section of a log ($12.) that we’ve had in our window. FINALLY we were open and her mom bought it for her, along with this awesome 1970s vintage prairie dress ($20.). Come back again soon, Zoe!

Jon and Larissa Velez-Jackson score a nice pile o’ vinyl, from Jerry Lee Lewis to Miles Davis, Cal Tjader to Waylon Jennings. This creative Brooklyn-based couple (he’s an editor at The Week, she’s a choreographer), also known as Twitta and Papi Jon - yes, we checked out their cool website! - has a band together called Yackez. Yo!

….and the hits keep coming! Bart Higgins and sunglass designer Grant Krajecki share a few selections from the stacks of vinyl they each picked up this weekend. (Nina Hagen, Chuck Berry, Chaka Khan, Dr. John, and lots and lots of Loretta Lynn).

A Look Back at a Year of Hitting the Spot (Part 1)

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

My goodness, we’ve been remiss in keeping you, dear reader, updated on this year’s Mystery Spot action, and for that we most sincerely apologize. We’ve had some wonderful customers come through our doors. We took a lot of snaps, but never got around to posting them. So without further ado, here they are!

The Most Beautiful Family Award goes to artist Sandra Spannan, musician Tony Jarvis, Kaya and Fiona, displaying some of their Mystery Spot purchases and all-around warmth and sweet vibes.

Amy Griffin makes awesome dog sweaters, as modeled by the bodacious Bella. She’s strictly vinyl (no iPod for her!) and was thrilled to stock up on a pile o’ platters, including The Incredible String Band (promo!), Talking Heads, John Hartford, The Best of Chad and Jeremy, and our favorite, An Evening in Sapsucker Woods ($5 – 20). You can see more of Bella’s sweaters over at Amy’s wonderful Etsy shop.

Filmmaker Bill Spice and Departures Magazine Style Editor Tasha Green came to Phoenicia to celebrate their third anniversary (congrats, kids!) and we’re so happy they stopped by. Rest assured they did not leave empty-handed: purchases included this killer pair of 1960s flower lamps with pleated shades (each flower lights up individually in addition to the main light! $100. for the pair); a stack of C&W records, a pin, a scarf, and two books of note: C.G. Jung, Symbols of Transformation ($30.), and The Film Maker’s Guide to Pornography ($14.). Tasha wanted us to know that the Mystery Spot is “the store of my dreams.” (Thanks, Tasha!).

Alan, age three, lines up our Yellow Submarine action figures in a very orderly fashion. He told us he was born in a place “where all the hippies loved me.” (His parents drove nineteen hours so he could be born in a log cabin at The Farm, a midwifing commune in Summertown, Tennessee).

WGXC 90.7 DJ Hank Flick (“Lunar Moss”) scores a Francoise Hardy album for $11.25 at our 25% off Record Store Day sale (among other vinyl finds, from Harry Nilsson to Richard Lloyd). The album had just been brought into the shop hours earlier. The early bird gets the worm!

Photographers Natty Koper and Sivan Savach are pleased as punch with their Mystery Spot haul. Their finds included an art deco metal polish tin ($4.), 1964 World’s Fair tray ($4.), collapsible camera flash attachment reflector thingie ($5.), 1930s Gilbert microscope in case ($18.), old striped thermos ($6.) and partial stereoscope viewer ($10.)

Our cousins Anna and Leo want you to know that we recently unearthed a ton of these great vintage new old stock egg cartons with cute little chickens on them. Five bucks apiece, minty mint! Cheep, cheep!

Mystery Spot Theme Song by Half Japanese’s David Fair

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Several years ago I received an email from David Fair of the band Half Japanese introducing himself (though of course I knew who he was!).  We began a fun correspondence and he sent me all sorts of surprise packages of his amazing paper cuttings, music and, one day…..a Mystery Spot theme song which he wrote, played, sang and recorded! It’s totally awesome, and you can hear it here:

Mystery Spot Theme Song by David Fair

Walkin' the Floor Over You.

It turns out that when he renovated his kitchen he decided to forgo the usual linoleum floor for something much more personal and creative. He downloaded images of artwork and photos that he liked from the internet and printed them out into eight by eight inch squares. Added to that a bunch of family snapshots. (And for some reason, lots of pictures of ventriloquists’ dummies). All in all he made 1098 tiles which he glued to the floor and covered with seven coats of polyurethane. I was honored to be included in his floor – he’s got several of my pieces there, which he and his family walk over all day long. If you look closely, you can probably spot some of your favorite artists.

Those are a couple of my birds in the middle.

David, Pam and Harper drove up to Phoenicia from Maryland to pay a visit to the Mystery Spot.

David Fair and his brother Jad Fair (the other half of Half Japanese) have a new show of their paper cuts which opened this weekend at the wonderful gallery Yard Dog in Austin, Texas. We highly recommend you check it out if you’re in the Austin area – or just check out the link for a nice display of some of the pieces, which can be ordered online.

Spotted at The Spot (Memorial Day Weekend Edition)

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Now that we’re open for the season (did we mention it’s our tenth?) things are hopping at Le Spot. Come meet some of our Memorial Day Weekend visitors….

Hubba hubba! This vintage 1950s Betty Grable Hawaiian print sarong bombshell swimsuit ($60). has been patiently biding its time on the racks, waiting for the right girl to try her on and snap her up. And who should walk into the Spot this weekend but Jen Storch, a barista at Fort Defiance in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Bullseye! Wear it well, Jen — you rock it! (Speaking of rock, did we also mention that Jen sings and plays drums in her band, Flower Orgy?).

Felipe Flores is 19 and has been living in the Catskills for the past year as an exchange student from Chile. He simply had to have this vintage Polaroid Sonar One-Step Pronto camera (with all attachments and case), and for $28. American, it was his! Felipe plays the guitar and the euphonium, is planning to study photography and the visual arts.

Our old pal Bill Adler from the Def Jam/RUSH days and his lovely family drove up to Phoenicia to finally see what the whole Mystery Spot thing was about. Bill got lost for hours in the vinyl room, finally emerging with this Garnet Mimms album ($8). and a stack of singles for his famous Xmas mix-tapes that a few lucky souls receive every year. Sara Moulton is a world-famous chef and all-around sweetheart. She went right for the cookbook section and picked out one with a title that she couldn’t resist: “A Pinch of This and a Dash of That.” Daughter Ruthie selected the first of what we hope will be a continued and lifelong art collection for her wall, our portrait of Bjork from 1991. We’re truly honored that she chose one of our pieces to start off her collection.

We love meeting fellow vinyl dealers, especially when they give our shop two thumbs’ up. Jann and Tom have a record store in Rochester, NY called The Bop Shop, which, according to our young cousin Nick, who lives in Rochester and is somewhat of a music maven, is “sweeeeet.” Their score at the Mystery Spot: Dr. John’s Gumbo ($20., minty-mint) and a jazz record I can’t quite make out from the photo (Norman Blake, Vassar Clements, et. al.).

Hitting the Spot on New Year’s Weekend

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

This is our last “official” weekend until the spring, as we prepare to go into hibernation mode. However, look for us to pop up on the holiday weekends (Presidents’ Day, etc) until our official re-opening in May (our tenth season!).

Meantime, Homer and Langley’s Hibernation Sale continues through the end of today (January 2nd). Check out some of the new customers and old friends who popped into the shop this weekend for vintage bargains galore!

Cozy vintage coats were a big seller this weekend. Artist/set designer/builder Marc Rubin totally scored with this vintage tundra-worthy fleece coat ($55.). It weighs about twenty pounds, but every ounce is pure unadulterated warmth.

Another super coat score! Lucky Yelena spotted this killer Seventies belted blue/gray leather DiModa coat with fur collar ($125.). As concierge at a big Manhattan hotel, she knows a thing or two about secret sources and good finds!

International Woman of Mystery Nicole Moomjy got into the holiday spirit with this festive Sixties metallic gold fitted jacket ($50.) and a must-have copy of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet ($15.).

The vinyl also flew out of the bins this weekend. Case in point: nineteen year-old Colin Rocker (yes, that’s his real name). He just moved back to the Catskills from Bozeman, Montana and headed straight to the Spot to stock up on vintage C & W records (Ernest Tubb, George Jones, et. al.). Colin gave the Mystery Spot’s vinyl room this rave review: “One of the greatest country record collections I’ve ever seen – East, West, North, South.”

Another vinyl junkie! Musician Jordan Shapiro plays in a bluegrass band called Astrograss based in Brooklyn and stocked up on a baker’s dozen of records from Zappa and the Mothers to Flatt and Scruggs, all at $4 apiece.