Archive for January, 2010

About that motherlode of vintage vinyl…..

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Last year we acquired a staggering collection of vintage vinyl - over 15,000 records and countless 45’s. Jazz, rock, country, comedy, psych, blues, lounge, exotica, risque, funk, spoken word, Northern Soul.…you name it! Our little elves have been hard at work all winter digging through the boxes in order to hand pick the best and most unusual of the bunch to bring into the shop. The keepers go straight to the new, custom-built record room. The others go outside in the dollar bins. The project is endless, so our promise to you, dear customer, is that we will bring in at least one new carton of records every week during the entire season!

Here’s the Country and Western section.

Laura Cantrell & Jeremy Tepper digging the C&W!

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).

More Favorite Mystery Spotters!

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Our good friend Ava is six (where does the time go?) and she’s rocking the hand-screened Mystery Spot baseball jersey ($10.). She likes playing baseball, and she wants to be a Girl Scout. Go Ava!

Warren DeFever is from Detroit.

You probably know him from his band His Name is Alive. He collects vintage photographs of photographers’ shadows, and he was happy to find a handful here at The Mystery Spot (25 cents each). Warren likes to play Frisbee and he wants to be a Girl Scout.

Our favorite punk rocker Richard Hell leafs through a gorgeous vintage copy of Dracula ($10.) and registers an appropriate look of shock and horror.

Here we see Sylvia bedecked in brown. From top to bottom: a Forties felt and satin hat ($38.), Fifties polka dot sundress ($45.), and an oversized baguette purse in brown felt ($44.). The purse was grabbed by a happy customer not an hour later, and is off to a new home.

Vive le Mod! Or in this case, Viva and Tessa le Mod! This Op-Art polka dot Sixties nylon jumpsuit ($34.) fits Viva like a glove, and the mod yellow vinyl handbag ($26.) Fifties yellow straw boater with faux cherries ($24.), and butterscotch Bakelite pendant necklace ($35.), complete the scene.Tessa shines in this Seventies metallic striped halter minidress ($42.), 60’s gold metallic sandals ($25.), silver beaded evening bag ($45.), faux pearl necklace ($12.) and vintage black velvet hat from Best & Co. ($22.). The vintage shades? Also from Le Spot!

Even More Favorite Customers of the Mystery Spot!

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Super Trooper Sylvia looks simply divine in this fresh 1970’s floral chiffon top with pleated cape sleeves ($45., NOS), vintage yellow cords ($25.),  1950’s pink straw hat lined in gingham ($40.) and groovy Zodiac pendant necklace ($15.)

This is Sylvia’s dad – and our good friend – Sparrow: poet, author, former Presidential Candidate. He’s holding a vintage naugahyde red mouse ($10.). Look for his next book of selected works – in stores sometime next year. (Working title: America, This Is Your Last Chance! (Soft Skull)).

The Mystery Spot was thrilled when Helen Hamilton, the original illustrator of the Happy Hollisters book series, popped in for a visit. Helen told us that she used her own children as models for her wonderful depictions of the Happy Hollister family, and then she insisted we photograph her with this decapitated Wanda the Unaided Walking Doll (NFS). Come back soon, Helen!

More happy customers! Photographer David LaChapelle and his friend Anthony picked up a supply of our mint 1960’s trash tabloids, Midnight and The National Informer ($10. each). ARE Nude Models Perverts? You’ll have to read it to find out!

While on a recent buying trip “up north,” we uncovered a huge stash of New Old Stock vintage 60’s and 70’s outfits from a trendy boutique that closed its doors thirty years ago. Spot-ettes Marlise, Tessa and Aidan model some of the one-size-fits-all embroidered gauze hippie halter tops ($20.). But if you want to know where these fabulous outfits came from….they’re not telling!

Traveling Back in the Mystery Spot Time Machine (1)

Monday, January 4th, 2010

This is what fifteen looks like in Phoenicia. It rocks! Michaela and Hailey couldn’t wait to try on these vintage 1970’s matching “Miss Ingenue” hot pink and orange checked knit tops ($22.) and vintage front patch pocket Wrangler jeans ($28.). The vintage purses completed the ensembles.

(Did we happen to mention that Michaela writes and plays the ukulele, and that Hailey is a former boxer who is now attending college? Did we happen to mention that they are fifteen? Don’t you feel old right about now? We do!)

Zach Alford may have great taste in music (as a drummer he’s toured with Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, and the B-52’s) but his taste in fine art is questionable, at best. We caught him admiring lovely ladies Carmelita and Esquerita in the Mystery Spot Black Velvet Nude Lady Art Gallery. (Though an absolute bargain at only $85. each, or $150. for the pair!)

Our good friend Storey is four years old. She loves to go to the zoo and she really loves to collect elephants! She’s wearing a shiny gold elephant necklace ($12.) and a simply adorable pink and orange 1950’s party dress with a crinoline lining ($28.) that her parents got for her.

Why are Erin and Jason smiling? Is it because they just bought this groovy Fifties Sputnik metal mod table lamp ($95.) and other assorted treasures? Or – maybe – is it because the night before, Jason proposed to Erin on the banks of the Esopus Creek (yes, a classically executed one-knee affair), and she accepted? (Note ring!). In any case, we were thrilled to see romance blossom once again in the aisles of The Mystery Spot, and gave them an early wedding gift of the Vogue Sewing Book.

We were thrilled when Mary Randolph Carter, the world’s foremost authority on junk (and the author of “American Junk,” “Big City Junk,” etc.), dropped by for a visit. She not only bought lots and lots of stuff, but featured The Mystery Spot on her website, (Go to “On the Road” and then “Junker’s Journal,” and you can read all about Carter’s visit. Lots of pics!). A great website, a dedicated junker, and her books are a must-read!

Traveling Back in the Mystery Spot Time Machine (2)

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Neil Finn of Crowded House dropped by the Mystery Spot a while back and bought all sorts of stuff. He even obliged us with a photo for our archives, muttering something that sounded like“Pineapple Head,” as he graciously posed.

Lovely ingénue Julia Mason recently graduated from the American University of Paris and now interns at the Time Magazine offices in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. She popped across the pond this summer to visit Phoenicia (also known as the Fashion Capitol of the Catskills) where she found this stunning Frank Starr Fifties party dress ($60.). She took it back home to the City of Lights to show those Parisians a thing or two about chic.

Our friend, jazz clarinetist Don Byron (a Mystery Spot regular) took a liking to this cute little vintage Desenex tin ($4.).

Emmy Bunn is a designer for Ralph Lauren Polo and made out like a bandit here at the Mystery Spot! She went home with a mint Sixties Christian Dior faux fur hat ($35.), gorgeous Fifties black and gold brocade cocktail coat ($65.), killer vintage stilettoes with stacked wood spike heels ($45.), a black patent leather purse with lucite chain link handle ($35.) and a signed original oil painting from our personal collection of a Mermaid and King Neptune playing poker under the sea ($45.).

Let’s all say it together: come back soon, Emmy!

It warms the cockles of our heart to know that the kids of today have impeccable musical taste! A quartet of twelve year-old cousins – Audri, Ali, Tessa and Emily – gives a shout-out to their favorite vintage vinyl offerings by Joni, Zeppelin, AC/DC and of course, Janis ($6 – 15).

Funny Boy David Ilku all wrapped up in his latest purchase – early schoolhouse music rolls from 1905. This one is entitled “Nature.” We found a barn full of these wonderful antique children’s musical couplets and are offering them for a mere ten – twenty dollars each!