I went back to Philly Aids Thrift, at 710 South 5th Street in Philadelphia, this past weekend, and it was once again a lively, upbeat, rocking place to visit and go shopping. Every time I have been by there, which is at least four or five times now, there are people hanging out at the tables and chairs outside and it is the most fun thrift shop I have ever been to. They have the usual sections that thrift shops have but they also have a separate vintage section, a whole book shop section, a dollar room, and a large variety of items. It is all very well organized. The book section is super affordable and they have a large selection of books. The small collectible vintage items stay downstairs near the cashiers. If you are in the area I would definitely recommend checking it out. The store is a non-profit and most of its funds go to AIDS research and the remainder goes to various to HIV organizations.
Right on the same block is Nostalgia, at 704 South 5th Street, a vintage shop that also sells contemporary women’s clothing designed by Earl Salko, which is made in the USA. They have jewelry, some houseware items, collectibles, men’s wear and some vintage women’s wear as well. They also repair and refurbish some items.
Around the corner at 508 South Street is Retrospect, which has a variety of housewares, clothing, and costume jewelry and is a rather large shop with a fun assortment of items. I was there a few weeks ago and they have been having a summer sale for a while now. They are associated with Goodwill Industries, which I only just found out by reading a Yelp review. It is stocked and run as a vintage shop and I would say most of the vintage clothing ranges from the mid 60’s and 70’s to the early 90’s. In comparison with vintage shops in New York City for instance, the prices are great for clothing and accessories of that era.
However, as in New York, the shops that specialize in the older vintage from the 30’s to the 60’s are few and far between. Those items are generally more expensive, as is to be expected. I haven’t made it to all the vintage shops in Philadelphia yet so if I find more later on I will let you know.
Briar Vintage has a warehouse space now out at 4324 Tackawanna Street, which is in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. The warehouse space is open on Saturdays. The owner specializes in men’s wear from the 1800’s to the 1960’s. He has a large collection and prices vary depending on how much work he puts into the pieces. Apparently the business sells a lot to theatre companies. They had a downtown location in Bella Vista but now they have a small shop divided with Sazz Vintage at 618 South 6th Street. I didn’t get a chance to see that location, which will be getting a name change due to the two businesses combining.
What really blew my mind was finding Jinxed, a housewares shop on South 4th Street. They also had a collection of costume jewelry, a variety of small items, such as cameras, and a very small amount of clothing. The first location I went to, at 609 South 4th Street (there are two locations right next door to each other), had this beautiful armoire for the screaming deal price of $178!! In New York a piece like that would run closer to $1,000. At a price like that it’d be worth driving to Philadelphia and back to buy vintage furniture. They have an online shop you can connect to via their website. Plus they have several locations within Philadelphia.
At 523 South 4th Street is The Strange and Unusual Oddities Parlor, which carries taxidermy, novelties and antiques. They have the strangest collection of taxidermy I have ever seen. I lived out in Colorado for about 15 years so I have seen a lot. They had small mice with antlers mounted on frames. There was a fox suspended in a mid-air leap. Numerous religious novelty pieces in the jewelry cases and a variety of antique items fill up the shop. They had bison teeth with a small hole to make a pendant out of, deer teeth, all kinds of oddities.
If you like thrifting and vintage you also most likely like old architecture like I do. That will be for another post, as I took many photos the last few times I was in Philadelphia. Old City Philadelphia has a lot of really beautiful architecture. Several streets have houses that were built before 1800. I really had a great time walking around the city and exploring.
Well I hope you enjoyed this post and are having a fun summer! I will keep my eye out for some more fun vintage shops or antique items to share with you!
All written material and photos by Marilyn Lavender. © Marilyn Lavender, 2016. “All rights reserved.”
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