There are thrift stores, and there are THRIFT STORES.
And the place on Northern Boulevard is a THRIFT STORE. A genuine, old-man dump-off, THRIFT STORE. Most of the clothing there is old, it’s a little ratty and to be totally honest, someone probably died in it. The assistants at the funeral home probably stripped your uncle Bernie and sold his shit for weed money before burying him. Also, everything is about XXXL because the other 30% of the clothing there that isn’t from dead people is from people who lost a lot of weight and got rid of their fat dude t-shirts and dress shirts for their telemarketing and IT jobs. Can’t wear t-shirts to work, now can you? I go there once in a while, not really to do anything or buy anything but just to browse. I’m sort of not really the kind of guy who wears XXXL t-shirts, unless of course I plan on using them as dresses for an elaborate drag revival show I might be planning in the future. Thus, I kind of just of walk around.
No one young goes there. No one hip goes there. There’s no one hip in Queens to begin with anyway to go looking for vintage or faux-vintage clothing that’s still fashionably fitting anyway, but that’s not the point. There’s old tapes (I got a Gin Blossoms tape single there for fifty cents once there) and ceramic animals and records and people donate stuff in large black trash bags at the front desk. There’s appliances too, and shoes. Lots of shoes. Some of which may or may not have mates and quite of few of look like they’re over 20 years old. I think I’m probably the only person under 30 who goes there at all. It’s not one of those thrift shops where it’s mostly clothing, it’s all sorts of stuff. OLD stuff, from OLD people.
However, in the past 6 months or so, if you’ve seen me around, you might notice that I’ve been rocking this red and black flannel shirt a lot. I got it at the thrift store. It actually fits me regularly, something I took a bit of a risk on because it doesn’t have a tag and I felt weird just trying it on, knowing there was a good chance someone had died in that shirt before it ended up, probably unwashed, at the thrift store. It’s pretty cool. It’s nice and warm if worn with other layers, and a practical light long-sleeved shrit for when its warmer out when I want an emergency layer for say, a sudden rainstorm or a movie theater with the AC blasting unneccesarily high. Also, it’s less cumbersome than a hoodie, so I tend to carry it around a lot these days. It’s an awesome shirt. I love it.
It’s a diving pool of lost Christmas sweaters and Grandma’s ceramic pigeon collection. Can you believe someone actually got rid of a Massive Attack tape from a decade ago? or that stretched-out Champion t-shirt you, in all reality, should have thrown out instead of trying to give away for people to buy?