Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hidden Neighborhood Treasure

I moved to Upper Manhattan in 2001 after a colleague already here, who knew I was looking for a place, invited me uptown to look at the neighborhood. I was charmed by the small apartment buildings built from the 1920s-1950s, with sunken living rooms, quaint architecture, and the quiet. It's true, there's not much going on up here, so you have to go elsewhere for your entertainment, but it's a peaceful area with parks, some good restaurants, a few fun bars, an art gallery, lots of artists, and the shopping is less expensive than downtown.

One of the neighborhood treasures is a smallish antique shop called Scavengers of Inwood. I have furnished my apartment with tons of goodies from this wonderful store - the antiques available have been collected and maintained by their owners, the Coopers; Lela Cooper does the buying, and travels around the eastern states on buying trips, culling wonderful treasures with an expert eye. It's always a joy to visit and see what's new, and have a friendly chat with Lela, Guy Cooper and Tom, who often helps out. It's a fantastic place for gifts - how would a set of wonderfully decorated 1940s barware be welcomed by someone who loves to entertain? There's vintage cookware, furniture, ephemera, art, clothing, jewelry, books, amazing china, linens...something for everyone, especially someone with a love for recent vintage. Part of me wants this neighborhood resource to remain a secret, but most of me wants people to find out about them and flock to their shop!

I was up there last weekend and took some pictures of the welcoming way this shop is set up. There are chairs set up outside, it's all cozy and friendly, and one is encouraged to sit and chat if it's nice out and there's a quiet moment. Eventually, though, pleasant as the company is, you'll feel the pull of the shop and will simply have to go in, squeezing by other customers and merchandise...into the depths...of American mid-century taste. I guarantee that you'll walk away with a one-of-a-kind treasure. Tell them I sent you.

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