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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

more inspiration, antiques, oddities and a memory

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I am not immune to the pleasure of treasure hunting, even though my husband is the king. But after years decades of antiquing, flea marketing and garage sale-ing I don't have the drive for the hunt any more. Neither do we have room for more things.

However there is one store that will get me out of the Aveo even on the hottest of days (like Sunday/Father's Day this week) for a dose of inspiration. In our little resort town of Saugatuck (two hours away), gorgeously seated on the Kalamazoo River close to Lake Michigan - resembling Hyannis or Yarmouth on Cape Cod - is Amsterdam Antiques & Oddities on an acre of land that erupts with beauteous artifacts both new and old.





Modes of display inspire with surprise and simplicity - like these new cups nestled in a wire basket at least 50 years old. Many displays are outdoors under a porch roof.

New items are extremely inexpensive - like teacups and saucers imported from England that run $8 for service for 12 - while vintage ones are pricey, but probably still well below market value. (I didn't find a price on the cups above, or these sweet pitchers overflowing from drawers in what looks like might be an old post office or general store cabinet. I'm guessing a mere $3.)



I have found innovative serving platters for less than $10 in the past, like this one for serving pesto.



Inside one of two Amsterdam buildings (the other has mostly new goods), there are more antiques and novelties. I never had pompons on my ice skates like these, but I thought they looked fetching on my sister's twirling skates. You have to skate well to wear pompons, or you look ridiculous. (Loring, did you iceskate downtown G.L. on the ice-covered baseball diamond under the bridge by the river, at night under lights to Petula Clark singing "Downtown" over loudspeakers? If you did, I'm guessing you didn't wear pompons either, and in fact maybe you were with the boys behind the rope playing that dreaded hockey? Somehow I don't picture that, though. And did we circle each other, not having met? Or was that you who pulled off my 5-foot-long trailing stocking cap??)



Oh! Look who I found entering stage right out of the theater pillars, Hamlet's ghost! Oh, no it's Don. Phew. We managed to leave without purchasing this set (didn't see the price, but I'm guessing around $1500), or anything else, but we both left with fresh inspiration for designing the farm wedding.



I leave you with sexy Petula Clark singing "Downtown" in 1964. From this awesome video I'm pretty sure of two things: 1) The male dancers are wearing pompons on their shoes; and 2) Mike Myers studied this video for his Austin Powers choreography. If you miss the first couple of seconds, please rewind and start it again. But there will be more to come in the short two minutes.


65 comments:

kanmuri said...

The vases in the first picture resemble the ones they use on the Buddhist and Shinto altars.

amuse me said...

Oh, if only those fashions would come back -- I absolutely love the dress Petula Clark is wearing. If only . . . :) M

VioletSky said...

I do love a good dose of Petula Clark!! And those dancer have some pretty good swivel hip action going - I bet if any of them tried that now there'd be a few scary moments of displacement fear.

But, like you, I have almost exhausted myself of flea markets and yard sales. I am almost - almost - scared to go into an antique store like that one as I would come away so laden down.
So, when can we go? I have no will-power.

J.G. said...

I just love this song and her voice. And to think that this choreography was once the ultimate in hipness. Nostalgia is great!

And so is "junking"!

CottageGirl said...

What a great place to go browsing! You could probably walk around there for hours and not see everything! Fun to see old and new juxtaposed.

Petula Clark! Loved her and loved that song! Back in the day, we'd be in big groups walking from one friend's house to another singing that song! Carefree days ...

So maybe I'll see you there. We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares ... ah those where the days!

renaye said...

speaking of hunt, i have not hunt for my fav jewellery: earrings!

shicat said...

Ruth I have been to that store. HEy, we are in Lelanauu on Lake Leland Heaven on earth just bliss.

Kat said...

I was one of those who wore pompoms on my roller skates. I could outskate almost anyone my age. I loved it. Also loved that song and still sing it to myself today. I have way too much stuff too and nowhere to put it anymore, so I get that you don't have the drive for it anymore. I rarely stop at yard sales anymore. I guess you get enough.

Susan said...

Next on the vacation short list--Saugatuck, MI! It sounds delightful! Love the ghostly Don picture.

My girlfriends and I used to sing Downtown and My Love all the time. Love Petula! Have you ever seen her and Dean Martin together? She appeared on his show quite often and according to his daughter Deana, they had an affair and he was madly in love with her. Here are a couple of links of them singing together and it really shows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFV5g9JM-rQ&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smLXLIBRKjE

Lover of Life said...

LOL! I loved the guys dancing - no doubt Mike Myers studied that tape!(It appears I know every word to that song.)

This antique "shop/acre" looks like a treasure chest, for sure. I could spend a week there. I really loved the cups in the wire basket. Thanks for taking us along!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

What a wonderful shop and very Cape-y. I want to go shopping there.

ds said...

Wow! What a cool place! Love the photo of "ghost" Don...what would one do with pillars like that? (I thought of the pillars at Karnak?? but I'm weird, as you know)As for Miss Petula--how tame that dancing looks now--and how I loved that song. Thanks.

Loring Wirbel said...

I skated the rink all the time, Ruth, but never wore pom poms. Played hockey every now and then, but didn't enjoy getting beat up. Mostly just went around in circles, stealing caps. Did I steal yours? I dunno. I remember Herman's Hermits songs and Motown, and probably Pet Clark too!

Loring Wirbel said...

Oh! I forgot to mention! I just got the 10-inch vinyl record version of Paul Baribeau's "Grand Ledge," and there's a pen sketch of the baseball diamond and bridge inside...

Kim said...

Thank you for such an inspiring post...I am noting this location to scout out some unique treasures for our home. We will be in Saugatuck in July...Can't wait...

Judy said...

LMPO... I think that means laughing my pants off?... Loved those dancing guys!

shoreacres said...

I graduated from high school in 1964, and "downtown" was code for the world - the place where the lights were brighter, and the traffic noisier. We wanted to go there, and we loved this song - it was so optimistic and cheerful, and full of certainty that things were going to work out just fine.

Some things did work out, and some didn't. But I still love the song, and every time I hear it I want to go downtown all over again!

Oliag said...

Oh I loved Petula Clark and her unusual name... but I don't remember dancing like that! What a laugh!

I still love to go on the flea market hunt..but I rarely buy anymore... after 40 odd years of aquiring I'm ready to divest...

Annie said...

Love the blue and white cups. :-)

mystic rose said...

What a lovely post! I wonder where they get all these things from.

There's something about downtowns. I like them myself, especially in nice little towns and villages.

Barry said...

I've heard of Saugatuck but have never visited, even though it's not far from where we live. After checking out the link you gave, I think we need to put in on our list.

Moannie said...

That was a lovely outing, thank you. And Pet Clark is still going strong in her seventies.

Peter said...

Thanks for Petula!

Seeing and reading this and considering all previous posts, I can't stop imagining what the wedding will be like!

Arti said...

Ruth,

Thanks for all the images and memories you post has conjured up... Cape Cod (which I visited 12 years ago), the green serving platter (I was given one similar to that as a gift), Hamlet's ghost (?), and Petula Clark!! Your video clip reminds me of the movie Goodbye Mr. Chips. The 60's ... yes, I was there!

rauf said...

oh Ruth ! Petula Clark, the pictures and the post broke the dam and memories came flooding in. Wondering why the song is not in my iPAADU, so went after Petula Clark's downtown and Helen Reddy's Angie baby and Delta Dawn, no connection but i connected. i wonder why Arti is referring to Goodbye Mr. Chips, i am curious. The movie is etched on my mind, out came a sigh and a lump in my throat.

i think i picked up the term 'flea market from you Ruth, we call them junk shops, junk market. 'Moore Market' here in Chennai and 'Chor Bazaar' in Bombay. ( Chor is a thief, Chor bazaar is a market where stolen things are sold, the burglar sells his loot there ) Same story with Chennai's Moore Market. Old books, magazines LPs, all the junk in the world ( You could get pieces of Skylab or Apollo 13 ) Had a long 'relationship' bitter and sweet, many stories, i was friendly with some shop keepers, some hated me. Some would keep things for me, bits and pieces, small pictures of Beatles, Twiggy, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Dave Clark five, Rolling Stones. My last visit is a pleasant story. i think i told you.
Moore Market was a part of my life.
i sat and cried when it got burnt down. Many like me would have cried that night.

Ruth said...

Kanmuri - oh! I don't know if I've seen those before. Did you notice the mosaic-ed bowling pins behind them?

Ruth said...

Marion, it is quite a pretty dress, I love how it sparkles. She is such a doll. I've seen a few fashions similar to this in the last few years actually.

Pat said...

What great pictures! Thanks for sharing them with us. I love going to flea markets and garage sales. Just this past weekend my daughter and I hit the sales in the high heat and humidity. Unfortunately we didn't last too long, but found some great buys!

And Pet Clark? Love her! My all time favorite song of hers is, "Don't sleep in the subway". Thanks for the blast from the past.

Christina said...

I just adore waking around places like that. I wish I could find an old post office cabinet or library shelf, to put in my home. Maybe when I have more space.
xo

Ruth said...

Hahaha, Sanna, I am laughing at their hip displacement, poor things. Those shoulders too!

If you tell me when you're coming down, I'll make arrangements - maybe with Cathy and Susie too? And Marion if she wants. Seriously.

Ruth said...

J.G. - she really has an amazingly strong voice, doesn't she? Thank the Lord for movies!

Ruth said...

CottageGirl - Wiki says Tony Hatch wrote "Downtown" after his first visit to NYC, and he intended to have the Drifters sing it.

When this song hit with Clark singing, it introduced her to an American audience 20 years after she was on the scene in Europe.

Ruth said...

And do you design them too, Renaye, like you do clothes?

Ruth said...

Cathy, I want to be there, one of my favorite places on earth. The teal blue!

Ruth said...

Kat - so you were that blur that sped by me, cutting and ducking and skating backwards in weaves? A flash of pretty blue pompons?

Ruth said...

Oh you had some tasty bits, Susie. As much as I adored Dean Martin I wonder how I missed that?

Hey, I found one (one of yours wouldn't cut and past and maybe you sent it) but she's wearing the same outfit! Maybe it was the same show as my clip. :D

Susan said...

"If you tell me when you're coming down, I'll make arrangements - maybe with Cathy and Susie too? And Marion if she wants. Seriously."

Yeah, yeah, count me in! Let's do a bloggy get-together!

Ruth said...

L o L - I guarantee you would go nuts exploring this place.

I just laugh every time I watch this video.

Ruth said...

Mary - even if you don't make a purchase, I think you would be inspired.

Ruth said...

Ha, DS - you may be weird, and then so am I. I didn't think of Karnak, but I've been thinking about my parents today, and they visited those pillars and came home and showed us slides when I was in middle school. Cool.

Ruth said...

Loring - so I was right to be scared of the hockey end? I was afraid of my iceskate slipping under the rope and someone coming down on my head.

"Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughtuh." And I hope you'll take a pic of the pen sketch of the baseball diamond and post it.

Ruth said...

Kim - oh! Cool! This is on the edge of town on the Blue Star highway, before you turn toward downtown.

Ruth said...

Judy, they make me giggle every time - those shoulders and hips!

Ruth said...

Ah, Linda, so you are my sister Nancy's age. She was the twirling iceskater extraordinaire, backwards and forwards. She was a downtown girl too.

And wow, how life as changed, especially for her. So many lives lived.

I think I want to live downtown sometime in my life. Maybe Chicago.

Ruth said...

Dear Oliag - I love saying her name: PET-u-la.

I love how you ended that: "I'm ready to divest . . " what a great word.

Ruth said...

Annie - you could buy a set cheap. Maybe you could in Finland too though.

Ruth said...

Mystic - the buyers are good, I know because I like everything they buy. :) I think I would like that job. I went with a boss to market in Chicago once, for clothes, and boy did I love that.

Ruth said...

Barry - if you get there, maybe Don and I could meet you, I would love to meet you and Linda. But then again, you deserve a vacation all alone without any particular place to go or agenda. Saugatuck is nice for that.

Ruth said...

Is she, Moannie? I didn't know. What a lovely woman.

Ruth said...

Peter - me too! :)

Ruth said...

Ah, Arti - Goodbye Mr. Chips.

For a long time I thought the '70s were the end-all. But the '60s were really something in a strange way. What a difference in the first half to the second half!

Ruth said...

Oh hello, rauf, I'm so glad to see you after so long.

You could write a book about Moore Market. Such a sad ending though, I think it would break my heart.

Second hand shops are so much more of an adventure than first hand ones. You never know what will come in, where it's been, and the randomness of that is wonderful. And to bring to life something someone else had no more use for feels so good.

Maybe Arti will come back and tell us why she thought of Goodbye Mr. Chips.

Ruth said...

Pat, I will have to go find that song. I only knew this one and a couple others that I don't remember their names.

Oh, when we went to Amsterdam Sunday it was so very hot and I thought I'd dissolve. I wouldn't do that for any other store.

Ruth said...

Christina dear, walking around your blog is like that too - inspiring and lovely.

Ruth said...

All rightie then, Susie, after the wedding - maybe September-October - it's so pretty then.

VaNeSsA said...

Oooh, ooh! Can I just say that those teacups look like enchanted eggs in that wire basket? What a lovely image.

Ruth said...

VaNeSsA - yes, you're right, I hadn't seen it.

dutchbaby said...

With a name like Amsterdam Antiques, I'm guessing they are Dutch :)

The display of white vases reminds me of the display on the dining of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

I adore Petulia Clark; thanks for unearthing that video clip. She sings so beaautifully and effortlessly.

Bob Johnson said...

You like cool stuff Ruth, and thanks for taking me down memory lane with Pet, I so had a crush on her.

ps I see what you mean about the choreography,lol.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby - either that or they have been to Amsterdam a lot and love it.

You are right about the vases and that dining table display I loved!! I didn't think of it, but you see I was drawn to it again for a photo.

Petula Clark has everything needed for a great entertainer: looks, performance, appeal, the voice.

Ruth said...

I think I had a crush on her too, Bob, hehe.

California Girl said...

I loved Petula Clark. And, YEAH, I think you are right. Austin Powers! I just showed the vid to my husband. He agrees with you. Tooo funny.

Sandy said...

Great photos, I love the top one with the white vases...

Ruth said...

California Girl, I thought I'd die when I saw those guys dance. It felt surreal, looking back through the Austin Powers dance moves.

Ruth said...

Me too, Sandy, thank you.