Monday, June 2, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Update, Part 5: Antiquing It


A knock on the door wakes us up. "Housekeeping."

Larry answers the door and tells the woman to come back, which she initially takes as "don't come back," forcing Larry to correct.

"No, come back in one hour."

"Anything to get out of it," he says as he heads to the bathroom.

Click "Read More" to continue.

We have breakfast at Full Moon again, and as we pull out of our parking spot, I think about pulling the branch from the nearby oversized flowering plant in the car, closing the door, then driving off. The two of us together would be like Bonnie and Clyde, but funnier and less likely to kill you. Maybe.

Back at the flea market, we see that, although there are more vendors today, there's really nothing to buy. One truck is parked at the edge of the lot, flanked by an assortment of broken furntiture: ripped seats, missing armrests, missing legs, etc. It's a very strange collection: unless you're looking for props for a movie that takes place after an earthquake.

We leave the flea market, but not without incident. A Mercedes SUV is blocking the exit, and the driver waiting for two ladies to get in. Larry stops and waits for them to get in and leave. When one of them pops open the rear hatch and takes forever to load her bags, Larry has had enough.

"No good deed goes unpunished," he says as he squeezes the car past them and stomps the gas, sending a cloud of dust into the air as we speed down the road. We quickly pull into the parking lot of an antique store. I hope the people in the Mercedes don't spot our dusty getaway car, as it is the only one in the lot.

We head for a place called the Trading Post, a massive, multi-building antique/garden supply store in which we expect to find lots of cute and whimsical antiques for our new deck to get the neighbors jealous.

The only interesting thing we find is that the store is half the size it used to be, thanks to last month's massive fire that destroyed the second building and almost took out the main house as well. A woman missing most of her teeth lazily sweeps up small bits of glass and gravel, using what looks like a flattened coffee can at the end of a broomstick. Maybe they lost their broom in the fire as well.

While she hopes that they can rebuild, we hope that she might be able to use some of the insurance money to buy some teeth.

I nag Larry into driving back into the center of town to browse at the big Art Deco antiques store. This is so that I may drool over expensive Art Deco antiques that I will never be able to afford.

Fact: When in New Hope, you should avoid the center of town at 1:30 p.m. on Sundays. Parking will be rare, and the person driving will quickly snap at you for doing this "to them."

"Fucking tourists eating ice cream," mumbles Larry as we slowly crawl through the crowded streets.

"Assholes," I growl in agreement.

Defeated, Larry steers the car down what looks to be a deserted side street. Luckily, it turns out the to be the service road for a massive shopping mall - with plenty of parking. Even though it's a hike back to where the antique store is, I tell Larry that we could use the exercise as a cover for my glee at being able to window shop.

On the way out of the mall, we see a furniture store having a Going out of Business sale. After just 30 seconds in, I can understand why.

"Who the hell pays $50 for a candle?" I ask Larry on the way out.

The owner of the sacred Art Deco store is taking a break and sitting outside. Larry stays outside and smokes a cigarrette. The store takes me back to a time before I was born. Everything is sleek and beautiful. And fucking expensive. Even the smallest item is out of my limit.

Larry comes in to find me and drag me out. I dig my heels in the floor so that I can see how much that pair of wall sconces costs. Four thousand dollars - each. I doubt I could afford the light bulbs for them.

At Starbucks, we order two Mocha Frappuchinos - something we would never splurge on in New York. As we stroll back to the parking lot, we realize that we have become the tourists we were cursing at earlier.

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