The value of a good cup should not be underestimated. When one is pressed by financial, spacial and motivational constraints, the thick-rimmed, chipped mug at the back of the cupboard becomes the Swiss Army knife of life. It’s a wine glass when I’m broke, a pencil jar when I’m tight on space and a cereal bowl when I’m too lazy to scrub the mutated Cheerios off the bowls in the sink. What this all makes the classic thermos, I don’t quite know. I truthfully only bought the one pictured above for aesthetic reasons at a church yard sale a week ago. Made in 1974, its geometric blue pattern is typical of most Thermos brand thermoses of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s and like each one made since the brand’s launch in 1904, it holds the ability to maintain the temperatures of both cold and hot beverages for an extended length of time. Using magic, I think. Below are other thermoses that I don’t understand but want to possess so I can fill them with spiked apple cider or flowers or ramen noodles.
When it comes to haggling at flea markets, I crumble more easily than the binding of a 19th century paperback. My technique is as follows: inquire about the cost of an item, ask if it maybe, possibly, if it isn’t too much to ask, be given to me for 10 percent less than established price, get rejected, walk away. Well, actually, take photos of the desired items instead and then walk away. That’s what happened Saturday at the beautiful, enchanting South Street Flea Market, which offered boxes upon boxes of rusty skeleton keys, forgotten and yellowed love letters, dusty records and innumerable other objects that make most passersby scoff, “Who the hell would pay for this junk?” To whom I silently respond, “Aaaannnddddd, that would be me.” I left the block with a bulky microscope and a set of vintage tool drawers. Here are photos of the things my charming negotiating skills failed to win. Continue reading
It really wouldn’t have created an irrational fear if it didn’t just fall out of the sky like an unavoidable meteorite. If 8-year-old you was finally starting to believe your parents’ camping advice that “It’s more afraid of you than you are of it” (“it” being bugs) and a caterpillar the size of a Twinkie fell from above and landed on your journal, you too would develop a slight phobia. So, after a childhood filled with delightful camping trips across the Eastern seaboard, I have become a woman torn between a love of the outdoors and a loathing of its smallest inhabitants. This week I have more intensely felt the desire to roll out a cobalt tarp, take midnight strolls by lantern light and feel the thrill that is watching your s’mores marshmallow spontaneously go up in flames (in a Smokey-approved way). Bugs and work are keeping me tied to the city for now, so I’ll try to bring the outdoors in with these camping-inspired home goods.