Vintage Schmintage

A few weeks ago, The Girl and I attended The Vintage Bazaar‘s pop-up in a Pilsen warehouse space. I had been following BackGarage with interest since it was posted a few years ago on Reddit Chicago. I really wanted to like the pop-up, but I found it “meh.” My most interesting purchase was 6 vintage buttons from a 70s deadstock vendor. (My only other purchase was a vegan s’mores brownie from Bleeding Heart Bakery.)  Otherwise, the pop-up was a nice stroll through the visual reminders of my early years, but really, the early 1970s were pretty horrible design-wise: I’ll leave the avocado green, mustard yellow and basic brown dishware sets to someone far removed from the era — like the hipsterish couples who were waiting for the bus to take them back to Uki Village.

I think that for me, part of the thrill of vintage is the thrill of the hunt. And while some vendors at the pop-up had some gorgeous mid-century modern pieces, a lot of them just had a lot of junk. Old chairs covered in layers of peeling paint, Samsonite leatherette suitcases, an old Mason jar full of marbles, stained linen pillowcases and other pieces of crap. It was not unlike digging through the bins at the Salvation Army or an estate sale at an Indiana farmhouse. The difference being that the S.A. is cheaper and the Indiana farmhouse offers the opportunity to use my imagination about what that family might have hung on their handmade hat tree (which now, for a mere $5, graces my entryway).

There were a handful of tastefully and sparsely displayed booths featuring mid-century modern furnishings.  It’s a look that is appealing to me–living in a 1400 SF Chicago foursquare has deepened the appeal of mid-century modern with its box-on-legs look and hide-the-electronics functionality. But, for all the appeal of artfully displayed 1960s glassware, I prefer my decorating touches to come in the form of Wii remotes and contemporary Matchbox cars. 

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