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Tuesday
Apr162013

Oh-me-oh-my-oh, I love to thrift Ohio! 

I have to say, Ohio-- you're pretty awesome.  I've seen lots of cool stuff there and met some really diverse people. 

First stop today was the Goodwill store in North Olmsted, where I met Lauren near the dressing rooms, sorting through some finds.  She runs a shop called Cattitude Vintage and she comes almost every day to find stuff for the store. Today she's found a cool western denim vest, some vintage men's tops, a handmade patchwork skirt and a cute polka dot dress. It's clear she has a whole process to this and she stays as long as necessary. After an initial run-through of the racks, she goes through her cart to further deduce the selections, checking for any alterations she can make herself to update each piece.  

"I do a little DIY," she said.  She has friends from New York that say they like the selection here much more, since it's less picked over, but she says stuff in Columbus is probably even better. "It seems to be untapped," she said.  

When people at her shop ask where she finds her selections, she has a very fitting response. "I like to say it finds me."

She disappears in a dressing room to try on a few things for herself and I take a look around.

Right of the bat I see some cute stuff myself, and before I know it I'm grabbing a cart to relieve my aching shoulders.

Oh no.

I've been pretty good this trip, only buying two skirts (they had pockets, so it's practically required that I buy them) when I was in the south and feeling like a sloth comparing myself against all those gorgeously dressed southern gals.

Then I see a Shake-Weight and it's all over. It's the Thighmaster of the 21st century. I've secretly wanted one for a long while, probably just for the coffee table conversation piece it will inevitably become. Or maybe it'll go in Ed's Saddest Man Cave. But hey-- I'm on a loooooong road trip here, and I could use some exercise- of any kind. Why not?

In it went.

Back in the car, I set my sights on a Cleveland eatery that will give me some road energy.  The first person to answer my Facebook call out for recs is Chris, whose tastebuds I know won't let me down.  I arrived at Melt ready for a meal-- but boy, did I get A MEAL! Today's specials are something called a Corny Beast and Fried Twinkies.

I'm in trouble- again.  

The coolest part is that their menus are glued to the backs of old record album covers-- I'm ordering today off of Barbara Streisand!

A thrifty restaurant! I can get behind that!

I decide on a Smokey Russian, but when it arrives I see there's clearly no way I can even get my face around that sandwich to even attempt to eat it. Not to mention the landfill-sized mound of fries and slaw on the side. They just don't serve stuff like this back home.

I could hardly make a dent in that plate of melted cheesy goodness, but it's probably for the best. If I had, I probably wouldn't be eating for the next of the week! 

Back in the car, I call a few spots in Euclid, none of whom answer the phone, but all of which should be open according to their voicemail messages.  

 

I decide to take a trip down to show my face, figuring they were probalby just away from the phone.

The GPS takes me through all kinds of areas of Cleveland-- Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, South Collinwood-- I get to Euclid feeling like I've seen about all the city has to show me. 

I'd hoped to check out This That & Other Things Thrift Store, but alas, they were actually closed.  I popped out to take a closer look at least and snap a few photos.

The "cold beer" sign in the window was interesting- and perhaps a reason they aren't open?

With time ticking away and Pittsburgh not getting any closer, I decide to hit the road.  I have to say, this trip I'm seeing a lot fewer Twilight t-shirts. And thank goodness! If I had a nickel for every one of those I saw on the last trip in 2011, I would've been changing my name to Trump long ago.

There are two questions I often get asked wherever I go, so I thought I'd answer them here for the curious.  

What do I look for? I usually look for people to talk to when I go into a store, and if I don't see anyone that seems affable to being talked to/photographed, I stick around and check out the t-shirts first. T-shirts are the best place to learn about a community because what we wear on our chests says a lot about a place. Also, knick-knacks are a good place, as well as wall art, dresses (I look for handmade stuff, which usually appears here) and finally toys and furniture. I try to talk to one or two people in each store before I leave and I usually spend 1-2 hours in each place.

Do I buy anything? I've been to a loooooot of thrift stores at this point, so it takes something pretty amazing for me to make a purchase these days. Unless it's a skirt with pockets, which are pretty much the best garment ever. 

That project is a crazy idea. Am I crazy? Yes. Yes I absolutely am. 

 

Tonight I'm just outside Pittsburgh with a few stores lined up to check out tomorrow, hopefully getting to Scranton tomorrow night, but I have a feeling that long drive might need to be broken up with an extra night. At close to 300 miles, I'm afriaid I'd arrive in Scranton a little too fried.

Check back tomorrow for some Keystone State thrifty goodness, but for now, check out Pittsburgh Dad

Until then, Keep Calm and Thrift On! 

 

 

 

 

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