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Entries in scranton (1)


Thrifting is Scrantastic!

I woke up to a storm front encroaching on my hotel window and had to convince myself to get out of bed. Being on the road is hard, especially since I'm really missing my furry four-legged alarm clock.  

Heading out to my first stop, I hit standstill traffic right at the bottom of the on-ramp toward Scranton.  It took me about an hour to go 3 miles. 

Deep breath.

And then it started raining.

Second deep breath.

But pulling up --finally-- to the Goodwill store off of Keyser Avenue in Scranton immediately lifted my spirits. Once inside I head immediately to t-shirts, red ones. It seems the red ones have been holding the real treasures lately.

After pulling back two or three, I stumble onto the most fantastic, or should I say SCRANTASTIC t-shirt I've seen! In my cart it goes-- even if it is a small. This is too awesome. Someone will want this. (Hello, Chelsea!) It must come home with me.

A few more down and I spot an "I (liberty bell) PA" shirt that's equally fantastic. It goes in, too.

Scranton! You're on a roll!  

I decide to see if the men's t-shirts can offer up any equally awesome finds. Sure enough, in the section of grays, I find one that says "Ain't No Party Like A Scranton Party." 

That's so money! 

I look down the aisle and meet J.P., a Scranton native who is here on his day off, deciding to pop in for a quick look-through after dropping off his dry cleaning.

He says he's been shopping here for years, and even has shirts he still wears that he bought here 12 years ago. He's looking for suits and vests here today.

"I like dressing up and the cheaper the better!" he says.


J.P.While the stuff here is good, he says there's some stores in the Poconos that are pretty awesome as well.

I decide to head back to knick knacks by way of dresses, where I find both handmade and vintage selections. TWO BONUS POINTS! This place is a hot bed of awesome.

In the back corner, thumbing through the records, I meet Dave, who greets me with, "You like taking photos?" I'm sure the Nikon beast on my shoulder gave that away.  He says he likes to come in and look at the music selection available. Not only are there CDs and records, but also tapes AND 8-tracks! Holy media time capsule, Batman!

He says he'll get records and even some tapes, but won't go for the 8-tracks, mostly because he doesn't have a player anymore. He comes in a few times a week after work.

He says Scranton has changed a lot in the last 30 years, with New Yorkers and other city-dwellers moving in and making it a little higher-paced place to live.  

DaveHe looks through the records like he's going back in time. "The 1980's were like my 1960's, you know? They were my best years. I graduated high school in 1985."

I ask him how long he's been shopping here and he greets me with a very smile and priceless answer. "When I started not having much money!"


I take a lunch suggestion from J.P. and head down to Thai Thai for lunch, where I spot "Pad Macaroni" on the menu.

Oh, Scranton. You had me at hello

One skill I've gotten really good at on my lunch breaks during this trip is Instagramming/emailing with my left hand while eating lunch with my right.

Sure the other patrons might stare in horror, but I'm a) getting a lot done and b) probably going to be ambidextrous by the end of this trip. I take that as a win-win.

I hit the road again with my sights set on Kingston, NY, where I see a thrift store on Google Maps.

It rains.

I drink too much soda.

I make too many pitstops.

The usual.

I get into Kingston and navigate to my "thrift store" which turns out-- sadly-- to be more of an antique store in disguise.

It's actually a lot harder than you might think to spot what I think of as a true thrift store. When you type "thrift" into Google Maps, it brings up anything from real thrift stores, to consignment to antiques-- even second day old bread stores and AMERICAN APPAREL stores for some reason.

WHY? As though I needed another reason to avoid that place and all its size 2 leotards and leggings, this annoying little reason is yet another. 

With nightfall coming quick, I cut my losses and head back to the interstate a bit sad but anxious to get into Troy for the night, where I'll hit a Goodwill store in the morning.  

The road through Albany is right along the Hudson-- and for this river girl, it's a sight for sore eyes. I've never been through this area of New York before but I've always wonered what the Hudson River Valley might look like.

I managed to find a decent, but sorta pricey, place to stay tonight in downtown Troy. The strange stains on the carpet that trail toward the bathroom and intermittent banging coming from the room below mine are somewhat concerning, but at least the bed is soft and the wifi is somewhat reliable. 

Tomorrow-- Troy and upstate!