Saturday, September 29, 2007

Grand Addictions

It's 10 minutes into fall and all I can think about is food. Chili and apple cider and pumpkin anything - you know, comfort food.
Well, today Fall has really hit St.Paul hard. It's raining and blustery. In an attempt to avoid baking or cooking or eating or binging or chewing my nails to the quick, I took a little trip out of the house. Yes. I should have walked. But it's wet. So I hopped in the suburban gold mini-van, and drove one block to the antique shop.

OK, antique shop is generous. It's just a stinky old store front full of old crap. It's the stuff that's left at the end of a 3 day rummage sale. The stuff that you can't even give away on the curb with a big FREE sign taped to it.

I kind of like this little shop of weird, crappy junk.

I have a relationship with this place.

A long, torrid relationship.

It's not really my fault, anyway. Who could shun the affections of a place called Grand Addictions?

You see, it used to be a vintage clothing store. A really, cool, funky vintage clothing store. Sometimes, as a young girl, I would stay with my aunt and uncle in St.Paul. I would save my money for weeks just so that I could shop at this store. I'd walk the 5 or so blocks from their house to this funky, hip store and I'd come home with my arms full of wool gabardine Hollywood waisted trousers like Katherine Hepburn and hand beaded cashmere cardigans like Donna Reed and impossibly tall red patent leather stilettos like Betty Page.

Now, I know that this doesn't sound like any big deal to the rational mind. Let me set the scene a little better:
I grew up in redneckville on the frozen lakes of Northern Minnesota. We had a JCPenney's and a Sears. K-Mart came MUCH later. Wal-Mart moved in 2 years ago. It's basically the end of the world and it's frozen.

So are the fashion views of most of it's residents.

I, on the other hand, led the life of a jet set child, if only in my mind. My father was a musician and my mother was one of the smarty-pants literary set. To try to fit into this life-style and escape my closed-minded neighbors, I read Vogue Magazine.

I was 12 years old, and I honestly thought the clothing those exotic women wore was wonderful. I was certain that this is what everyone who did NOT live in my stupid town wore. I saw myself on the glossy pages of that wonderful magazine.

Of course, most normal people know that Vogue magazine is a brash exaggeration of all things fashion and couture.

I took it to be my fashion Bible.

Therefor, upon returning to the Frozen Home of the North, I pulled all of my new/old clothing out of the crumpled paper store bag, and I proudly recreated my wardrobe. I know that I shouldn't brag, but I had it going on! I wore my Hollywood waisted trousers with a sparkling tube top and tiger sneakers. I wore my precious, little, hand beaded cashmere cardigan over my buffalo plaid wool shirt and denim gouchos with my striped toe socks and jazzy platformed sandals. I wore my red patent leather stilettos with my electric green cigarette legged jeans and my father's cardigan buttoned up the back, my hair teased up high.

I was gorgeous. And I was in 7th grade.

I wish that Grand Addictions still had vintage clothing.

They do not.

There are only piles and piles and piles of unwanted junk in a dusty old store that is run, coincidentally, by the same crazy vintage store lady who wears sunglasses inside and sits on a tilted folding chair with her startlingly skinny legs wrapped around each other. Old stuff that might never again see the sunlight outside of this store.

Instead. I bought this.

Now, I'm thinking about food. Again.



Nonna said...

AB - I love reading your blog - you write so wonderfully!

Now - having grown up in that frozen tundra with you I can tell you that I always thought you, and your Aunt, were the coolest of the cool when it came to being hip. Remember...I never had any exotic relatives from anywhere - they were all from Pittsburgh!

kalurah said...

HA! I had to laugh out loud when I got to the very end of your post and saw what you ended up buying!'s haaaaaunting yooooouuuuu.... ;)

Galadriel Thompson said...

I think about food too! I always cook up a batch of apple fritters or donut holes accompanied with mugs of hot chocolate when the fall arrives.

I also wore those Hepburn trousers. I wore them when I was 19. I even had little fur trimmed cropped jackets to go with them. I felt fabulous. Now all I wear is t-shirts, jeans, flats or black All Stars, and an apron. Ah, those were the days.

Happy fall baby doll!

by Johanna Brandvik said...

I would love to visit any thrift store with you the next time I visit! What a great cookbook. I also love to imagine you in Bemidgi wearing all of your fabulous frocks...sans the "Beaver Hair-Do"?! I never did find out just what that hair cut looked like, but growing up in Blooming Prairie I can imagine!

Rose said...

You should get a copy of Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking". You'll love it!

angelawd said...

Mmm, fall has come to Chicagoland too, and it has me thinking of kettles of soups and spiced cider.

Wish I had the courage to wear more of those unique styles! Someday.

Tiffany said...

and caramel apples?

My husband has to ground me from store of the like of this one.

There is one in my home appropriately named Pack Rats. Junk, I tell you. I always come with a couple bags full though.

I think we need to see some pics of your stellar tween wardrobe.

Bethany said...

Why oh why didn't you call me??

I've been meaning to get out one of these days and do some serious junk shopping..