is new again."
A new year...2011 was not my favorite having lost my best friend to the big "C", but life goes on...and so, as Alexander Pope wrote in his "Essay on Man": "Hope springs eternal in the human breast."
I like the lyrics I opened with. For some reason, things old have been taking a back seat to the newly made in China stuff, and I think it is about time to reconsider old...antique...not necessarily the museum antique, but just those things that have been loved for decades. The traditional "antique" shops have been closing or changing their names so as not to turn off the younger consumer, but perhaps it is time to discuss the value of things that have been shunned by the microwave diswasher safe, throw-it-out when I am tired of it, bargain seeker.
Every day I see more and more people with their faces in their 2 X 4 boxes...this New Yorker cartoon is indicative of the new world...Maybe this year could be one where people not only think outside the box but also look up from the box. I was reading a review in the NY Times the other day about the revival of restaurants in the department stores in New York City. Shopping used to be an event...a day to get together with some friends...have some lunch...some tea...talk...shop...enjoy each other's company. And, there was no "App" for that!
I look at things I am unpacking to put in the shop. Consider these syrups/honey pots (more on these in a future blog)...can you imagine having one of them on your breakfast table with maple syrup or honey...beats this...and, since buying is so good these days, no need to price it in the stratosphere. That is another issue...younger buyers think antique=expensive. Yes, in some shops where the dealers are happy to have things become still life pictures or where their market is the high end decorator...perhaps...but sometimes the antique is actually cheaper than the made in China. Take furniture, for example...older furniture is made from real wood not some exotic rain forest wood or pressed sawdust. And...you don't need every piece to be old...just one neat old table or chest will ground a room.
Perhaps if each one of us who loves to repurpose, reuse, recycle would show someone who does a scrunch face when someone says antique, we could bring over converts to the "everything old is new again" mentality. I know I try to have my shop been one of those places...reasonably priced...smells good...escape golightly...not only have we been McDonald-lized in restaurant dining, but we have also been Walmartized by shelves and stark lighting. A day roaming in and out of small shops...or even a day in a big city in the big old department stores (what is left of those)...a nice lunch or afternoon tea...because as the song goes:
"Don't throw the past away
You might need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When ev'ry thing old is new again..."
Happy New Year to my faithful readers!