Thursday, 25 April 2013

Boston and New York Part I

Over Easter break, I went for a short city trip with my lovely sister to Boston and New York. As we were only in each city for a few days, I didn't have time to properly scope out the most ethical or best vintage places to shop. I did keep my eyes wide open though, and here are some cool places I stumbled upon.

With Macklemore singing their praises, thrift shops have become rather famous. Located close to MIT and as old as I am, the Garment District is not exactly a thrift shop, but it certainly has that feel. The grungy store's tagline is to be an "alternative department store" and it certainly is huge! Lined up on rail after rail scores of vintage clothes from all decades and second-hand ware awaits the customers.

It can be somewhat overwhelming and you have to be in the mood to dig! My suggestion: don't go there at the end of a full day of sight-seeing or you'll stumble around, dazed by all the colour and diversity. If you've got your shopping mojo on full go, then this is a great place to find some amazing bargains.

The Garment District also takes in clothing, which is great for waste-management, and allows you to make a few bob from your old clothes. In real thrift shop manner, there is an area for buying clothes by the pound. Unheard of in the UK, this is quite common in America. You basically get a bag, fill it up with clothes that in piles all over the floor and pay by weight... It's hardcore... a bit too hardcore for my taste!

If you're more of a boutique-kind-of-gal then Charles Street in Beacon Hill is a great place to go. All red-brick gorgeousness the street is lined with artisan food merchants, cute boutiques and high-end vintage shops.

Artifaktori Vintage looked especially promising. The beautiful boutique sells eye-popping, colour-loving and pattern-mad vintage clothes that are bound to make you smile. Good News, you can buy their things online on their Etsy shop.

On the same street, there is also Crush Boutique. The cute basement boutique was co-founded by childhood friends Rebecca Penner and Laura Macris and sell well-established as well as up and coming designers. Prices are rather high but if you're looking for something unique and fresh, I'm sure this would be a good place to start.
Pic from here
One last place to mention on Charles Street is the Ruby Door. A paradise for any magpie, this tiny shop sells luxuriously hand-crafted jewelry. Many of the items are made in-house and owner Tracy Weiss reworks vintage pieces into exquisite modern pieces. If you're on a budget, you may want to skip this place, albeit you'll be tempted by all the glitzy gorgeousness. 

Pic from the Ruby Door

My last suggestion for any future Boston-visitors is to head to Newbury Street in Back Bay. Perhaps a little more mainstream than Charles Street, it is nevertheless a great place for sustainable shopping.

Me on Newbury street, note the fairy lights!

First of all, you can find Second Time Around (STA) here. By 'find' I mean, you literally can't miss it as there are numerous ones doted all over Newbury Street. This up-scale second-hand shop is a treasure trove for barely-worn designer clothes. All of the clothing sold here is carefully selected and in perfect condition.

For all the Cowboy-fashion lovers, a visit to Vintage Boots is a must. Tucked away in a basement on Newbury street, this quirky place specializes in vintage cowboy attire. You'll literally find anything here from cowboy boots, to belts and flannel shirts.

If you're the outdoorsy type or looking for a cool t-shirt for a male friend, then you should check out Life is Good a little further down Newbury Street. The local brand started out selling t-shirts and has expanded its range to include baby's clothing, backpacks and car tire covers. The aim of the brand is to spread optimism and it certainly makes me happy to hear that they donate 10% of all its net profits to children in need. 
After all she sight-seeing and shopping we were exhausted and in desperate need for some food and relaxation. Luckily, close by was Trident Booksellers & Cafe, where we got a tasty meal and well-deserved local beer. Selling quirky books, gifts by local designers, hipster trinkets and fair trade chocolate, the Trident is a great place to explore and you can easily lose an afternoon here.

Have you ever been to Boston, or do you maybe live there? Any other suggestions you'd like to share?

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