The Aunt-iques Diva

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 80px; line-height: 70px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Nope that’s NOT a misspelling – today I’m the Aunt-iques Diva!  You might have noticed I’ve been behind on blogging – not doing my normal 2 or 3 times per week postings.  That’s because I’ve been on holiday, taking a gloriously long month in the USA to see my family and friends over Christmas and New Years.   I set aside my Antiques Diva® hat to spend some time with nieces and nephew, being The Aunt-iques Diva! Of course, you can’t take the Antiques out of my name.  I may have been stateside home on the range instead of shopping the flea markets of Europe as I normally do, but I still took my nieces & nephew out aunt-iquing.   

What did we find? A slew of vintage clothes!

My niece Tessa with the pink hair looked so adorable in this green frock that I had to buy it for her – meanwhile I was sort of smitten with the pink hat on me!

Lizzy looked adorable in red – especially with that herringbone jacket!

Kyrra found an elegant gown for her upcoming trip to visit me in Europe this summer – we’re already planning where we’ll go so she can wear this dress in true diva style!

Of course sometimes you can’t decide what to buy!!!  I also bought Kyrra a gorgeous red gown!

Though she decided to pass up on this poodle skirt wondering if she’d actually wear it or if it would merely be a costume?

Even my dad and nephew got in on the action!  Dad loved the architectural salvage store I took him to while my nephew Gabriel picked up a handful of Hank Williams records – the perfect present for a budding musician who has just released his first CD! 

After the holidays, I’m now back home in Europe with a wonderful winter agenda with The Antiques Diva® & Co.

Yours,
The Aunt-iques Diva

Last Minute Diva: New TV Show!! Tue, Nov 9 – Auction Hunters

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 266px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TNhQdaSvMRI/AAAAAAAAFOE/soAZPTVolbU/s400/Auction_Hunters_0219_large.jpg” border=”0″ />The Los Angeles Times say’s Spike TV’s new series Auction Hunters
“should satisfy fans of the Antiques Roadshow”
Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Clients are always asking me for advice on where to find bargains on antiques and great vintage finds. From flea markets to auctions, estate and garage sales, clients want to know where the experts go to scoop great treasures. Enter experts Clinton “Ton” Jones and Allen Haff – Television’s newest “Odd Couple” with their new TV Show “Auction Hunters” Premiering in America Tuesday, November 9th at 10pm/9C on Spike.

to 10px; WIDTH: 160px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 120px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TNhQc2yF0yI/AAAAAAAAFN8/ruX8v4ZUgZM/s400/auction+hunters+logo.jpg” border=”0″ />Every day in America, there are over ten thousand abandoned storage units that are put up for public auction. You saw what happened when Paris Hilton and Whitney Houston’s storage units were auctioned off – and as you can imagine each abandoned storage unit has the potential to be a goldmine or a bust for those who make their living hunting unclaimed property.

to 10px; WIDTH: 266px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TNhQcJ99h2I/AAAAAAAAFN0/VfSDNqGGs_E/s400/auction+hunters.jpg” border=”0″ />In this upcoming series you can follow two of the best prospectors in the business, Clinton “Ton” Jones and Allen Haff, in their quest to win auctions, acquire treasure and sell it for profit. You’ll watch as they consult experts and see how they establish value and scour the antique and collectible markets in search of buyers. They’re only allowed a brief glimpse into the unit before each fast-paced auction begins, but once the auction is won, the story and true monetary worth of the unit emerges as Haff, a second generation antiques dealers and Jones, a gun, knife, sword and military paraphernalia expert begin “the dig” sorting thru the contents assessing everything within the unit.
The Los Angeles Times writes of the new show, “The likeable duo exudes the enthusiasm of boys on a scavenger hunt. In a genre filled with hard-luckers and hucksters, “Auction Hunters” is refreshing, a no-nonsense, no-drama half-hour that should satisfy fans of “The Antiques Roadshow.”
To whet your antiques appetite, watch the Auction Hunter’s Trailer:

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Diva Readers – Tune In to Auction Hunters – Tuesday, November 9th at 10PM/9C on SPIKE! Now that’s what I call “Must See TV”!

The Antiques Diva™

The Urban Market Houston – USA EDITION

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 266px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SuW8W2V_BaI/AAAAAAAADq4/CZgeLOYnarQ/s400/urbanmarket2.jpg” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>If you’re anywhere near Texas this November 8th, you need to high-tail it to Houston!!! On Sunday, November 8th 2009 you’re invited to the ton.com/home” target=”_blank”>Extraordinary Urban Market in Houston!

to 10px; WIDTH: 226px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 185px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SuW85nAIi6I/AAAAAAAADrY/PUFC4evJQLE/s400/urbanmarket6.jpg” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 266px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SuW8WsP8_vI/AAAAAAAADqw/y5OqYkp-Q_M/s400/urbanmarket.jpg” border=”0″ />Going into its fifth year, The Urban Market Houston has become THE TEXAN event for dealers as well as bargain hunters who are looking to spend a day outdoors looking through tents filled with incredible antiques and treasures! The ever-charming Jackie Sharbrough has organized an amazing assembly of antique dealers for each of the three Urban Markets throughout the year. The dealers come from all over the USA and each has their own specialty with merchandise to die for. The market has the feel of a Paris flea market – Texan Style – with the tents and big wide grassy walkways.

to 10px; WIDTH: 266px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SuW8XZSMYBI/AAAAAAAADrQ/92Gxqp89RPg/s400/urbanmarket5.jpg” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 266px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SuW8XI4cjII/AAAAAAAADrA/3iAQmP8rtqU/s400/UrbanMarket3.jpg” border=”0″ />You’ll want to sign up to join The Urban Market’s mailing list as this event is held 3 times a year and you’ll want to stay in the loop to learn when the next event will be held! Each February, May, and November vendors have one day – and one day only – to move all sorts of interesting objects, antiques, artwork, designer & decorators collections! A walk through the ton.com/the_antique_dealers” target=”_blank”>dealers list guarantees that this is a high-end, Houston-styled flea market, and I’m certain you won’t be disappointed! Some of the vendors have shopped throughout Europe for years and each stall is guaranteed to be filled with oodles of antique home and garden items! Food lovers will not be disappointed with the terrific variety and selection of sandwiches, salads, cheeses, oven-fresh breads, sweets, Katz’s iced coffee, and even Pimento Cheese Spread. The Urban Market Houston has become an all-day event with “early birds” lined up looking for the booth number of their favorite vendors. The gate is $5 – children get in free.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 266px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SuW853d9gGI/AAAAAAAADrg/yjTH5JGGn6g/s400/urbanmarket7.jpg” border=”0″ />So, put the date on your calendar, call a friend and sneak out early Sunday morning, November 8th. For ton.com/map___contact_information” target=”_blank”>map & contact information, see website.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 120px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SuW85yfaj3I/AAAAAAAADro/V2xyKlLJrsY/s400/urbanmarketcountryliving.jpg” border=”0″ />Clipping from Country Living Sept 2007

All photography by Julie Landreth courtesy of Urban Market’s webpage.

Until Next Time, Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva™

Find of the Day!

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Wouldn’t this garden wagon be sensational as a funky coffee table?
Imagine the rustic as home décor!

Last Minute Diva – USA EDITION – Hunt Slonem Auction

to 10px; WIDTH: 382px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/St3iVbgC9MI/AAAAAAAADqY/N86zxtygWZ0/s400/Slonem+-+Edgewood+Terracejpg.jpg” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>On Saturday, October 24th, Stair Galleries (in Hudson, NY) will host a single auction of the Hunt Slonem Collection from Edgewood Terrace. In case you aren’t familiar, Hunt Slonem is a New York artist known for his exotic, vibrantly colored, neo-expressionist paintings and incredible collection of 19th Century gothic revival furniture which has filled his home – the historic Cordts mansion in Kingston, NY – for the past eight years. Hunt has had over 150 solo exhibitions and over 75 museums include his work in their collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. He is adored by celebrity collectors including Sharon Stone, Gina Gershon, Brooke Shields, Julianne Moore, Mandy Moore, Kate Hudson and J.Lo to name a few.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 265px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/St3iUJnGYxI/AAAAAAAADqI/0TWcgpmSIcI/s400/Hunt+Slonem+2.jpg” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 297px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/St3iTqjkzeI/AAAAAAAADqA/3yipoaFtSeM/s400/Hunt+Slonem.jpg” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 343px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 368px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/St3iUxOH1hI/AAAAAAAADqQ/voewx5ZSXvo/s400/image004.jpg” border=”0″ />This rare sale, sparked by the artist’s decision to focus his attention on his two plantation homes in Louisiana, will include the entire contents of his massive Gothic Mansion in Kingtson, a vast collection of Gothic revival furniture, decorative arts and fine arts as well as a number of 20th-century paintings, prints and photographs including a few works by Francesco Clemente, Rainer Fetting, Adam Fuss, Alex Katz, David LaChapelle and Christopher Makos.

to 10px; WIDTH: 329px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/St3iTISIP8I/AAAAAAAADp4/c_W-gGHTA5w/s400/1164.jpg” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 322px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/St3iqaCIqpI/AAAAAAAADqg/TVKQSbr5uiw/s400/Lot+476.jpg” border=”0″ />All prices range from just $50 – up to $20,000, a rare opportunity to own something from the artist’s personal collection!

Who: Stair Galleries

When: Saturday, October 24, 11:00 a.m.

Where: Stair Galleries
549 Warren Street
Hudson, NY 12534

* Bidding is available in-person, online (online bidding available here), by phone, and by absentee bid

Phone: 518.751.1000

* Phone bidding must be arranged by 5pm, Friday, Oct. 23

Going, Going, Gone!

The Antiques Diva™

USA Edition – Chicago’s Randolph Street Market Summer 2009 Dates

to 10px; WIDTH: 213px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SemSewkor2I/AAAAAAAAC6Q/Z2n3-N8fY-A/s320/randolph+street+markt.jpg” border=”0″ />The 2009 Chicago Antique Market / Randolph Street Market opens Memorial Day Weekend!!

When? 2009 Market Dates include:

  • May 23-24
  • June 27-28
  • July 25-26
  • Aug 29-30
  • Sept 26-27

Where? Chicago’s 1350 block of West Randolph Street and inside historic Plumbers Hall

What? The Randolph Street Market website reads: “Experience the most exciting array of vintage and modern decorative objects, home furnishings, art, fashion and jewelry ever assembled in downtown Chicago! The Randolph Street Market Festival is home to the world-renowned Chicago Antique Market and Indie Designer Market & the favorite destination for merchandisers, decorators, fashionistas and style setters from around the globe. This European-style indoor-outdoor market in the historic West Loop neighborhood features 200 select purveyors of high quality, beautifully-priced “finds” offering unlimited creative inspiration and hours of fun. As featured in Travel & Leisure, Lucky Magazine and NY Times.” (not to mention in The Antiques Diva™ Blog)

Hours? Saturdays: 10-5 Sundays: 10-4

What if it rains? The fair must go on… shop indoors and out, rain or shine!

USA Edition Guest Blog – La Reine’s Day Trip to Litchfield County, CT

La Reine is back with another exciting Guest Blog for Antiques Diva Readers!!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SdOvbLqpEKI/AAAAAAAAC08/3kW4fRWX8P8/s400/la+reine.jpg” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>In early March, the sun peeked out of the NYC clouds, the temperatures skyrocketed to nearly 60, and The Big Guy and I decided the open roads beckoned and it was time for a day trip. Our former home in nearby Litchfield County, CT, is only about 90 miles northeast of our home in NYC, in the northwest corner of Connecticut, and since it had been nearly 15 years since we’d returned, we decided to take a little walk down memory lane combined with a little antiquing, lunching and shopping.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SdOvqwu1FoI/AAAAAAAAC1U/fRZYkEeqLpA/s320/LitchfieldCounty_Spring%2520Trees_Large.jpg” border=”0″ />Litchfield County is known for its rolling hills, picturesque Revolutionary-era villages, prep schools, horse farms, and of course, antiquing. For 3 years we lived halfway between Litchfield and Woodbury, two villages known for their shopping and antiquing. We drove up I-95, crossed over to I-84, and found our way to route 6, where we slowly cruised through the countryside and enjoyed the melting snow and barren trees, watching winter slowly dissipate. After the obligatory stop in front of our former Victorian-style home, we took photos to text to our kids, pointing out how few changes the present owners had made.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 212px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SdOvgico4AI/AAAAAAAAC1E/u7aUiQV4iSU/s320/la+reine+conneticut.jpg” border=”0″ />Then onto Litchfield, where we had spent many weekend afternoons browsing, shopping and lunching, often after an afternoon cross-country skiing in the nearby White Memorial Park. As we were only there for the day, we decided to limit our Litchfield excursion to West Street on The Green, the “main drag” or town center of this charming town. Our first stop was Les Plaisirs de la Maison, a French-Country antiques store which conveniently had a parking spot directly in front. While I was investigating the dishware and tabletop accessories, TBG was checking the framed maps of France, looking for maps that included our favorite holiday spot, Corsica (often missing from old French maps as it went back and forth between France and Italy). Despite the 20% off all inventory promotions in effect, we didn’t find anything we desperately needed or wanted, although if I go back, a magnifying lens in the shape of a fleur-de-lys was intriguing. However, we enjoyed watching another couple trying to decide if a 6 foot by 3 foot table with 6 leaves was big enough for their entertaining needs: we have a small 2 bed/2 bath on the Upper West Side, where I’m not sure this table would make it in the elevator: I know it wouldn’t fit in my dining room!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 214px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SdOvm8MNk5I/AAAAAAAAC1M/DkcCqcYMbHU/s320/les+plaisirs+du+maison.jpg” border=”0″ />Then, it was well past noon and our Starbucks cups were long empty, so on the advice of several shoppers, we strolled to the corner and tried a recently opened restaurant, @the corner. We were not disappointed. As usual, TBG tested the burger, and I ordered the Thai chicken wrap, and my only regret was that I hadn’t ordered the other half to take with: it was far too large to eat in one setting, but I was afraid of it sitting in the car all afternoon.

to 10px; WIDTH: 230px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SdOvyHbWRLI/AAAAAAAAC1k/eqyju1oAyIM/s320/R.+Derwin+Clothiers.jpg” border=”0″ />After a hot and foamy cappuccino, we wandered into Kitchenworks and Gourmet Gifts, which I did not remember from previous visits. The owners assured me it’s been in Litchfield for 30 years, but had recently relocated from around the corner. After purchasing a few kitchen necessities (including a microwave egg cooker, which we have used quite successfully several times), I continued on to Workshop Inc, where I scored some hugely discounted Christmas napkin rings (for my gift drawer!) and a new summer top, sadly full-price. TBG had spotted a long-ago favorite, R. Derwin Clothiers. This men’s store is clearly for those with English-country aspirations: Hunter boots, Scottish cashmere, Italian suiting, TBG was happy happy! After wrapping up a silk pocket square and brightly knit cashmere socks, I reluctantly dragged TBG along to our next stop, and the next, and the next. Soon, TBG was stocking up on teas at Flora & Fauna; the Harney and Sons Paris blend is delicious, and appropriately housed in a white and blue tin!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 47px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SdOvyXed3mI/AAAAAAAAC1s/REsyq_lK9oQ/s320/white+flower+farm.gif” border=”0″ />Before we knew it, the sun was lowering in the sky and we hadn’t even been to Woodbury! So back down rte 6, past White Flower Farm (unfortunately closed for the season, but there will be a Part Deux: we will be back in the spring!) Shortly we were stopping at Mill House Antiques, on Main Street in Woodbury, one of my long-time favorite antiquing wonder-amas. The grounds and buildings alone are worth the visit: the 17th century shop is situated on the Nonnewaug River, with a grist mill out back, 7 out buildings, and luscious gardens, all carefully restored.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SdOvyJVvF6I/AAAAAAAAC1c/H_C69MWlbXc/s320/main_showroom_building.jpg” border=”0″ />While The Big Guy entered into a long conversation on the limited edition Lionel train on display (the owner hopes to open a train store on one of the out-properties soon), I wandered the 4 buildings filled to the brim with tables, chairs, chandeliers, clocks, end tables, paintings, pottery and glassware: all gorgeous, all quality, all pricey. My favorite discovery was the “Rolodex Table”: a round English landowner’s drum table, with the perimeter constructed of drawers, one for each renter, so the landowner could keep his accounts straight. Too clever! Keep your eyes open at this well-known antiques haven: you never know who you might see here!

C’est triste, we had reached Saturday 5pm closing times for the shops, and we sadly drove past many more antiques and specialty shops in
Woodbury, all along rte 6. However, we know we’ll be back when White Flower Farm gets their tomatoes and herb plants in stock, this time we’ll leave a little earlier, and lunch a little quicker!

A la prochaine,
La Reine

USA Edition – Guest Blog – Save the Date New York

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Dear Diva Readers,

Save the Date! Mark your calendar – March 14-15, 2009! This is the last big collecting event in New York City until fall.

  • 500 Shops and Galleries in ONE building. Pier 94 12th Ave., @55th St., NY
  • Fabulous and Affordable Furniture, Jewelry, Silver, Ceramics
  • Industrial Arts, Collectibles, Fashion, Art and so much more!

From tea towels to Tiffany and way beyond… you’ll find it at the Pier Show.

NEW HOURS: 10-6pm on Saturday and Sunday

Admission: $15
(But take a hint and watch the NY Times on Fridays in February for a discount admission coupons)

For More Details: visit stellashows

By the way, Dealers, this show is made with you in mind! Dealer Specials (of up to 50% off certain items) are being compiled and will be emailed to registered dealers prior to the show.

While there, check out the Glass, Rug & Furniture Restoration & Conservation booth as well as the Toy, Memorabilia & Pop Culture Appraisals

Coming to you LIVE FROM NEW YORK,

The Contessa

USA Edition – Guest Blog – A Stroll Through History

Another Exciting Guest Blog from The Contessa!

to 10px; WIDTH: 213px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/STeTqTf3r1I/AAAAAAAACRY/cIHQRw_mqbU/s320/0110A.jpg” border=”0″ />
top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>The city of Troy, NY rests on the eastern bank of the Hudson River in upstate NY, just north of the capital city of Albany. The city is small – population only about 50,000 but is as diverse as can be.

The city started as a village in 1787 and boasts some of the finest Victorian and Federal architecture in New York state. During the industrial revolution, Troy was one of the wealthiest cities in America and it shows in the architecture of the period. The architecture is so magnificent that movie directors the likes of Martin Scorsese come here to film. The movie, “Age of Innocence” based on the Edith Wharton novel was filmed almost in its entirety in Troy. Other films that have filmed in Troy include: “Ironweed”, “Scent of a Woman” and “The Bostonians.”

Troy attracts many art, literature and music lovers and has been the home at one time or another to Kurt Vonnegut, Maureen Stapleton, Herman Melville and Jane Fonda. As a matter of fact, Fonda’s son Troy is named after the city. She attended Emma Willard School here, one of the most exclusive girl’s schools in the country.

It was also in Troy on December 23, 1823 that a man published a poem he had written for his sick daughter in the Troy Sentinel newspaper. That man was Clement C. Moore and the poem was A Visit From St. Nicholas or as it is more commonly known now…..T’was the Night Before Christmas.

Troy holds an annual torianstroll.com/” target=”_blank”>Victorian Stroll every Christmas season, always held the first Sunday in December. The downtown area virtually turns back the hands of time to the Victorian era with scads of visitors arriving in Victorian garb, street vendors fill the streets with roasted chestnuts and venues all over town offering entertainment. And it’s all free. The children delight to see Father Christmas himself among the visitors. Live reindeer stroll in front of city hall and street entertainers perform on every corner.

There is a wonderful craft show in the Uncle Sam Atrium (another live Character from Troy’s history…more on that later). You can tour The Paine Mansion on 2nd street which was used extensively in the filming of The Age of Innocence. The mansion is now a fraternity and the brothers keep it in tip top shape. You can shop at the year round Farmers Market or visit one of the many antique shops in the antique district on River Street. There are several really special ones to choose from.

Dusk which is owned by John Hansen, a former stylist for Martha Stewart is a very small but wonderful shop. John has an incredible sense of style and I’ve seen him go to other shops with one of his customers if he feels he knows exactly what you need or are looking for.

tore/” target=”_blank”>Aurora’s Willow Creek Boutique is a girl’s delight. Owner Carol Fitzpatrick has amassed one of the largest collection of Miriam Haskell vintage jewelry around and she loves all things feminine. You’ll find all kinds of wonderful candles, soaps, lotions, purses, jewelry and “girly” type items.

The Counties of Ireland on 3rd Street has everything from the Emerald Isle. Country Charm on River Street has loads of rustic country antiques and the Bournebook Antique Center has 2 levels of antiques from over 50 dealers. All these businesses and a lot more are open during the stroll. I’ve only touched on just a few of the wonderful shops in downtown Troy. There are a lot of them.

Now if you are hungry, Troy is known for having wonderful restaurants and because it hosts one of the largest engineering schools in the Country (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), it has many residents from all over the world and restaurants to match almost any cuisine. On one block on River Street, you can buy Asian, Egyptian and Lebanese cuisine. Also downtown, there is The Tuscan Grill, and of course….famous hot dogs.

tore_hot_dog.jpg”>tore_hot_dog.jpg” border=”0″ />Ok, some explanation here about the hot dogs….in 1932, the “Quick Lunch” opened its doors on Congress St serving mini hot dogs to hundreds of adoring fans. In 1958, a local marine stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow just had to have his Troy hot dogs. Several dozen dogs were flown to the embassy and were served that day to the Marine and the US Ambassador at his 54th birthday celebration. The news of “Operation Hot Dogs” made the national news and the “Quick Lunch” soon became “world famous” hence the change in name. The tiny hot dogs still come with “the works”….mustard, onions and Coney Island sauce and will set you back a whole 75 cents each.

If you want to travel a little bit out of downtown on Hoosick Road, you will find the Plum Blossom Restaurant which has scads of awards for best Chinese in the area. Among the customers there are Governor David Patterson and Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton who an insider told me “she likes her food extra spicy”.

Troy really is a delightful city. It also hosts one of the most haunted cemeteries in the country…Forest Park. Sometime around Halloween I’ll tell you of my adventures there. Spooky!

Last but not least, as I promised, the story of Troy and Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam was actually a local meatpacker whose name was Sam Wilson. During one of the wars in the 19th century, he sold meat to the U.S. government and when it was pac
ked, he stamped the product….U.S. Beef .. It was supposed to mean United States beef but people took it somehow to mean Uncle Sam’s meat and hence…Uncle Sam was born. He indeed was a very real person and you can visit his grave in the Oakwood Cemetery and also visit the graves of Civil War generals and other luminaries. Oakwood Cemetery hosts some of the most magnificent architecture, especially the crematorium (no longer in use).

torian+Stroll.gif”>torian+Stroll.gif” border=”0″ />If all this isn’t enough to entice you to pay a visit, give me a day or two and I’ll think up another dozen or so reasons. Hope to see you at the Victorian Stroll on Sunday, December 7th from 11 am to 5 pm. For more information on The Victorian Stroll, go to www.victorianstroll.com.

Come experience the charm of downtown Troy at this traditional holiday event!

SAVE THE DATE:
26th Annual Troy Victorian Stroll
Sunday, December 7, 2008
11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Happy Holidays!

The Contessa

PHOTO CREDIT: Joan Heffler

Guest Blog: Never, Ever Underestimate a Good Rummage Sale

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THE CONTESSA WRITES:

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Pop Quiz……What do Limoges, Gucci, Carpodiamonte, Lenox and Wedgewood all have in common? The answer is twofold….1) They are top notch brands of luxury items and 2) They are all items that I have bought at rummage sales!

Rummage sales as they are known in the USA (jumble sales in the UK) are usually held by churches or civic organizations to raise money for a particular project. The members of the group donate all sorts of items that are then laid out for sale, usually in a church hall. Now, here’s the ticket….a lot of people who do not know the value of things or who are elderly and wanting to downsize donate marvelous goods. You can find incredible items for a song! Most of the time the sale is just a one day affair and at the end of the day, the people running the sale just want the stuff gone. This is a great time to make trip number 2 of the day to the sale.

Let me explain. Always, always go to a rummage sale when they first open and scope out the entire sale (I usually skip clothing but you can pick up some designer duds if you are a popular size). If you find something that catches your eye, pick it up and carry it around with you. There is nothing worse than coming back for an item you were considering only to find it gone. If you change your mind you can always put it back. I always first head for the jewelry. A few years ago, I got a beautiful sterling silver brooch with semi-precious stones handmade in Israel for $2. I still to this day have it and I love to tell the tale of where I got it. I then check out all the house wares and miscellaneous goods. That is where I have found the most treasures. Recently I picked up a Limoges tea pot for $3, a sterling silver candy dish for ten cents and a Gucci tote bag for $2. I finish up with purses and books. I rarely come out empty handed and on more occasions than not, have found something really special.

Now about the second return to the sale – a lot of times they will have a bag sale. That’s where you buy a bag for a dollar and everything you can stuff in that bag is yours. One church recently had a sale where if you bought two bags, they gave you a third. Luckily, I was the first one there that morning and completely wiped out the jewelry section in one bag. I love taking it all home and then going through it piece by piece to determine which goes in my jewelry box, which goes in the trash and which can be re-sold at one of my sales. Another bag held about 6 pieces of luster ware, not something to my taste but very collectible none-the-less and there is
a market for it. Bag sales rock!

And while we’re on the subject of rummage sales, don’t over look thrift stores either! Here in upstate New York where I’m from, we have several really good ones. One of my favorites has a half price sale every Wednesday. Everything in the store is half of what it’s marked. Yes, there are days that turn up nothing but it’s fun to look none-the-less. The Goodwill stores here in upstate NY have a dollar sale every Sunday. Clothing that has been there more than a week is tagged with a special tag and it’s only $1. I’m an odd size so I don’t make out good on this one but I know one man who walked out with a Giorgio Armani suit for $1. Bargains like that cannot and should not be passed up! I find the fun is in the searching and then discovering a treasure.

But enough of that for now….. I have to go and clean the Wedgewood I just brought home that I paid a dollar for!

Happy Hunting!

The Contessa

A Couple of The Contessa’s Favorite Sources Around the USA:

– In Salt Lake City…..Deseret Industries
– In Lancaster Co, PA. …..Jubilee (run by the Mennonites)
– In Troy, NY……The Salvation Army
– In Bennington, VT…..The Goodwill Center
– In Cape Cod….during the tourist season, you are likely to find a yard sale on every street!

* Many of the photos in today’s blog come from Bowling Trophy – a blog devoted to answering the question “Trash or Treasure?” Check out: bowlingtrophy.wordpress.com.

Fourth of July Special Edition: America’s Best Flea Markets

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>As part of my tribute to America this week, I want to highlight America’s Best Flea Markets from sea to shining sea! From Florida to California, these markets are considered the Top 5 Flea places to Stop, Shop & Roll out the Dough! Whether you’re looking for true antique treasures, vintage chic, funky home décor or just plain junk, these flea markets are guaranteed to have something for everyone’s taste & wallet! Bring cold hard cash and arrive with an empty stomach so you can nosh on fair food to get the true taste of America!

Happy Shopping!

The Antiques Diva ™


America’s Top Five Flea Markets:

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A year-round emporium open Friday, Saturday & Sundays in gorgeous Florida!

to 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://bp0.blogger.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SGykakzY2kI/AAAAAAAABJI/oZSUlxg0KGY/s200/rose+bowl.jpg” border=”0″ />The Rose Bowl Flea Market
Located in Pasadena, California, this flea market is held the 2nd Sunday of every month from 9am till 3pm. Upcoming dates include: Jul 13, Aug 10, Sep 14, Oct 12, Nov 9, and Dec 14

to 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://bp2.blogger.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SGykaiqiwOI/AAAAAAAABJA/sAdT4p2g0Lk/s200/kane+county.jpg” border=”0″ />Kane County Flea Market
Located in St. Charles, Illinois, this flea market meets every Sunday and goes on rain or shine! To read more details from a past Antiques Diva blog, click here!

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Open every Saturday & Sunday year round, this flea market gives proof positive to the statement “everything’s big in Texas”.

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Held in a quaint New England town in Massachusetts, this is the largest outdoor antiques fair in the USA!
2008 Dates: July 8-13 and Sept 2 – 7
2009 Dates: May 12 -17, July 14 -19 & Sept 8 – 13

If these “Big 5” have wet your appetite for Flea Marketing USA, then I must tell you that these 5 are just the tip of the iceberg! For more information on Stateside Antique Shopping, check these resources out:
to 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://bp0.blogger.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SGykaxpTxbI/AAAAAAAABJQ/VeBu6KiTugE/s200/USA+Flea+Markets.jpg” border=”0″ />tory-3rd/dp/0312264054″ target=”_blank”>US Flea Market Directory – A Guide to the Best Flea Markets in All 50 States

to 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://bp0.blogger.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SGyiLKU2MTI/AAAAAAAABIY/pLYVnKdusls/s200/antiquing+weekends.jpg” border=”0″ />Antiquing Weekends – 52 Excursions Across America

to 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://bp1.blogger.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SGykakuVVfI/AAAAAAAABI4/Y6cX-wSW5zM/s200/directory+flea+markets.jpg” border=”0″ />tory-U-S-Markets-Eighth/dp/0609809229/ref=pd_sim_b_1″ target=”_blank”>Official Directory to United States Flea Markets