You know that new age nomenclature "show up"that means "being present?" As in, yeah it's a real drag being me in this dead retail economy, but I still gotta show up. So I showed up at the Ann Arbor/Saline antiques market show. No, I did not show at the show, I just shopped the show and you should too. Show-nough, the drive out there this time of year is just beautiful, especially after the rain. And,even though it's a small show these days, good stuff still shows up and there's a cadre of seasoned dealers who are the best at what they know and do. It's about shopping carefully. If you shop with care, you'll see that a well-placed question gets you a free education, makes a connection with a real professional who provides a valuable service. When you are ready to buy, you'll have a better idea of an item's worth and chances are you'll have made a real investment, including the one in a real live human being. I purchased a unique table from Sal Palmer. I found out he gets lots of things I'm interested in and he's willing to deliver it to my shop in Royal Oak, how very nice and helpful. Bonus for him is I'll shop with him again. Show's the third weekend of every month now through october http://www.annarborantiquesmarket.com/.
A little sleeper side trek I like to make is to Jean and Judy's barn sale. It's just down the road and they have it the same weekend as the show. I felt like I was in a martha stewart story. Beautiful old barn, kinda down around the ears, Jean and Judy sitting at the table with a big pot of good coffee, a mixed up collection of mugs and a tray of home baked goods. First off, I always look for the best mug, which you get to keep, pay my 50cents and then peruse the collection while I drink it. This trip, I bought a terrific Indian jacket and wore it all day and night. Now I'm hungry, another 50cents and it's a delicious banana bran nut raisin muffin. Tell me where you are going to get more for your buck? Plus, we had a nice chat about Ann Arbor in the 70's, selling art in the diag and getting to go to school there (single best thing my parents and I ever bought me).
Gosh, since I'm already in Ann Arbor and it's saturday, there's a couple other favorite stops I like to make. I splurge and go to Morgan & York on Packard. It's in an old packaged liquor store. They sell the best of everything, wine, beer, pastries (from Japon bakery-authentic french croissants melt in your mouth) olive oil bar (you sample and dispense your own, euro style), bread (avalon) cheese, chocolates, deli etc. I had a $10 blt that blew my mind. Made on an avalon baguette, a fiesta in my mouth, worth every penny. Left owner Tom with some samples of my friend Mark Smutek's coffee/tea/hot cocoa from Kalamazoo, water street coffee joint, maybe they'll carry it.
Last stop is the farmer's market at Kerry Town. I'm gonna get me a new bumper sticker: I stop for farmer's markets. It's a favorite thing to do when I visit any town because they are all unique. I love to see the colors of food and hand-crafts, the people and their kids and pets. Ann Arbor's market is small and full of educated hippie-types, they have lots of obscure plants and the food is organic, top notch. Then, since it's in the parking lot of Kerry Town, you get the added bonus of more interesting shopping. This is a mall that is the anti-mall: killer market and food stalls inside and two stores I love and have shopped for years: Vintage to Vogue and Found. Clothes are a guilty pleasure I rarely indulge and Found sells stuff made with found objects, always good inspiration for me. Newer yummy stores are Everyday Wine, the spice shop and the kids' store, too bad that kid of mine got big. If I were really indulging, I'd hang around and have a gourmet dinner at Eve, but tonight's the Tank opening and Rick and I are the hosts! More on that next time, I need a nap first...