Thrift Store Chronicles: NYC, Vintage Clothing, and Ray Charles

Thrift-shopping is not just about “popping tags” as Macklemore might have led you to believe in his 2012 hit single “Thrift Shop.” Instead, this activity allows the buyer to treasure hunt instead of merely consume. With no end-goal in mind, individuals are free to roam and peruse shelves of clutter which may themselves be glimpses into times past or portals into future possibility.

Recently, during a weekend trip to NYC, I had the opportunity to do some thrift shopping. Stepping into David Owens Vintage Clothing store in lower east Manhattan was like entering a time machine. Here the concept of time is offered up through a grand selection of specialty vintage furs from the forties through the eighties, and the sounds of Ray Charles blaring through the speakers, along with other classic vinyls. Though the space is small, the store features a thoughtful and organized selection of clothing and accessories.

David Owens Vintage Clothing is a Lower East Side gem. The store overall is unique with a playlist to match the different eras of his collection. There’s loads of brand name vintage, and if you love the look of fur, but not the hefty price tag, you’ll absolutely find something here to suit your needs. Also noteworthy: the mix of vintage 1940s and 1950s ties and the classic handbags and accessories.

I couldn’t walk out without taking something with me, the sales clerk, Jerry, is part of that. He just adores vintage clothes and even more loves to make people feel good in them. Jerry is seriously the best sales clerk ever, he’ll make you feel like a queen or king, dressing you up in the most stylish accessories but — with no pressure to buy.

My thrifts:

Cotton White Banded Collar Shirt $15


Brooks Brothers Men’s Cashmere V-Neck Sweater  for $40


Featherweight Hand Woven Harris Tweed Blazer for $20 


If you walk out of a thrift store empty-handed, satisfaction, not disappointment, will be written across your face due to the absence of expectation. Any thrifts purchased is just icing on the cake because what you discovered in the aisles will be of just as much value as what you took out of them.

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About the Author
Mariel Kanene is Founder and Editor of and lead storyteller with a focus on music, startups and travel. His passion for storytelling was born in Kinshasa, Congo and bred in Washington, DC where he resides. By day, Mariel spends his days slowly trying to change the world—one meaningful interaction at a time. He loves reading factual-fiction, good podcasts, traveling, health and fitness, foreign languages and good conversations over good coffee and even better rum. He hates talking about himself in third person.Thanks for stopping by. Always appreciated. Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin | Website.

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