In the mid-1990s, in my small town in coastal Connecticut, there was still a small general store. It had a post office inside and the requisite bins of wrapped candy. My sisters and I would go in and fill wax paper bags with butterscotch hard candies and tootsie rolls that cost a penny each. Apart from the candy and the stamps, the store had mostly given over its shelf space to a strange brand of faux-Americana. Instead of being stocked with dustpans and twine, shelves were crammed with hand painted signs bearing Benjamin Franklin-style aphorisms fit for a seaside town: “All you need is love and the beach, ” and “Life’s better with sandy toes.” The shop closed when I was in high school and I’m fairly certain it’s now home to a nail salon for taloned beach-goers. Where they get their hand painted signs now is anyone’s guess.
dry goods: magentic thumbtacksFebruary 18, 2013
Realities of that particular store aside, the general store lives on in my imagination as the ideal kind of retail establishment. Living in Brooklyn in the 21st century, I can happily report no shortage of small nouveau general stores that have embraced the more practical side of the business. While not everything on their shelves could be classified as necessary, the goods for sale are almost always undeniable useful. Dry Goods on Atlantic Avenue is no exception.
When I stopped in this weekend for a quick browse, I found myself compelled to make a small purchase. Magnetic thumbtacks don’t fall into the category of something I actually need, but when I happened upon them I was certain I could find a use for them.
For now, they’re holding those small bathroom accessories that have a habit of going missing. James isn’t convinced that it’s gentlemanly to display ones nail clippers, but I disagree. Bathroom accessories as art in a tiny apartment.