A Field Trip to Junk Brooklyn a.k.a. "Mother of Junk" in Williamsburg


Full disclosure, I wrote this post back in November 2019. It's now June and let's I'm someone who has a really long draft folder. I get about 85% there and then get completely intimidated about the part where I have to package up whatever it is I've written and make it presentable to the world. So, I put it aside, move on to the next project, and forget the old one...

Nearly 3 months in to COVID19, and fearful of what it could mean for a small business that sells inexpensive second hand "junk," in a neighborhood with sky high rents,  I wanted to make sure this little reflection saw the light of day.

Mother of Junk,  I miss you and hope you're OK. This is what I wrote, what feels like many moons ago:

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Let's just say you don't come to Mother of Junk for the ambiance or a zen-like shopping experience.

Especially if you go on a weekend, you should expect to feel like you're in a city Trader Joe's, moving out of the way for someone else to possibly swoop in and the scoop up the same can of tomato sauce that you were perusing.

I actually take this to be a good sign. In a world with "shiny object syndrome" and a desire to always go after the newest and latest thing, it shows that there still is a market for vintage, antique and secondhand items that have lived prior lives.

Let's not glorify it, though. Mother of Junk is not too far from a hoarder's den--the vintage china section is the most orderly part (and for that I am very grateful)!

It's a sensory experience and is somewhat of an ordeal every time you go. You come to Mother of Junk for the hunt--the hunt for treasures. Sometimes you walk away with a basket full of china (that you then wrap yourself if you want it to safely get back to your apartment); Other occasions, like a recent trip when I was looking for festive red or green china with a holiday motif, you might come up short. (I did actually walk away with super adorable rosebud china, but that's a different story). 

Mother of Junk is a Williamsburg institution. Though the owner may have a gruff exterior, if you ask nicely and with genuine interest, she might just tell you about her regular pre-dawn outings to estate liquidation sales in upstate NY.  If you come across Tom, the really good-natured store manager with a booming and theatrical voice who seems to take everything in stride, tell him Ariel from The Brooklyn Teacup says hi. 

Before the holidays, I went Wildcatters Network Blog photographer to document one of my excursions to Mother of Junk. Read the full piece here


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