We came, we ate, we conquered. And we shopped.
Our week-long sojourn on the east coast was ultimate in multi-tasking travel. We polished off a few bottles of wine with family, saw New York friends in various life stages (new places, new relationships–and babies!) and visited a new city, Montreal. Steak frites, ice wine, pan-fried ‘shore lunch’ fish from Joe Beef, copious cheeses from the Atwater Market, Canadian beers with names like Enigma that were thick, malty and sweet: Well, the food was certainly something to write home about.
As was the antiquing. We were charmed by the shops along Rue Notre Dame, right near our little rented flat. And of course we homed in on the gold-mine flea market. Every city has one, I like to believe, and it’s usually not the one listed on the city’s tourism website. I don’t remember how we found this little gem of a warehouse in the Hatian neighborhood, though I do remember sitting in horrendous traffic to get there. (But that’s another story that involves our arriving too late and needing to return to the market on the following day.) When we finally made it, one look at the stacks of records, array of taxidermy and assorted oddities (a guidebook to Beverly Hills, 90210–yes, please) assured me it was worth the hassle. Amid the dusty booths selling 1980s appliances (umm… Speak N’ Spell?!), pins, dolls and moth-ball-smelling clothes was this vendor with a rusty stockpile vintage ring molds.
Pure captivation. I still don’t really understand how these molds were used to fashion rings, but I loved their rough-hewn quality. The bare settings–the prongs sans gemstones–had a certain gritty style I’m not sure I would have sought out normally. But once I dug through this pile of funky, modernist castings, I thought, ‘who needs gems?’ Heck, who needs smooth metal? (The few I bought had little bits and pieces of metal sticking out everywhere. Wearing at least four on one hand, I defy anyone to mess with me. It could be painful.)
I only bought three. (I should have taken the whole lot.) But they’ve become a fixture on my ring rotation.