Saturday, March 5, 2016

MDIP – Rainy Day Thrifting

Thrift shopping has been another activity on my Berkeley Bucket List (I should really write out an actual list at some point) for a while now, but I hadn't had much time to do it. At the beginning of the year, I mentioned it to my friends who were also extremely enthusiastic about the prospect, but it was not until the beginning of this semester that we resolved to set aside a date to pursue the endeavor. Alas, as the day rolled around, Berkeley was in the midst of a storm. In fact, the day before, I had been caught unprepared by the rain and had unhappily sloshed back to my dorm room from campus. Averse to recreating that experience, I broke out the combat boots and coats and braved the elements with my friend Emma on Saturday morning.

The destination was Crossroads Trading Co. at the corner of Durant and Shattuck. On the way, we decided to pop in to Francesca's to see if there were any suitable gifts for our friend Anna. Her birthday was upcoming and she had expressed interest in an adult coloring book. To our delight, a beautiful copy of Johanna Basford's Secret Garden was available, which we instantly bought without a second thought, along with a card and a funny little cat coin bag. Approaching the bus stop, I ran into a friend from high school. The few seconds we spent chatting about the rain resulted in a missed bus. With the rain, buses were always overcrowded and behind schedule, so we walked down, knowing that the time it would take the next bus to arrive was far longer than the time it would take to walk.

We arrived at an unassuming storefront, high-ceilinged on the inside (I've always had an affinity towards rooms with high ceilings), rows and rows of racks meticulously crammed with clothes. Towards the left of the entrance were women's clothes, but a pair of shoes on top of the racks quickly caught my eye. Black suede wedge heels with gold accents, size 6.5 – perfect. I snatched them up and continued browsing, looking specifically for a Gatsby style dress, a floral maxi skirt, and a coat, preferably anorak style, in forest green or navy.

At the coat section, Emma, walking in front, found a green coat in the style I was looking for. Unfortunately for me, she wanted to keep it for herself, so I was out of luck. Not long after, I picked up a heavier coat in navy, but it felt well worn and was a little more expensive than I expected (this is a thrifting adventure, after all).

I enlisted Emma's help to find a suitable dress; combing through the racks, we found two potential candidates. One was a smidge too big, the other fit like a charm, but didn't fit the theme exactly enough to warrant being a must-buy. I would have bought it had there been any other upcoming events requiring a dress, but since there was not, both ended up returned to the shelves, and I walked out with the pair of shoes and the coat, at Emma's insistence.

Catty-corner to the thrift shop was a used books store, Pegasus books. Whilst waiting for the bus, we wandered inside a bit, but found nothing of interest except more copies of Secret Garden. It's been ages since I've immersed myself in a fictional world of words. The last time I tried, with The Lord of the Rings, I found that I simply could not replicate the sense of wonder books used to bring. Nowadays, a particularly resonant academic assigned reading elicits excitement; Freire and Lipset enrich my scholastic repertoire but are stressful to read nonetheless.

I returned to my room exhausted. Out of my window I saw a city enveloped in drizzle and sunk into my chair knowing that it wasn't likely that I would finish any homework. In this state, it would be far more productive to take some time to unwind from a horribly stressful week. While watching an episode each of The Middle and Modern Family, I savored spaghetti and meatballs from Gypsy's, and afterwards, a large hot chocolate (extra whip) from Peet's. As Lorde crooned softly in the background setting a contemplative mood, I opened my computer to write this blog post, reflecting on the day, the week, and life in general. Both roommates gone at the time, it was moment of unperturbed peace. ◊

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