Monday, 16 March 2009

Guest Yuppie Hippie Post

Today, I decided it would be a great idea to feature a guest post written by my good friend from home Mel. I was a tad nervous to ask her to write it, but she was happy to write a piece that represented her. Mel is most def one of the coolest people I know. Not only is she incredibly gifted, she's also a half-Asian who is easily mistaken for a Hawaiian, has bad ass birthday parties in her backyard, loves the Simpsons just as much as I do, has the funniest dad, a sister who dances for Cirque du Soleil, and her basement could easily be mistaken for a cool antique shop. So dear readers, I'm glad to have this opportunity to share with you Mel's article regarding her take on the perceptions of second hand stores.

Second hand stores VS. Second hand perceptions
I love second hand stores, but only because I feel like I grew up in a Salvation Army. I know it is a running joke that Asians love to document every single moment – most notably those in landmark parks and in front of monuments – but I think it is a more romantic habit than anything. My dad documented everything, never missing a moment, keeping everything and rarely throwing away old things. I am thankful he put so much effort in preserving the history of his family. However, in the past two decades this habit came to be a collection of pop cultural history in our basement, collecting everything from clothing, action figures, coke machine dispensers, radios and even a large collection of salt and pepper shakers. He’s a modern day scavenger because of his weekly devotion to garage sales, Salvation Armys and church basements. Sometimes we end up going together to shop. Here are a few things I found last week at a second hand store in a church basement on Elgin St:

Jacket and shirt 5$ (Mel is French, forgive her for the dollar sign being on the other side, hehe)

Colorful sandals 4$

Vancouver has this really useful website, ’Secondhand Savvy’, that posts all events in second hand shopping in the city as well as a really good directory by category. I think it’s becoming more and more important to reuse the things that we have already produced, and release the stigma attached to second hand shopping in all categories (electronics, house wares, clothing, furniture). I say this for those who feel they have to buy entire sets of new goods once they have established themselves financially. I am not implying to purchase every single thing in your closet and in your life from second hand stores, but rather to try and embellish your house and personal style with these unique items. Second hand shopping should no long be considered as ‘cheap’ or ‘gross’ but rather as smart and rewarding. My dad has found so many cool and unique ukuleles and other decorating jewels that I didn’t even have to leave his house to shop for my new apartment. Shopping is a lot about convenience and I understand why shopping malls are so much easier to please. But like everything in life, effort pays off in the long run.

Events most related to this article: Great Glebe Garage sale. If you are from Toronto or Montreal and have this weekend off, you might want to come trek in this posh neighborhood in downtown Ottawa for some of these resident's unwanted goods. It's all day Saturday May 23rd, get there early cause the good stuff gets sold very fast!
The Simpsons episode most related to this article: 8x15 Homer’s Phobia


  1. That is so true. Second hand shops rock! :D & mel we should go to another church basement sale soon!

  2. anonymous, who are you? hehehe.

  3. hi im Mels big sister and i ALSO think she is the coolest.
    And great article! yay for recycling!

  4. My Bro. He's such a pack rat. I guess it runs in the family :-)