The Best of the Bushwick Thrift Store Scene – A Farewell to the Neighborhood

I apologize for the silence, and promise it won’t be a trend throughout graduate school. This first month has been a perfect storm of adjusting to graduate school life, marathon training, seeing friends and family, and moving. I have to admit though, it’s been exciting to have new challenges and to be busy again. 

As I begin this new chapter, I’m starting fresh in a new neighborhood as of this weekend. Which means a bittersweet goodbye to Bushwick, and hello to Prospect Park South.

Bushwick will always remind me of ethical fashion start-up madness, the buzz of being around creative energy, and of course, thrift shopping. As an ode to my old neighborhood, I thought I’d compile a “best of” list of vintage and thrift stores nearby. It’ll be strange to live in a neighborhood without a mobile vintage shop, but I guess my new neighborhood will have it’s own charm. 

Best Window Displays

This cute little vintage shop draws you in with their $12 rack outside, and their staff is always smiling and willing to help. The pieces I love tend to be a bit out of my price range, but she does a great job at curating her collection and has truly unique vintage finds.

I would come here if you’re looking for a special occasion or to make a dramatic statement with a one of a kind vintage piece.

I’ve got to say though, the window displays and good vibes drew me in countless times, but I never really found anything that I loved there. But I think it has more to do with a difference in style than their selection. It’s a small space and doesn’t really allow the space for exploration. 

Their instagram is fun to follow, you should check it out 🙂

Location: 16 Wilson Ave

Beacon’s Closet
Best Value

By far my most frequented thrift shop in the area. You have to dig quite a bit to find the good stuff, but that’s what I enjoy about thrift shopping. It’s like a treasure hunt. You have to have patience and know how to spot good quality when you’re at Beacon’s closet.

What blows my mind about this place is that you can have a pair of Brother Vellies sandals next to a pair of Zara loafers, you really never know what you’ll find. If you don’t look hard enough, you might miss it. 

I got in the habit of wandering through once or twice a week to glance through the merchandise and see if there was anything new. If I was looking for a pair of black loafers I’d go in and look at the shoes almost every day to see if anything new was out.

With the store on my walk back from the subway, I practiced a lot of self restraint, only allowing myself to buy pieces that I already identified as a necessity before entering. I think it’s good practice in general and keeps you from having an out of control wardrobe or just helps with keeping on my shopping budget.

One of the biggest cons is that the staff is extremely rude. I love searching for and finding great pieces at the store, but I do my best to avoid interacting with anyone working here.

Location: 23 Bogart St. 

Urban Jungle (Part of L Train Vintage)
Best for Basics

I almost always feel overwhelmed as soon as I step foot in this place. The shear amount of volume is a lot to take in. Unfortunately there’s very little in this store that works in my closet. Although, I did find one of my favorite jean skirts here, it’s a great place for denim and t-shirts. I also got a coat that I refurbished, and is a good basic.

Urban Jungle has a lot of 90s dresses, vintage fur and simple denim and t-shirts. Want to find a cheap aloha shirt? Go to Urban Jungle. I feel like this place is great for costumes, because the prices are so low and I wouldn’t mind destroying a shirt I got there to alter it for a one time outfit. 

Location: 120 Knickerbocker Ave

Friends NYC
Best Store

One of my favorite stores in Bushwick. Their vintage section is small but I always love their pieces and have bought several items from them. On a side note, their regular clothing merchandising is pretty good too, and includes some sustainable brands. I have a fun fair trade block printed cover up from them. 

What is so great about Friends NYC is that I feel at ease when I enter, once you walk in the staff is friendly and willing to help. It reminds me a lot of the stores I loved in Shimokitazawa as a kid, with a fun mash up of cool clothes, gift cards, books, jewelry and other fun novelty items.

Location: 56 Bogart St

Best Unique Finds

I barely made is up to this vintage spot, but when I did I never regretted it. It was a bit higher price point than Beacon’s Closet, but I loved the pieces and the quality. Instead of searching through racks and racks I’d go through one rack and find 10 pieces I loved.

Since I only went there a handful of times I don’t have too much to say about it, except that if they were closer or more convenient I would have spent way too much money. 

Location: 117 Wilson Ave

Good bye Bushwick! This isn’t the last you’ll see of me, I’m sure the lure of amazing thrift shops will always draw me back. 

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