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  • Lucas R. Watson

Thrifting & antiquing in Buffalo

By: Lucas R. Watson, Assistant Features Editor

As the fall season rolls around and the weather gets colder, some of us realize we forgot a few things at home; maybe we want to bring in fall decorations or get a few things to spice up our rooms on and off campus. We look to thrifting and antique shops for some of these oddities and curios that we might not find online or in chain stores, like high-quality sweaters for $4.80 a piece (I kid you not, that's what I paid). Being a proudly medium-sized city, we have a plethora of shops to choose from depending on your tastes.

Buffalo has had a rich and fruitful antique scene since the 1960s. There are some stores that have been around for that long, and some dealers, as well. Some of the best places to go for a wide range of selections are across the city and outside the City of Buffalo.

For example, Sloan’s Antiques (on William Street and Smith Street on the East Side) is one of the oldest antique stores you can find near Canisius University. The store offers a vast range of stuff from floor to ceiling, and even the buildings across the street are full of furniture, oddities and curios. I recommend bringing a flashlight and taking a look around the store, as there’s something new every time you turn your head. Secondly, in terms of smaller antique shops, you can visit The Antique Man on Allen and College Street, right in the heart of Allentown. The Antique Man is a great small antique dealer who has relatively flexible hours, and there is bound to be something that will catch your eye. Google Maps will say the place is closed permanently, but other websites have the accurate hours.

Suppose you’re looking for more antique stores in Buffalo. In that case, I highly recommend taking a walk down Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo, as there are definitely a few good shops to stop by. I recommend Queen City Vintage at 1478 Hertel Ave for thrifting. Suppose you’re looking for something to do on Sunday morning. In that case, I highly recommend going to Clarence for the flea market. Just outside of Clarence Hollow, it is one of the area's best regularly running flea markets. In terms of flea/farmers markets, the Clinton Bailey Farmers Market also runs on the weekends; there is a flea market there as well!

In terms of thrifting, I do plenty of it when I need clothes or something new in my wardrobe. Charity-based thrift stores tend to be some of the cheaper ones, and they help a good cause all in all. St. Vincent DePaul Discount Store on Main Street by Bryant Street, south of the intersection of East and West Utica Street, is a must visit; I have scored well there when it comes to coats and clothing. St. Vincent DePaul’s is a great charity and a wonderful group that is always willing to help. They offer hot meals, as well. When walking through Allentown and Elmwood Village, you will find many secondhand clothing stores to browse and find that last piece you couldn’t find anywhere else. But if you’re out and about. I recommend AMVETS Thrift Stores; out of any area, Buffalo has the highest concentration of them. Salvation Army is also a solid choice for a primary thrift store to find clothes. Save The Rags on Elmwood is a very cool vintage clothing store, along with multiple other consignment stores nearby!

I always recommend looking through everything: like Buffalo, these stores have hidden gems all over the place. Take a thorough look, and you might just find that perfect piece! Always feel free to ask questions if you’re not sure about something, and try multiple places if you can't find what you want in the first place you visit.

There are a wealth of things in Buffalo to find for cheaper than retail or market value, and I encourage thrifting and antiquing to find that extra item to decorate your room with or a replacement for that one sweater you forgot at home and need for the cold months coming up. It is also an opportunity to explore the city and see more around us! See the sights and the rich culture the city has to offer to visitors and locals alike.

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