Second Hand Gems: Queens Thrift & Antique Guide
“Thrift store” is often used as an umbrella term for businesses that sell secondhand/vintage/antique items. But these shops can be as different from one another as a hole-in-the-wall food stand is from a Michelin-rated restaurant. While they all share an undeniable appeal, these western Queens shops vary dramatically in atmosphere, price and inventory. This guide will help discerning collectors and penny pinchers alike!
The Second Best Thrift Shop
30-07 Astoria Blvd, Astoria
If this is second best, the reigning champion must have done a lot to outdo owner Maria Corrente. Her inventory has included buffalo heads and life-size unicorn figurines during her 11 years of business. Current items include a $3,000 globe signed by its creator, Neil Blanck, and a quarter repeater valued at $14,500 that Corrente plans to put on auction.
Nook N’ Crannie
29-18 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria
When you buy antique furniture from this nonprofit shop, your money benefits Betel of America, a NYC-based organization offering a full-time residential program for people with drug and alcohol problems. Nook n’ Crannie carries a range of great vintage finds, from old library card catalogues to ornate lamps.
The Furniture Market
22-08 Astoria Blvd, Astoria
The majority of its clients are prop masters and set designers in the film/theatre industry. But this large space, which includes a basement, has plenty to offer for people looking to furnish their homes as well. High-end dining room tables and armoires as well as more eccentric items — such as a model swordfish hanging from the ceiling — make browsing here a sure delight.
34-10 36th Ave, Astoria
Owner Merita Bega says that the most difficult part of her job is selling items that she loves so much. Her passion shows when she shares her wealth of knowledge about the rare, collectible antiques she has acquired from auctions, galleries and estate sales. The store includes portraits, dining sets and cabinets dating back to 1800.
48-09 Skillman Ave, Sunnyside
Dan and Tara Glasser combined an appreciation for vintage items with a desire to support local artists when they opened Stray in 2006. One example: an antique winepress sits near a local jewelry maker’s recent creations — earrings and tie clips made out of typewriter keys. As Tara explained, “We only sell items that we wouldn’t mind being stuck with for the rest of our lives.”
Belle D’Epoque Vintage
48-06 Skillman Ave, Sunnyside
Belle D’Epoque features fine beauty products (and smells great!) at discounted prices as well as vintage furniture.
Broadway Thrift Shop
41-14 Broadway, Astoria
This small space, run on donations, offers regular sales and discounts.
Build It Green! NYC
3-17 26th Ave, Astoria
This nonprofit is known for salvaging, reusing and being creative with used materials and furniture. Good for the environment and your wallet.
25-09 36th Ave, Astoria
This antique shop is owned by the LIC-based Hour Children, which focuses on care for children with incarcerated mothers. It carries a great selection of furniture. Hour Children also runs a thrift shop and a clothing store nearby.
Goodness Gracious Thrift Shoppe
30-13 30th Ave, Astoria
Scavenger hunt for clothing… there are gems in this shop! Proceeds go to the Romanian Church’s charity, helping the homeless.
47-28 Vernon Blvd, LIC
This 30-year-old staple has a selection that ranges from chic to delightfully quirky. Items are consistently well priced.
Loveday 31 Vintage
33-06 31st Ave, Astoria
This women’s clothing boutique is full of well-priced vintage items. Unlike most thrift shops, there is no junk to sort through here — every item is an exciting find!