Berkeley, CA

Some great finds in Berkeley:

There’s a costume party in my future and I needed 1960s garb. I love the mod look, and even had a borrowed dress that sort of looked modish–it had the right pattern and hem height, and with the right accessories would have been perfectly cute–but I needed shoes and Husband needed an entire outfit. What better place to look? We were paying a visit to my brother and his girlfriend, so I put them to the task of locating some vintage stores for us. We hit the jackpot–three stores on the same block, a few blocks from their house.

Shopping at Icon Vintage on Dwight Street was some of the best fun I’ve had in a long time. The proprietresses were just adorable, and so helpful, and so nice about me dragging this beast of a stroller into the store and letting Fella sit and play with their old Matchbox cars and Filly do some browsing among the racks. Even better was the selection. I went in for white go-go boots, which they had in my size (and the size up, which I needed), but I ended up with a dress. I have such trouble buying vintage clothes and I really didn’t expect there to be any dresses that fit me. True, this was the only one, but it’s not only vintage it’s a dress that I could actually wear somewhere other than a costume party. It doesn’t scream 1960s from far away, but it’s got the bright colors and the flowers and is begging me for daisy jewelry. I also think I got it for less than I would have gotten a new dress at a store that sells clothes that are actually tailored to adult women’s bodies (ie: not Target). I’m really excited to wear it. The arm holes are a little small, but I have full range of motion and nothing digs into my skin. I am debating the benefits of a girdle, which I’ve never owned and don’t really feel like dropping $80 for.

Husband’s find was even better. He bought this sweater. It’s gold. It’s a mock turtleneck. It has a mock vee neck with a darker gold panel. He tried on some sharkskin pants that were very high-waisted, and some shiny blue pants that made him look either like a Jet or the Fifth Season, but two doors down, at a store called Twister, he found some plaid pants that are mostly 1970s but do the trick. He also got a pair of loafers. This whole adventure took us a couple of hours, but I had this fear that we’d be shopping for weeks to no avail. I’m a little stunned that we’re done already. I’ll probably still wait too long the day of the party to start backcombing my hair or research eye makeup and rush it in the car. That is my way. At least I already own pink lipstick.

Some not-so-great finds in Berkeley:

The baby, holding a screwdriver, across the street, at rush hour, next to some random angry guy on a bicycle. He was angry, you see, because the baby was wandering the streets unattended. My brother spotted her from his front window and got yelled at when he went to retrieve her from the angry guy. Best we can figure is that she stole the screwdriver from my brother’s stash and used it to pick the lock on the front door to let herself out of the house. Doodle and Bubba the kittens were across the street, you see, and she wanted to pet them. It’s what separates us from the animals.

We also toured my brother’s gorgeous office building (he’s an engineer at SunPower) and ate some Mexican food at Picante Cocina on 5th Street. It was very good Mexican food–taqueria style. At least, it tasted very good to me. I had been several days deprived… maybe five days. Plus I was finally able to have a margarita. It had been a hard, if beautifully sunny, day.

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