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If you like hunting for the unexpected in unique kinds of shops, the Whiteface Region has a little shop with a magic reputation.

The Riverside Thrift Store can look like an unlikely spot for so much enjoyment. Yet, over and over, friends and family have come back from there with things that were totally unexpected, and it turned out, completely irresistible.

The store is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, but with one thing and another it took awhile for me to be in the area when it was open. I didn't want to push too hard. I thought that by letting fate lend a hand, I would be more likely to show up when the time was right.

To let me find something special.

Simple and easy

The store is located near the river in the walkable downtown area. The nearby Visitor Center offers plenty of parking. How they manage to get so much stuff in the space, and yet keep it clean and relatively uncluttered, is a compliment to the hardworking folks who run it.

These locally made cutting boards are works of art in themselves.

It's not all secondhand, either. I loved the cutting boards by the door and made a mental note that they would make great housewarming presents.

There are clothes, books, records, and houseware sections, with a big "Christmas Loft" section upstairs. I am told that those looking for nostaligic Christmas decorations will find much to enjoy there. One of the things I love about thrift shops and other such stores is how we can encounter things we have only heard of, but not seen. Or once enjoyed and then lost track of.

I hear records are coming back. In any case, this can be a fun gift for a fan of Broadway musicals, even if all they can do is look at it.

Then there's always the opportunity for the ironic, silly gift. I often use such gifts at holiday giving time, to throw off my recipient. I put their real gift underneath the joke gift, then enjoy their baffled looks and polite puzzlement. Am I really serious?

At these prices, it's easy to be silly.

Bring your books and find new ones. This is what those Adirondack chairs are made for.

The extensive book selection is a wonderful option for that special chair on the porch. With used bookstores, or any bookstores, getting rarer these days it's lovely to find such a trove of possibilities.

As a lifelong fan of reading, I am familiar with how the book I took for the trip somehow turns out not to be the one I want to read when I get there. I think people get all high-minded and bring something serious, when it turns out I really want to relax and read something less demanding.

Either way, it's good to have choices.

All that glitters

The entire back room is a cave of wonders for glasses, dishes, and kitchen items. Here is where someone I know got a full set of beautiful dinnerware. Someone else launched a passionate new interest with the amazing find of some quartz singing bowls. From the divine to the decorative, there's bound to be something eye catching here.
Get a complete set of wine glasses for the dinner party you always wanted to throw.

A set of special glasses is the kind of thing I would rather indulge in second hand. The new stuff is either uninteresting or expensive. The old stuff fixes both of those problems, and becomes a fun story to share with guests.

The chances of the unusual are very high here.

I was very tempted, but then decided to leave it for the next traveler.

I didn't even know about Hoosier glass. This is an educational experience. In fact, glassware and pottery is a fascinating subject for collectors, at reasonable prices and with many interesting stories about origins and techniques. We can get the artist's version at local pottery studios, but we can also get the mass produced versions here.

This collectible is far from home. "Hoosier glass" is a limited edition item from the 1970s, from the state of Indiana.

The next time I need something practical or decorative — or both — this room will be my first stop.

Did I find magic?

I was able to resist the lovely cutting boards, and doged a lot of temptation in the glass and dish room. At first glance, the clothes racks did not call to me, unlike the vintage consignment stores I usually frequent.

Then I turned a corner, and I did a double take at a beautiful coat.

Fur? No. A really good fake fur.

These are the ladies who figure out what they get and where to put it.

It was so good I couldn't resist asking the ladies in the back what they thought. We all agreed that the label which said "clean as fur" meant it wasn't. Which meant that I, as an animal rights person who had taken the "no fur" pledge at the age of 12, could wear it with a clear conscience — and with a warm torso this winter.

Glamour in a thrift shop? Sure!

Okay. I'm a believer.

I hope your trip there will make you as happy.

Stay close with our cozy lodging. Enjoy our dining. Find more fun shopping.

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