I was checking out the goodies at an auction this weekend when I ran into an acquaintance that I only run into at auctions, yard sales, and flea markets. He mentioned he’d seen a story about the High Falls flea market in a local magazine that came illustrated with a picture of Yours Truly, oblivious to photographers, purchasing yet another object I don’t need. (Actually, a lovely little hand-painted black sewing box.) “If ever there was a poster child for the flea market, it’s you,” my acquaintance remarked, indulging in a little pot-calling-the-kettle-black.
But I admit it. I love treasure hunting — or poking around among a lot of old junk, as my husband puts it. In recent years, the more affordable antiques stores have dwindled away as the economy, eBay, and who knows what other market forces have put them out of business. So I was delighted to discover a new one opening in High Falls, right behind the venerable Depuy Canal House, where Spruce used to be. (Spruce, another terrific emporium, moved to the main drag where bluecashew used to be, and bluecashew is now in Rhinebeck, in case you were wondering.)
I arrived at the new spot on Day One, so it’s not yet fully stocked, but it looks promising. Wares so far range from kitschy things like lusterware owl-shaped salt-and-pepper shakers, ’50s planters, and McCoy flowerpots for under $10 to a hand-painted 1940s dresser with tassel pulls for a more sobering price. There were also some old-time implements, a nice iron bed, and a couple of handsome rustic cupboards.
One of the owners, Michael Cacchio, will be familiar to fans of the Rosendale movie theater, a local institution operated by his parents since the year dot (actually1949. They recently sold it, and it now operates — and still screens movies — as the Rosendale Theatre Collective). His partner, journalist Rochelle Riservato, has been selling vintage things for about 20 years as a sideline, Michael told me. A friend once asked Riservato where she came by something interesting in her home. “Dead relatives,” she answered. “Oh, where’s that?” her friend replied, and Riservato, who clearly has a feel for black humor, realized that Dead Relatives would be a good name for an antiques store, if she ever opened one. And that’s why this new place is called Dead Relatives. There was no sign when I dropped in, but just meander up the driveway behind the Canal House and you’ll find it. When you’re done there, you can stroll across the bridge over the lock to the Barking Dog, with two floors of vintage stuff of all stripes. Both stores are open on weekends. Happy hunting!