Behind its white, unassuming storefront on the corner of Vernon and 47th Road, the small shop named “Just Things” houses an abundance of treasures. In this consignment shop, you’ll find everything from antique housewares and vintage clothing to brand new board games and yoga mats. Need a fancy vase or a set of espresso cups? Check here first. Friend’s birthday coming up? There’s an entire corner dedicated to unique gift cards, wrapping paper, and gift bags (all just $2 each). A back room holds a colorful assortment of clothes and accessories, while shelves near the front offer everything from old MAD magazines to modern cookbooks. And if you have something unique or unusual to sell, take it to Just Things–if it’s in good condition, you may get a good price for it.
Just Things is also worth a visit just for its history. The shop got its start thirty years ago, when a hard-working and independent Long Island businesswoman set up a mini-flea market where friends could rent tables to sell items. (The same woman ran a candy store where Snob is now located.) At the time, LIC was still an industrial area with a lot of warehouses. Local workers would frequent the shop during lunch breaks and on their way home from work during the week. But as LIC has changed, so did the shop. Eventually it evolved into a fully-stocked consignment shop. Business on weekdays is quieter now, as most of the industry has left and more residents commute to white collar jobs in Manhattan. And the hotels that have sprung up in the area bring in spend-happy tourists from all over the world. The store founder’s daughter, Ann Caporusso, took over the store many years ago, but you can still see a picture of her mother on the wall behind the cash register.
Just Things is open from noon to 5:00 PM, Wednesday through Saturday, as well as on random Sundays. Thrift shop junkies and bargain hunters with a keen eye will do well digging through the crowded shelves of merchandise–you might just find that rare Chanel necklace or that antique typewriter you didn’t know you were looking for. And in doing so, you’ll be supporting one of the old-established businesses of Long Island City.