In Convenience

Under the current lockdown protocols, the only shops that are allowed to be open to in store customers are pharmacies, groceries. Stores that sell food, like Dollarama and corner shops are permitted to be open but they are not supposed to sell non-essential things like Halloween costumes, clothing and clip on bears.

But of course, some enterprises are flaunting those rules. I always like to check out dusty old convenience stores because a surprising number of them sell new old stock clothing and accessories. Even in the before times, I’ve sourced Casio watches and Cèline tshirts. The place were I picked up the clip on Grizzly is also an excellent source of flavours of Coca Cola that you can usually obtain only in Mexico or the Philippines.

On the weekend, Mr. Andrew and I walked to Roncesvalles and I popped into one such shop where I found this souvenir of Canada’s Wonderland Charlie Brown sweatshirt. Because I’m trying not to buy any new clothes (and because it was a small and the shopkeeper wanted $30 for it), I took a pass, but it was very hard. I’m still thinking about going back for it.

From the same store I found and bought these fantastic plastic watch straps. I had just been telling a friend that I wanted a shocking pink patent band for my vintage Elsa Schiaparelli watch so it was destiny! I also got a lime green version in case I felt like switching things up.

There’s also a sort of dubious dollar store/postal box rental depot around the corner from our house. I went in looking for mailing envelopes (which have been deemed non-essential items at most places). And on top of the rack of over-sized Gildan tshirts and pleather jackets, there was a bin of New old stock Gitano jeans from the 1980s. We’re talking authentic Mom jeans. I bought a pair and fell in love with the cut and the colour. The only problem is that they have an elasticize waist that had lost all its stretch from age. I had some elastic ribbon at home and improvised a new waistband so these trousers would fall down as I walked.

At the end of the day, I couldn’t stop speculating about the supply chain for these dusty old convenience stores. Where did this time capsule collections come from? Is there any profit in it? How many of these types of shops exist? Now I am compelled to poke around in every corner shop I pass.