Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Two Crazy Cousins
The sign grabs you in from the Key Pen. Hwy at 134th. Hand-painted, joyous and jam-packed...there couldn't be a better way to introduce Becky and Darcie...and the coolest store you've ever seen! Two Crazy Cousins is an antique, eclectic-groove emporium with deep roots in our community. You could walk into this shop with $5 or $500 and spend the same amount of time looking, the same amount of time changing your mind for something else! Not only does one shop at 2CC...one visits in the old-fashioned General Store way. Becky Olsen and Darcie Long are really cousins, fourth-generation descendants of the Rickert Family who settled in Longbranch. I meant it when I said the roots run deep here.
When I first talked to Becky, she told me how her parents had loved to dance when my band was playing and I remembered them as the only couple on the dance floor at the Fair, one year. I felt the loss as she told me that her dad, Dick Radonich, had passed away just recently. She apologised for not having the store in 'tip-top shape' and her eyes teared. I tell you, I cannot believe how beautifully the store was laid out, especially considering the family sadness. There again, the strength of character I have found to be the norm in our neighbourhood.
The shop is a gathering place for all...a few lines of conversation and then one bends to look through drawers and cabinets before finishing the thought. There's furniture to sit on, enjoy and buy. Shelves hold beautiful old linens, dolls, crystal, porcelain and all manner of collectibles. There's jewelry, both old and new. Not to forget the menfolk, there are those delicious drawers of tools and whatnots in the deep dark back! Let me say once again, there is something here for every budget. Our local artists have original works on the wall alongside prints collected elsewhere. I couldn't help but think of fellow blogger Kim, when I took the picture of this full dining set, complete with dishes carrying a bright red parrot motif!
The first time I went into the store was with my friend Tweed, who has some of her paintings here, as you can see. I met a sweet woman who confessed that she had been one of the bikini-clad extras, dancing in those sixties beach movies...yes, Beach Blanket Bingo! We gathered around like little chooks, listening to her stories of changing wigs and leopard-skin bikinis. The second time, my husband and I stopped by and noticed a bright red car in the parking lot with NYPD on the license-plate. Inside we had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful couple. He had indeed been a New York cop...worked Brooklyn Homicide for some years, he told us. He and my husband compared old neighbourhoods.
Everything, just about, is for sale at Two Crazy Cousins. The smiles and stories though, are given away freely at this small family business, and you never know who you might meet there on any given day. Having been a thrifty shopper all my life, I find my basket filled with treasures I can afford, my eyes filled with art and cool bits on every level, and my heart filled with a strong family pull that gathers the community. Do yourself a favour, drop by Becky and Darcie's store to search for bargains worth the trip from anywhere...and feel free to stop and talk a spell. Tell those two crazy (in the most delightful way) cousins that Lorraine sent you for the experience...the treasures will be yours to find.