Get a Killer Pair of Pants That No Hipster Hath Discovered – for $4
My hearty endorsement of the Livingston St. Goodwill in Downtown Brooklyn
I know a few people who are as passionate about Goodwill as I am — usually people who love unpretentious thrifting.
Goodwill is a refuge for cat-wear lovers (cat sweaters, cat galoshes), for taffeta enthusiasts, and for houndstooth scavengers.
There’s the occasional miss, like one time in a Virginia Goodwill, where I found a pastel blue bandage dress with a huge confederate flag print — and lace edging. But there are so many more hits: tartan culottes, puffed violet and green trench coats, cropped sweaters that say PRINCETON in rhinestones. It’s unsurprising, then, that one of NYC locales I feel most strongly connected to is the Livingston St. Goodwill in Brooklyn, right next to Fulton Mall and also a Sleepy’s Mattress store. Of course, the caveat is that you probably have to like shopping for clothes (or furniture), while rifling through dusty racks to a Lumineers soundtrack, but….don’t…you…?
Why not Salvation Army, you might ask? Why not lovely Buffalo Exchange in Chelsea or the fantastic Beacons’ Closet in Greenwich Village, or even, the golden Unique on Fulton St.?
Well, first off, fuck anti-queer Salvation Army.
Second, the Livingston St. Goodwill, in DUMBO, is decidedly unmatched. For the weary Williamsburg shopper, tired of $80 “ethnic print” skirts and entire wardrobes of noir, it’s love.
Note one: it’s around the corner from the Hoyt-Schemerhorn subway stop so as to minimize how much you walk before you spend two hours wandering inside the Goodwill. Note two: it’s opposite a $1 pizza place, for maximum pre-hunting energy, and right next to Fulton Mall, in case you’re tired of thrifting (lol).
Inside, though, it’s huge. I’ve never been to such a large Goodwill and I lived in Richmond, VA — where old things go to die! For real though, Goodwill’s been a constant in my life. When my family first moved to Virginia from Delhi, my mother found Walmart overwhelming.
K-mart seemed too expensive for her. We met this man named Grover who maintained the grounds at Honey Tree, our apartment complex and he told my mother about ~*Goodwill*~ In the resulting sprees, I got a life size stuffed polar bear, new shiny puffer jackets (which I lost immediately), socks, and a Barbie mini microwave, to name a few.
Goodwill was magical to my mother and I, a place where dollars didn’t seem so far away from rupees, where shopping didn’t seem like a trial, and where Americans seemed approachable.
At the Livingston St. Goodwill, I get some of that feeling back. I go there, usually, because I’m broke and I love having new clothes. I also go there because I’m usually surrounded by people shopping for regular clothing, not hoping to achieve a look — although that is a bonus at the Livingston St. Goodwill in DUMBO Brooklyn. Hot 97 is always on, playing sweepstakes and Rihanna and political ads.
The whole store is color coded. The staff is sweet as all hell, and usually talking smack at the registers.
You can spend hours slowly maneuvering around with a grocery shopping cart — but don’t let it out of your sight, or people will co-opt (I speak from experience, RIP yellow bomber).
You can find beautiful singular chairs, part of some long lost 60s dining set, upholstered in mustard yellow, or the red sweater I’m wearing now, emblazoned with the face of a tiger. If you’re lost in Brooklyn, you can go there and languish in a starch gray couch and wonder what you’re doing with your life. You can do that even if you aren’t lost.
This is a hearty endorsement of the Livingston St. Goodwill. Tell them I sent you. You won’t get a discount, but you will find friends for life. Or, probably not, but you will get a killer pair of pants that no hipster hath discovered – for $4.
Tell them I sent you:
Goodwill Store & Donation Center
258 Livingston St
b/t Elm Pl & Bond St
Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill
This is Monica Mohapatra’s first Waddle story.