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City Guide 2014

6 Eclectic Shopping Spots in ’09 and Beyond

Photo: Bryan Rindfuss, License: N/A

Bryan Rindfuss


In the market for a bronze chandelier with alabaster bobesches? Desperately seeking a pair of Wonder Woman-inspired go-go boots? This short list will help you find them (and lots more you never knew you needed) in the surprisingly eclectic bubble surrounding Alamo Heights, Olmos Park and Terrell Hills.

Charlott's Antiques

When you think of “hobbies,” needlepoint and bird-watching might come to mind before scouring Europe for antiques and shipping them to Texas in 40-foot containers. Yet that’s the hobby that birthed Charlott’s Antiques—an Austin Highway landmark boasting one of the city’s most diverse treasure collections. Living up to its tagline (“recycling San Antonio since 1966”), the 7,000 square-foot gold mine offers a long walk down memory lane you’d be wrong to rush. While well-kept relics from the swinging ’60s (from $8 hats to $80 Barbie dolls) and an extensive array of china, cookie jars and costume jewelry make it an excellent destination for unusual gifts, Charlott’s is distinguished by such historic showpieces as a $45,000 grandfather clock once belonging to Prince Eugene of Sweden. 2023 Austin Hwy, (210) 653-3672, charlottsantiqueshop.blogspot.com.

Debbie Silver Vintage Consignment

Whether you’re looking to harness your inner cowgirl, prom queen or flapper chick, Debbie Silver’s got you covered. Packed with bedazzled gowns, Western shirts and accessories in all flavors, it’s no wonder the compact Olmos Park shop functions as a costume closet for theme parties and theater productions. In fact, the most coveted items (namely a Wonder Woman-inspired pair of go-go boots and a white tux straight out of Saturday Night Fever) are only available as rentals ($35-$60). While prices climb higher than an ordinary thrift store, there’s plenty in the $20 to $40 range and nothing’s more than $250. On our visit, a lace frock from the 1940s ($240) and a black fringed dress fit for a Great Gatsby moment ($125) stood out as lovingly preserved bits of fashion history. 248 W Olmos, (210) 214-3989.

Land of Was

Danny Spear bought his first antique at age 10 and now owns Land of Was, a fascinating store his mother and sister opened in 1960. A spell with Spear can entail antique pearls of wisdom, sound bites from worldly adventures and jokes that’ll have you laughing long after you’ve left. Although known best for lighting and decorative accents (there’s rarely a chandelier or sconce shortage), Land of Was features an eclectic mélange built around European and Mexican aesthetics. While some of the pieces are purchased elsewhere and trucked to SA, the pioneering shop also snaps up worthy treasures from folks in the area looking to sell heirlooms, jewelry, paintings and furniture. Here, whether it’s a 15th-century English chest ($11,000) or an antique salt spoon ($8), it’s likely to have a story attached. 3119 Broadway, (210) 822-5265.

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