I love antique shops–not that fancy, nose-in-the-air kind with all the fru-fru porcelain and don’t-touch crystal and wax-em-up furniture. No. I mean the little mom-and-pop corner shops with crazy assortments of real-folks stuff that was truly used by someone, somewhere, once upon a time.
I mean the kind of shop that has all manner of stuff–the fabulous and the forlorn, the funky and the sublime, the valuable and the junk–all hodge-podged together in an inimitably haphazard arrangement that could never be repeated anywhere else.
Where did all these things come from?
Things once held dear, now out of context, out of style, abandoned in a surreal waiting room.
Waiting for a new home. To receive new context. To connect with someone–some place–new.
We stumbled upon such a waiting-room-for-things kind of a place on the upper road between Concón and Reñaca, along Chile’s central Pacific coast, in a quirky, owner-made house that grew where it had to to accommodate the growing collection of stuff that owners Maru Maru Palma and her husband Carlos Salcedo lug in and proud buyers tote back out.
Properties, antiques, typical Chilean handcrafts, events, oil paintings, curios, and we buy antiques, boasts their card.
Maru Maru–a name that suits her better than the “María Eugenia” that her mother chose–leads the way down jam-packed aisles, flipping switches as room after room springs to light and life.
She makes our day with her stories of a lifetime in sales, of past customers, of future dreams. Weaving bits of her own life into the now-contextless fragments of so many others, as we move among things whose origins we will never know.
Who? I wonder. Where?
Why? How? More questions than answers…
Each new discovery with its unknowable past…
And then I spot it.
The thing that must be mine.
The thing that would become part of our space.
Practical? Not at all. Didn’t matter. We had already bonded.
And Maru knew it.
And her husband gently packed it into our car…
Av. Concón Reñaca 4675
arte.mitahue (a) hotmail.com
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**This post was “Freshly Pressed” on June 9, 2011!
Other Cachando Chile posts that have been Freshly Pressed in the past: