My husband had to attend a board meeting of some kind in Victoria, BC – British Columbia’s capital – and so I took a couple of days off of work to tag along. We were in Victoria in the fall and I discovered that the downtown core, right where all the touristy stuff is, houses a number of thrift shops. This time around I visited five.
Beacon Community Services Thrift Shop. The Pandora Street shop is their newest of 7 locations and BCS shops support a number of counselling, employment, social, health and recreational services. Their downtown shop is small but clean and well organized. I scored with a red tag item (half price!) and got this great M.Mac dress for $1.50 – they retail on-line at about $50.
I also got a copy of Emily Post’s Pocket Book of Etiquette – edited by her grand-daughter-in-law in 1964, so it’s as old as I am. It is a fascinating read! Chapters include: The Art of Conversation, Correspondence and Greeting Cards, Advice for Travellers, Formal and Informal Entertaining, Weddings, On How to Dress, The Well Appointed House and more. There’s even a chapter on how to conduct one’s self if you’re granted an audience with the Pope. Handy, eh?
Lyle’s Place – This is a used CD/Vinyl shop and I wandered in out of curiosity more than anything and spent more than I intended. Does that ever happen to you? I picked up a copy of the Eurythmics greatest hits because I love “Sweet Dreams”. Also got the new Hannah Georgas CD – I love her pop/punk sound. But the find of the day for me was a Jethro Tull Christmas CD. I’m not even kidding. It was released in 2009. I got the double CD because it has a live CD of a concert they did at St. Bride’s church, so it’s got them, the church choir and includes a number of readings. It’s got a total Celtic feel to it – you can imagine the flute work – the most interesting thing is the combo of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Thick as a Brick; total jazz feel. It’s amazing. I also love the interior artwork.
Salvation Army. I had great success here in the fall but nothing this time. I was quite excited when I found a pristine Kate Spade purse but I just didn’t want to pay $20 for it. I guess this is another one of those Generous Cheapskate dilemnas that I’ll have to blog about in the future: how much is too much to pay at a thrift shop?
I visited two more shops where I found things for John – a couple of shirts and a pair of like-new chinos for work. They fit him perfectly and I don’t have to hem them or anything. That always feels like a miracle to me. Men, like boys, tend to wear their clothes until they rot off their bodies, so it’s hard to find anything pristine in a thrift shop for men, especially pants. I don’t have any photos of these because he’s wearing them today but if you’re in downtown Victoria, don’t miss visiting St. Vincent de Paul on Yates and the WIN (Women in Need) Shop on Pandora and Blanshard.
One tourist tip: “small car parking” means Smart Car – not a regular car. Found that one out the hard way.
Have you ever been to Victoria? What’s your favourite part of the city?