The Annual Andersonville Yard Sale

Last weekend, for the fourteenth year in a row, I attended the Andersonville neighborhood yard sale. This sale has a particular significance for me since it was the first yard sale in Chicago I ever went to. We had moved in from Arkansas the week before, and happened upon this 12-block yard sale bonanza almost by chance — we rounded a street corner and there, before us, was an amazing sight: long, long stretches of yard sale after yard sale, with incredibly interesting, diverse items. For me, coming from Arkansas — where yard sales are miles apart and reachable only by car — it was like a dream come true. For the first four or five years, the sales were pretty amazing — at that time, the neighborhood consisted primarily of older folks, many of them immigrants from different countries with intriguing items to offer. For about ten years now the neighborhood has been transitioning to younger couples with babies and kids. Now it’s a super place to get kids’ items…but the days of picking up vintage and antique stuff for a song are long gone. We still go every year, though, and I always walk away with things I’m thrilled with.

white dresser 2aThis chest is adorable — the oval mirror sucked me in even when I approached the piece from the back. Last year I bought something from this same seller — a really cute buffet in the same shabby shape. It’s still in the basement, a year later, waiting for its makeover. Let’s not discuss that, okey-dokey? Soon I will be hit with a huge wave of energy and I’ll take care of all of my to-do items, I’m sure. But back to the dresser: we got to the sale at 8:40, twenty minutes before the official start time (the Andersonville sale is the only sale I allow myself to jump the gun on, by the way) and the seller was still dragging things out to her yard. I spotted the dresser from the back, made a beeline to it, and knew I wanted it. I approached the seller, who was talking to another customer, and waited patiently for my turn…but out of the corner of my eye, I saw a sleazy, despicable dealer (who incurred my wrath after I stood in line behind him at a sale in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood, where I stood for fifteen minutes listening to his racist spewings) pawing it and heading toward toward the seller — his mouth was open to ask her about it and I just jumped right on in, interrupting the seller, her customer, and slimy dealer. “How much for the dresser?” says I. “Thirty dollars,” says she. “I’ll take it!” I said triumphantly, cash in hand, as the dealer slunk away. And that, dear reader, is how good triumphed over evil on Andersonville Neighborhood Yard Sale Day.

birdcage 2

The bird cage and stand is awesome. I love it! But listen: it reeks of cigarettes. How much do you have to smoke before the smell permeates BRASS? I’m going to have to scrub it down or something to try and get rid of the smell. $10 for this beauty.

paper dolls

Those little paper dolls are vintage Hallmark cards. There is a nursery series and a dolls of the world series, and I got five dolls in all. They’re in perfect shape — the little feathers at the top are fluffy and adorable. I am thinking that they will look so cute framed for a nursery. I can’t believe how much I paid for these: $5 each. Very unlike me but I couldn’t resist – the colors are so vibrant and the art so cute.

I made a few more purchases this weekend but those are the highlights…yard sale season is slowly coming to an end and it can’t come too soon — I am almost out of room in my apartment, basement storage space, my friend Laura’s storage space, our upstairs storage space, and the garage.  I have a sneaking suspicion my family and friends are very close to an intervention — they’ve been making way to many calculated comments about A&E’s Hoarders.

December 7, 2009 - 6:48 pm

Leilani I definitely went to the same sale as you, I went the day before the neighborhood sale and bought 4 of those dolls! I agree, it was a little expensive at $5 but they were so unique. 🙂

February 4, 2012 - 10:06 am

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