An occasionally updated chronicle of estate sales in the city and suburbs of Chicago.

"It's such a guilty pleasure..." Lynne Stiefel, Pioneer Press

Monday, November 30, 2009

Skokie Toy Chest

There were lots of playthings in this Skokie house. For big kids and little ones.

Biggest stack of vintage Playboys I've ever seen -- and a single, lone Playgirl. All were from the sixties and seventies. Imagine the hours of fun the right person could have with these. (Note to John J. in Little Rock: I came across these before you asked me to keep my eye out for them. Sorry!)

The basement was filled with toys and games from the same era.

Someone must have been a Shaun Cassidy fan once upon a time.

A real Shaun Cassidy fan.

A really big Shaun Cassidy fan.

A really really big Shaun Cassidy fan.

For reals.

This pile of stuffed animals in one corner looked to me like the beginning of a Mike Kelly installation.

There was a whole ping pong table filled with dead dolls.

These Donnie and Marie dolls had never been taken out of the package, and were $30 each. Now that Donnie has won Dancing with the Stars, I imagine the price on his has gone up considerably.

I have no idea why Shirley Temple was only $15.

The world of love -- carry it with you wherever you go.

UPDATE: Speck, a reader from Arkansas, wrote a better line for this photo than me, so be sure to check it out below in the comments.

This pachinko game didn't work, and ended up selling for just $5.

Who remembers these?

There was a bar of sorts, too.

With some of the wackiest wallpaper I've ever seen.

Whoops -- one more Shaun Cassidy item up for bids.

The last toy I found -- and definitely one of the adult variety. It's a bed with a red blanket on it and two heads sticking out from beneath it. When you pulled it behind you, the bodies under the blanket went up and down, up and down. Price: $125.

Purchased: Masterpiece game, $5; Steve Martin Let's Get Small LP, $1; Saturday Night Live LP, $1; The Love Machine paperback by Jacqueline Susanne, $.50; Peyton Place paperback by Grace Metalious, $.50.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Comes to Niles

Not only did this house have one of the strangest layouts I've ever seen -- a garage with a kitchen in it, a room behind that for storage, and another beyond with an office and bar, all before you got into the house proper -- it was literally bursting with Christmas accoutrement.

The first room was packed with figurines and Christmas decor, garlands and ornaments and other assorted paraphernalia. Much of it looked as though it had never been taken out of the boxes.

Santas, snow men, children caroling in twos and threes, and bears ready to settle in for a long winter's nap filled this table. And several others just like it.

Watch wear you sit, or you'll ruin Christmas.

A second bedroom featured everything you need for a miniature Christmas village.

Actually, an entire Christmas city.

And its suburbs.

One of these things is not like the others...

Have a cup of Christmas cheer. As a matter of fact, have ten or twenty!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Morton Grove Thanksgiving Dinner

Here in the greater Chicagoland metro area we occasionally refer to Morton Grove as Moron Grove. That's funny, right?

But the more I see of Morton Grove and its mid-century and contemporary homes, the more I wish I held some anonymous desk job at one of the thousand no-name companies out in the northwestern suburbs, just so it would be convenient to live in a place like this.

Here's the view from the front door. It extends from the entryway straight through that formal dining room, past the large living room, out onto the generous patio and backyard, and then into the great beyond. I mean, this shit is Dallas.

Put the extra leaves in the table, haul up the other six chairs from the basement, and this house could host the best Thanksgiving dinner ever.

Work with me now and show some love for this dining room chandelier. Come on people, who's with me?

You all go ahead and eat. I'll be there in a bit. I just want to stand here and finish my wine, and bask in the glow of a warm kitchen in a happy home.

After dinner the grown-ups can all retire to the living room.

Watch out, now -- that's my chair.

Why don't you kids head into the TV room and play XBox on the Nintendo, or whatever it is you do?

The bathroom is right down the hall. Just look for the starburst pattern splashed over everything and turn left.

Later on, maybe we can all watch a VHS tape on the console TV. I've got Scrooged!

After saying my goodnights I like to pause for a few moments, reflecting on the day's festivities while I brush my teeth, take off my face and prepare for bed.

Tomorrow morning when I wake up, it'll be Christmastime.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rogers Park Apartment

This sale was just down the street from our house, and had a few interesting things in it.

First there were records. Lots and Lots of records. Lots and lots of opera and Broadway records, which aren't among the things that make me go, "Mmm." But they did begin to paint a picture.

And lampshades. More lampshades than there were lamps. Imagine what a crazy party you could throw with these, once they were atop the heads of all your guests.

At publication, the "Who's" in the title stood for "who is." Today, it's "who was." And isn't that a frantically happy expression on the face of Lucille Ball?

There were enough outdated self-improvement books to fill any bookstore during the eighties or early-nineties.

Naturally, this one caught my eye. Who would know better than John Travolta about staying fit and building a beautiful body while one is young and still capable of such things? I'd like to see a follow-up to this, one about getting older and kind of creepy.

Look at that JT go!

I think this is that A&F catalog that made such a ruckus a few years ago. It's from the fall of 2001.

I certainly want to buy overpriced denim and tattered hoodies right now. Don't you?

Given everything I'd seen, I thought I was getting a pretty clear picture of the gentleman who lived here.

Then I saw this.

And this.

And this!

I figure one of two people lived here. Either an older gay man who enjoyed entertainment news and kept a few dresses around for kicks, or an older woman who wore flashy outfits, listened to a lot of opera and Broadway, and was trying to get her mojo back with the help of books like The Testosterone Program.

Either way, you win.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chicago Tiki Lounge

Everything interesting about this place was down in the basement, so let's just head down and take a look.

The lights are dim, but I can just make out a sign above the stairs.

Oh, my. I'm sure that was meant ironically. I certainly hope so.

Holy island paradise. This must be one of those places with fancy drinks. In that case, I'll have a Missionary's Downfall. On second thought, make it a double.

It was only $5, and I passed it up. Sometimes I'm such a drunken fool.

When it came to the decor, they thought of everything.

And I do mean everything.

Apparently this bar has rules. But I'm too drunk to read them. Or care.

When the room starts spinning, this floor is going to be beautiful.
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