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

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

Sunday, June 20, 2010

One Year Later

In the past year we've posted over 150 individual estate sales, from Addison to Winnetka, and welcomed over 2100 visitors from 37 countries and every state in the U.S., except Mississippi. (Draw your own conclusions.)

Thank you all for your interest, time, support, comments and encouragement. Your scraps of attention make this all worthwhile.

Friday, June 18, 2010


We're back in Evanston, which is arguably our favorite suburb next to Skokie. Coincidentally, it also happens to literally be next to Skokie, and if that's not evidence of God's Great Plan at work in the world, I don't know what is. Why is Evanston our second-favorite, second most-visited suburb? Because of classic split-levels like this.

This indoor planter was waiting just inside the front door. Nothing says "welcome to our home" like a built-in container of dirt and/or some hastily arranged artificial plants, don't you agree?

One question: If you've been blessed with a classic mid-century split-level, why would you decorate it with curlicued gewgaws and knick-knacks from a previous century? That's like buying an iPad and then converting it to run on steam power.

The kitchen featured another classic wall oven.

This one is a Wedgewood Futura-Matic. Though the brand is easily Googled, the Internet is strangely silent regarding this particular model. (Go ahead and look it up yourself.) From the looks of that control panel it did everything but cut your meat.

Oh, yes. There's nothing I love more than a paneled den with a fireplace and a bentwood rocker.

And an incredibly loud sofa.

And a smart little Playboy After Dark bar. Tequila sunrise, anyone?

Upstairs I found some of shaggiest shag carpeting I've ever laid eyes or feet on.

It was almost capable of holding its own against the wallpaper and curtains.

Look what I found -- an "Our-Little-Girl-is-Becoming-a-Woman" starter kit!

Speaking of little girls: I think this is a portrait of Dolly Parton as a child.

That's all for now! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Norridge Coke Den, Part 3

We've got one more post from this Norridge bungalow. But this won't be another Coke-fueled romp. Because we're going down to the basement, which is another thing entirely.

And you step!

This cheery trio gave me hope that I was about to walk down into a classic Hollywood wonderland. But alas, 'twas not to be.

First up, not one but two pinball machines. Could this be the most awesomest man-cave ever?


Finding this nearly made me weep with frustration and nostalgia.

I could picture myself enjoying long conversations in here. Or transforming into a super-hero.

Oh, Julio, you savvy shopper, you.

A full-size, full-blooded wooden Indian.

Huffer's delight!

I'm not sure if this belonged to a dentist, a barber or Sweeney Todd.

Buy. Don't buy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Norridge Coke Den, Part 2

The Coke room in this Norridge bungalow led to the kitchen, which was a shrine dedicated to cooking with Coke.

You could enjoy some Coke with your tea.

Next to this Coke wallpaper.

Beneath this Coca-Cola lamp.

While dining on these Coca-Cola dishes.

Or make a phone call on the Coke line.

Or just grab an icy cold Coca-Cola from the fridge.

Wait a second... What the hell is this doing here?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Norridge Coke Den, Part 1

It looked so unassuming from the street. A Chicago bungalow, just like all the others. And even once I was inside, it took me a while to notice what was going on.

Perhaps I was blinded by the walls.

But then I began to get the impression that the former owner was, just maybe, a bit of a collector.

This room had some Coca-Cola memorabilia in it.

I remember this stuff: mix of Coca-Cola and coffee. I thought it was from the '90s, but it was actually introduced in 2006. (And disappeared in 2008.) That's a Coca-Cola popcorn box beside it. Interesting.

But that was nothing compared to this room behind the kitchen.

Looks like someone had a pretty serious habit.

The last time I saw this much Coke paraphernalia I was sitting between Liza and Halston in the VIP room of Studio 54.

They used to claim this stuff wasn't habit-forming, but that's obviously not true.

The more you have, the more you want.

Must. Have. More. Coke.

It's a sad story.

And this is where it leads.

Have a great weekend, folks! We'll be back on Monday with more from this place. (You won't believe the kitchen.) Thanks for stopping by, and keep sharing the links!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Evanston Gratitude

Is it just us, or is something weird going on? One of us at ESS World HQ is totally overworked (and overwrought as well, truth be told) and the other is fresh out of a job. We just got our central computer back up and running. And now, to top it all off, our cleaning lady just quit because she "needs to limit her exposure to cleaning products." What is going on in this world?

We have a lot to be grateful for, though. We're still here, for example, and still in possession of all our stuff. By the way, that's a nice kitchen torch hiding there in the middle of all that clutter -- you pay something like $40 for those brand new at Sur la Table.

We love Thanksgiving as much as anyone. Which is to say we've always considered it to be Christmas's ugly sister. But four porcelain turkeys -- in two sizes, no less -- is a bit much even for the land of plenty. (And doesn't that cat look about ready to pounce on one?) Add the turkey napkins and you're all set for a festive festival feast!

We are grateful this image does not grace our home. Or haunt our dreams.

Who needs a pen?

No, really. Who needs a pen? We'd be grateful to get rid of a few!

Why in the hell did I take this picture? What's so funny about that concrete? I'd be grateful to know!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Huge Find

Folks, we're still putting together the pieces from our recent computer crash. So until we get everything back in place, we offer this little gem from a sale back in April.

You know what the best thing about these boomboxes was? They were portable. You could take your music with you anywhere!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Estate Sale Stories...

...has encountered a bit of technical trouble. It seems our central computer -- pictured above -- somehow managed to catch a virus.

We're not exactly sure which one it was, but the symptoms suggest something between a bad case of the flu and a touch of dengue fever.

Consequently, we've spent the last few evenings nursing our equipment back to health: backing up our hard drives, scanning and cleaning, repairing Windows and generally disinfecting the scene of the crime.

Fortunately, things seem to be looking up -- though we're still definitely in ICU. And unfortunately, our adventures in health care have prevented us from putting together a post for today.

Sorry, folks. It's been that kind of a week. If you're anything like us, you might be in need of a good stiff drink. If so, why not head over to our sister blog -- Rogers Park Retro -- and pick up a recipe or two for this weekend?

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend. Keep sharing the links and we'll see you (fingers crossed) on Monday.
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