Thursday, June 30, 2005

Cheap Charlies

Cheap Charlie's is the best place on earth to kill a lazy rainy day in downtown Orlando.

On such a day like today I decided to make a run to this hacienda of treasures. Here you can find a fortune for 1/3 the price. It's the cool hangout for Atticboys and Rummage girls (hmmm, I just made that up but like it) trying on decades old musty sweater vests and cheap socks. Mirrors with a thousand views, has-been shoes and would-have-been panties. A rainy day haven for culture clash inconspicuously hidden across the from a Homeless Shelter and the Orlando Orena or the TD Waterhouse, whatever fancy calling it.
The owner noticed me snapping a pic of the outside of the building and was so curious to find out what a "Blog" was. I told him about mine and I think I scared him. But he was so nice and gracious to let me wander around with my camera in tow. Absolutely the nicest folks in the world here. Sadly, the cat that used to wander the store and pop out at different times and places is no longer there. Besides that, the magic of Cheap Charlies was still hanging in the air like an old Strawberry Shortcake doll.

Let me share with you my secret little get-away!

Oh my Lordy! Look at all this glorious crap!

The inside of Cheap Charlies Antique Emporium reminds you of the last scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nothing but rows and rows of treasure waiting to be discovered. You have to turn sideways sometimes just to get through the aisles. The fun is that nothing is categorized but in general the further you go back the more obscure and random the stuff gets. There are items in there that probably haven't seen the light of day since the Reagan era.


I would think it iconic that Cheap Charlies is full of actual skinny ties! But skinny ties and parachute pants come here to die. Actually there are limited amounts of "clothes" but lots and lots of clothing accoutrements here. The selection of knitted items such as tissue box covers, beanies and even purses will blow your mind! There is a color for your every mood.


Among the fine pieces of art you come across are cross-stitched sad clowns and flowers that would not be out of place next to your sad eyed puppy oil paintings. I myself got two really neat pieces of string art here about a year ago.


This actually looks like something from your Aunt Ann's living room. Except this is dusted.


I would love to eat my cookies off of a plate that features Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks. I would say to myself "I want to see that plate shine like the top of the Chrysler Building!" and then I would pour some salsa over his head to make like a salsa Annie wig or something. The portrait of Sgt. Chauncey Pink is a mere $25. Pricey if you don't know anything about the gay mafia but a steal if you do!


Hell Yes!...................................Urrrrr........

In the very back is a room usually for bigger items such as pool tables (there were none today) and couches, etc. It was completely dark in there today and as I was the only one in the store at the time I decided not to venture in. The owner was all the way at the front of the store and with my luck I would stumble upon a brown recluse or get attacked by Thrift Store zombies. It was very creepy. When I took the photo there were all these chairs floating in space. Just outside the dark room is the usual pile of old records but more interestingly, VHS and Cassette tapes! Viva Skinny Tie!

__________________Some of the VHS Tapes___________________

The first tape was gone but I'm sure the series has been canceled. And seriously, why would you cast out a tape about Counting Out Cholesterol...pass it on to others, the message needs to get out there dammit!

Columbo episodes!! Also the best of Liberace and Lawrence Welk. Scary thing is, this was apparently just the first tape in a series. Oh, and please help protect America's Parks. It is a worthy cause.

I almost bought it just to see; always hoping "workout" might mean something else (nudge freakin' nudge nudge)


Awwww, the face of something that will come alive and eat you when the lights are off. Isn't it cute?


Missing: Have you seen me lately? Here's your chance to buy something for cheap that your mom and dad bashed other parents over the head for, just so you could go to school and tell the other kids eat it!


Drawers of magical goodness

One of the best things about going to Cheap Charlies is that when you open a drawer, you never know what you will find! Usually scarves, coin purses, match books or the like but always themed. Today I found glasses! The kind Tootsie wore in...well, "Tootsie"

Hmmm, Looks good...

...For the love of Little Debbie!!!


Another great find. The Sylvania Super 8 Sun Gun. How you ladies lived without this I don't know. Ironically, the girl on the box foreshadowed what heavy exposure to the Sylvania Super 8 Sun Gun does to your frontal lobe.


Praise Jesus!!! Golden Girls furniture!!! Right here in Florida!!!! This reminds me of the time that Sofia gave the leather coat with the winning Lottery ticket in it to the Thrift Store....Okay, maybe later then?


The Holy Grail, needlepoint Snow White


The Gayest sculpture depicting the decadent 80's I have ever seen

A close-up of...let's call him Lance. Check out the shirt...Lacoste!


Okay, I know I didn't even come close to capturing the essense of a trip to Cheap Charlies Antique Emporium, it really is something special. It's something that you can do on your own, kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure, or share with a special someone because about every 5 minutes you will come across something that you just have to bust on. If you do go, tell Max I said hello and let him know you heard about it on a BLOG!

Cheap Charlies . 643 Lexington Ave . Orlando, FL 32801

1 comment:

stephanie said...

Classic!! You are 2 cool 2 be my friend! Love the photos! I can just picture you poking around that over-crowded store taking snapshots of other people's treasures. I dream of the day we go there together. :)