When I was little and my parents took me shopping at Sloan’s furniture store, I came along only begrudgingly. The store’s intense clutter sent shivers up my spine and and the unheated, dimly lit, cavernous space made me long to be back at home. Who knew what could be lurking behind the broken down wardrobes and mountains of filthy knickknacks? After spending what would seem like an eternity picking out just the right piece of rickety furniture, my parents would finally leave and I would breathe a sigh of relief.
Now, when I return to Sloan’s more than ten years later, I go far less reluctantly. As I’ve accrued a taste for vintage furniture and one-of-a-kind pieces, it has morphed from an obsessive child’s nightmare into a veritable cave of wonders. Every time I enter the nearly unmarked four-story brick building in Buffalo’s dilapidated East Side, I have to control the urge to poop my pants from excitement. I could spend hours in this store and never get bored. I would say that going in there is like embarking on a treasure hunt except that everything in there is like gold to me. As I sift through piles of old animal skins and rows of framed photographs, the mental list of Things-I-Want-To-Buy becomes overwhelmingly overloaded. The last time I visited, I pretty much wanted to walk away with the entire store hitched onto the back of my car. Due to my continuous lack of money, though, this was impossible. I did walk away with a pretty snazzy green chair from the 50s, an old American Flag, and a few other fun things, though.