Last week I was visiting my folks in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The city's changed a lot since I lived there in the 1970s, early 80s. The larger business center has moved out toward Interstate Highway 29 leaving only a handful of dedicated shops along the once bustling main drag.
Like most mothers and daughters, my mother and I did some shopping while I was there. I was quite content to leave the mall and big box stores to the fashion-conscious, trend-setting, trend-following consumers. We opted instead for the classic, vintage, rustic and chic antiques mall located on South Washington.
Welcome to Plain & Fancy - Over 6,200 square feet of heaven!
Classic metal lawn chairs line the store front and give a preview of what awaits inside.
The yellow, red, and white color scheme of this display is so pleasing. I fell in love with the old washing machine!
This vintage dress maker's dummy is definitely on my "wish list."
Along with its red, black, and white color scheme, this booth exemplifies how to mix vintage with new. Very chic!
This trio of vintage Westclox Big Ben alarm clocks caught my eye.
I purchased the black and silver one on the far right.
The depression ware in classic pink and green is simply gorgeous.
The table appears set for a St. Patrick's Day luncheon.
This mid-century modern booth is refreshing with its bold colors and sleek designs.
The diminutive Suzy Homemaker oven and iron pair are in immaculate condition.
Plenty to choose from for the outdoors. The back shelf has a large collection of vintage thermoses.
I got lost in this huge collection of license plates!
More for the outdoorsman! I purchased a vintage fishing lure for my husband's collection.
A collection of clocks makes an eye-catching display.
So many great pieces to look at, but I only have eyes for the little shoes under the stool.
Oh how I wanted these beautiful shoes. No matter how much I wished, they just didn't fit, so I had to leave them behind. I so hope they find a good home.
This office mailbox/sorter serves as a wine rack. My brother and sister-in-law bought this piece for their own wine collection. The chandelier above is made from empty wine bottles.
The furniture pieces are simply lovely. So many great dressers, china cabinets, desks, and tables! And just look at the amazing collection of vintage art.
An impressive collection of antique dolls.
This mannequin serves two purposes: it welcomes customers and displays accessories.
Oh, you know, just some pretty underclothes.
The white furniture with pink accessories of this bedroom display has an ultra feminine feel.
This sun room and dining room are simply gorgeous. There's just so much to love.
My mother purchased this 1930s mint green Westclox Baby Ben for me as an early birthday gift. This one is truly special.
Just look at that gorgeous face! And it still works! It now sits atop my bedside table.
The Westclox Big Ben clock I purchased sits alongside another Big Ben atop the Victrola in our living room. Since neither of these works, the times have been set to the birth times of our two sons.
I ended up visiting Plain & Fancy at least three times during my visit, and quite frankly, would have gone more often if time had permitted. I get lost in there. Each unique piece seems infused with a magnetism that compels me to pick it up, turn it over, and wonder at its mechanics, construction, and its secret to longevity. I want to touch everything; I'm not satisfied with a quick browse. I want to know from where the pieces came, to whom they belonged, how they ended up here, and where they will go next. I'll likely never know the answers, but I'll also likely never tire from wondering.
Plain & Fancy Antique Mall
820 S. Washington
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58201
All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez.