Magical Mystery Spot

Halloween is fast approaching and all the little ghouls and goblins will be out and about, demanding a sugar fix...all of them except this little imp, frozen in time in a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. Journey with her into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.

There's a signpost up ahead!

Your next stop - Homer & Langley's Mystery Spot!

What wonders await? Follow me inside, won't you, after the jump!

Once you enter this singularly odd and fantastical shop, located on Main Street in Phoenicia, you'll be transported into a retro world of wonder with coolness crammed into every corner. Plan to spend at least an hour...or two or three...marveling at all the vintage doodads. Named after the infamous Collyer brothers, the Mystery Spot pays its namesakes due respect - it really is a clutter hound's dream! Proprietress Laura Levine (not pictured) has a discerning eye for the whimsical and bizarre. Laura, a New York City-based photographer (and painter and writer and filmmaker!) scours flea markets and antique fairs to fill her upstate odditorium.

The small rooms (once part of a nineteenth century hotel) have more nooks and crannies than an English muffin and the abundance of items seem overwhelming when you first step in. But because everything is grouped somewhat thematically, there really is a method to finding all the mid-century mod-ness on display. Just watch out for sharp teeth!

One can never have enough Rusticalia, can one?

If you're looking for some notions...

 or a peck of peepers, you've picked the perfect place.

Perhaps you'd like something a bit more natural. (perhaps too natural...yikes!)

This array took me back to my childhood bedroom. I think every girl of the 60s had a big-eyed Keane print on her wall...

...and an assortment of creepy dolls. (Well, I did!)

Need something for the family room? How about a funky hand-carved chess set...

Includes photos of previous grandmasters

...or a groovy tv?

There are books and ephemera for every taste. (You know I'm drooling at this point, right? I want everything...except those teeth, of course)

Are you a little bit country? Or a little bit rock and roll? Peek inside the record room:

There are hundreds and hundreds of records here - my photos really don't reveal the breadth and depth of all the vinyl in this room. Serious collectors will plotz!

You lookin' at me, Zevon?
Guaranteed mood enhancer

Other rooms are filled to the brim with fabulous frocks for the fashionista!

Don't forget the children!
Lookin' fly!

Brooches, baubles and bling...
...and a frame for every face.

Trouble finding the perfect gift?

 You can't go wrong with a cellophane hat.

Veronica Lake approves.

So does this chick.

Laura Levine, who has hung out and photographed many rock and roll luminaries, shot this great photo of Madonna. Laura's work has been shown in museums and galleries, as well as in the pages of that little 'zine called Rolling Stone. Many of her prints are on display and for sale at the Mystery Spot. Yeah, Laura is awesome. And super nice - she spent a lot of time chatting with me and answering questions about the Mystery Spot and her life as an artist.

This concludes our Magical Mystery Spot Tour. I wish I could have showcased all the kitschy clutter to be discovered here! You'll have to see it for yourself...but for now why don't you pick up a Halloween mask...

... and learn all about those granddaddies of hoarding.

Don't forget to give Petey the Piranha a quick pet...

...and come back soon!

More about Laura and The Mystery Spot can be found here. CLICK!


  1. Wow--I do believe you've met your kitsch-kollector soulmate! It looks truly fab--I particularly would love a pair of those "natural" eyes!! Fun fact: As a child, if the house was a mess my mother used to say "It looks like the Collyer brothers live here!" and no one knew what she meant (until I finally looked it up in college) and therefore did nothing about it.

  2. That's so funny, LR - I could totally hear your mother saying that!