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Flipping Culture At Store 54

Posted by Jim Botticelli  September 20, 2013 11:45 AM

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The Del Fuegos (Zanes bros) visit original Store 54, 54 Queensbury St, Fenway, 1985

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators" ... P.J. O'Rourke

Buried beneath the courtyard of a vintage but retired 1892 firehouse in Allston, Store 54 might, at first glance, appear to be spillover from a thrift shop storage room . But don’t let that fool you—down the wooden staircase is an underground treasure chest filled with unimaginable Cultural Debris, a "Bohemian Boutique" as store owner Wayne Valdez calls it. With shoes, shirts, dresses, vests, accessories, audio electronics, art, sculpture, bric-a-brac, concerts and vinyl, Store 54 is as much a Cultural Mecca as a capitalist enterprise. In fact, Valdez' prices surprise many. When told by a customer recently that he (the customer) could quadruple an item on EBay, Valdez shrugged, "So go flip it! That's the price tag. End of story."

Valdez (pictured above) is hardly a virgin on this turf. Since the early 80's when he opened his original Store 54 on 54 Queensbury Street, this Little Jack Horner of Rejectology has been seeing value in Cultural Rejects and, as a result, landing sugar plums from all over town. The pickin's should be ripe this weekend. Valdez and his brigade will be at the Allston Village Street Fair this Sunday, September 22 from 12:00-6:00PM intermingling and hawking wares at prices you owe it to yourself to check.

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About the author

Jim Botticelli, a 1976 Northeastern University graduate, is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. In college, he drove a cab and learned the city's cow paths. An avid collector of More »

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