This story really begins at 3 PM, Saturday afternoon, December 4th. After spending the morning quite diligently working on school related items, I put on my spandex running pants, fleece, and mittens, and geared up for a run. There is nothing like a winter run; there is always the chance that snow will fall. I love the way you feel energized and toasty.
Now, I live in Lawrenceville, and so if I’m not willing to drive to a park and run—and really, in my heart of hearts I’m more of a step outside your door and run kind of lady—I run by many, many establishments along Butler Street. This was the case today. I was listening to a little Edward Sharpe intermixed with Far East Movement (you know, the electronic pop quartet—Like a G6—I’m a dork but I get a free pass because any music is permissible when you are running) when I realized: there are a lot of people out today. These stores are lit up with festive white lights. There are gingerbread men everywhere. WHOA! This weekend is Lawrenceville’s Cookie Tour! For the uninitiated, this is how this scenario works: most of the boutiques along Butler Street bake cookies, you enter the store to peruse their goods, take a cookie, warm up, and perhaps make a few holiday purchases. Oh, it’s lovely, and there is nothing I want more after a 5 mile run than a cookie.
Thus, I ran home, showered in record time, geared up, and set out. I was somewhat daunted by the idea of walking in the freezing cold from around 50th street to 35th—but I’ll do quite a lot for a cookie. And, let me tell you: this experience was nothing short of AMAZING. If you haven’t yet experienced this cookie tour, you must go. You must. Nothing is more festive, nothing, nothing.
It was on this chilly albeit cheerful walk, laced with Christmas lights and cookies and cider, that I stumbled upon a new store on Butler Street. I was immediately intrigued by the colorful textured paintings in the window, and the dresser painted such that it reminded me of something I would see at a Shepard Fairey exhibit.
The store in question is called Furnish. According to the website, Furnish offers “an eclectic blend of Industrial Country finds and reclaimed furniture.” If I could describe this for you, imagine venturing into the attic of your hippie aunt who reads tarot cards, does charcoal drawings in her free time and joined the Peace Corps in the 60s.
Furnish includes original artwork, restored furniture, hand crafted pillows, blankets, and assorted tchotchkes that I would honestly love to festoon my apartment with.
So, upon my entry to the store, I poked around—I was the only person in there—until I had the good fortune of meeting Michelle, one of the owners. She is friendly, upbeat, and obviously talented.
There were honestly SO MANY things I wanted to buy in this store. From the distressed coffee tables to wicker baskets, to the mini wooden benches painted green and blue, I was hooked. But, nothing got me more than the mirrors, one in particular. It had an espresso colored frame and Michelle had written “You look good in that,” in the kind of scrawled, carefree handwriting that looks messy on purpose. Black paint. So unique.
Michelle noticed me eyeing the mirror. “I just made this yesterday,” she said. “I just thought it would be nice to look in the mirror every day and read that.”
There are many spectacular reasons for engaging in artistic endeavors, but this was probably the plain nicest reason I’ve heard of in quite awhile. That’s kind of what I loved about it.
The logical conclusion to this story would be to say that I bought the mirror and left, but that’s not quite what happened. In true, awkward Amanda fashion, I first left the store to walk home, and then realized that I didn’t want to wait to purchase the above mirror. I then decided that the only logical conclusion would be to get my car, drive back, purchase the mirror, and then come home. This sort of made more sense anyway, since I didn’t really want to carry the mirror all the way back to my apartment. Unfortunately, this meant that I had to first call Michelle and ask her how long the store was open, resulting in the following exchange:
“Hi, may I please speak with Michelle?”
“This is she.”
“Hi, this is Amanda, you know, the person who was just in your store—I was wondering how long you are open?”
“We’re open until 6.”
“Great. I’m going to come back and get that mirror.”
“Changed your mind?”
“Well, see you in a few minutes!”
As I paid for the mirror, Michelle took my change and said, “I hope that you feel good whenever you look in it.”
It turns out that I do, but not because I really think I look that foxy in every ensemble. I always think of the really genuine motives of the creator. And if anything makes me feel good, it’s a genuine motive.
Please check out Furnish’s website, of course it is lovely: http://www.shopfurnish.com/
 I also worry that the car exhaust is going to kill me. But then again, apparently I don’t worry enough to actually you know, go to a park.
 Signs, not an invasion.
 The downside to this story, and of displaying this mirror in my living room, is that some people may assume that I’m an egomaniacal narcissist. However, I’m really not, although there is no real way to convince anyone of that with evidence to the contrary prominently displayed in my living room.