The 55th Street Pier Antique Show Is a Wonder

Treasures and Pastoral Childhood Memories Merge at the Crossroads.

The Pier Antique Show at 55th street and the Hudson River is a wonder. It beats any of my long cross country fantasy road trips. I meet some of the hundreds of dealers from Santa Fe to Maine selling Georgian diamond rings and apartment-size Eames sofas at below New York City prices. This past week end I loved chatting with a vintage clothing and jewelry dealer (Auerbach & Maffia) who lives in North Wales Pennsylvania where I spent much of my childhood on my aunt’s hundred acre farm.

The farm’s furtive feral cats, spring house, brown and white Guernsey cows, frog pond and cinder strewn stone hearth all star in my dreams. But, at the Pier Show I am stricken when the proprietor of Auerbach & Maffia says there are no farms left in North Wales—just town houses and malls. He lives in a townhouse on what he thinks may have been my aunt’s farm. “Things change,” he says, “they change.”

Stricken, I hastily look up my aunt’s farm on Google Earth. She bequeathed it to Delaware Valley College. Could they have sold it to developers? But not to worry. There at the crossroads of routes 309 and 202 is the wet roadside gully dug by tractor tires and beyond it an expanse of green-covered earth and the dirt road with the old familiar white farmhouse. What a relief.

At the Pier Show Evan Lehrer and his mom Janet (973-699-8908) who is pictured with this article have great bargains in jewelry: a brown cameo ring $450 (1880), a $500 (1960) gold ring with garnet and citrine, and a fire opal ring $350 (1930). Maybe I’ll hunt her down at the next Stella Pier Show this coming November 17th and 18th. (The photo accompanying this article is of me and Janet Lehrer at her booth.)

I always leave the Pier Show torn. Should I buy (I always get business cards) the Georgian garnet intaglio ring picturing an angle from Roy Rover (610-838-4828) where I spotted my 47th street dealer covertly buying—or should I keep my bank account looking the same?

Photo credit: my neighbor Bob Simon

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