Aunt Katie’s Attic


Thanks to Metroland for alerting me to yet another colorful kitchy vintage shop in the region, Aunt Katie’s Attic in Scotia.  Owner Kate Halasz has been collecting and selling for 19 years and specializes in kitchen items, though clothing and furniture are also part of the mix in the 2-story shop.

Her customers range from young girls looking for retro fashion to married couples outfitting their suburban house as a country cottage, to “older ladies who just want an old cookbook.” Katie’s attic also does a brisk business with burlesque performers and fans. “The pin-up girls want to wear authentic clothing,” she says. “A lot of them furnish their homes in that era, and they’re looking for an old vanity,” or aprons or oven mitts, because according to Katie, “Fifties Housewife is the hottest thing going now, and these girls live it head to toe.” From Bettie Page to Betty Draper to Betty Crocker, Aunt Katie has been ahead of the curves. – Ann Marrow, Metroland, March 20, 2014

Fiesta Waretable and chairs

On Saturday, June 7th, Katie’s hosting an out-door vintage flea with multiple vendors!


Delmar, prime suburbia

One of Albany’s most popular suburbs, Delmar (in the township of Bethlehem) is filled with Colonials and capes, plus plenty of ranches (some raised).  There’s the occasional shed-style contemporary and a few rare gems…15 Werner Av, Delmar - editedWhite decolong and low

West Hill, Rotterdam

Tupper houseWest Hill was developed in the late 1940s by GE engineers who had initiative and vision to spare, plus more than a bit of frustration about other housing options.  They formed a corporation that purchased some 270 acres, which to this day remains a nature preserve that surrounds the community of about 85 homes.  The residencies are in a variety of styles, but it’s a treasure trove for mid-century lovers.  While some of the homes were designed by the owners themselves, there are also works by architects John M. Johansen (one of the famed Harvard Five), Victor Civkin (pioneer of the split level) and Schenectady’s own Eric Fisher.

Barnes house Kilbourn house
Wright house


Story from a homeowner…

“When we first walked in, our agent actually apologized.”

No surprise.

The house in question had a flagstone entryway, globe lights, natural wood paneling, and vintage tile baths, among other period details.  Typical agents will only see to-do projects and call it “dated.”  They might even pass it by and not let their clients see it. But this buyer saw great style, made an offer and now calls the place home.

If a home with such details still in tact is what you’re shopping for or that you need to sell, decide from the start to work with the only agent in the Capital Region who specializes in mid-century modern.

Joseph Dalton • (518) 573-1093


An Armory Show at Opalka Gallery

It would be easy to start recommending lots of local gallery shows on this blog but arts coverage is a different livelihood for me.  Yet this exhibition at Sage College’s Opalka Gallery is a particularly clever and ingenious. Organized by Michael Oatman and Ken Ragsdale, it includes many of our region’s finest working artists (several represented in my own collection).  Plus, two of the spaces feature some nice mod furniture.  The cool lights, by the way, are by Lightexture of Troy.

Armory show 2Armory show 1

Russel Wright exhibit at NYS Museum

Before there was Ralph Lauren or Martha Stewart, there was Russel Wright (1904-1976) who designed product lines that added style and grace to the American home.  On view through the end of the year at the New York State Museum in Albany, “Russel Wright: The Nature of Design” traces his entire career, and includes plans for his own home, Manitoga, which is now a museum in the lower Hudson Valley.  Don’t miss the gift shop on the way out, where Wright books are available as well as some of his china, recently reissued by Bauer Pottery.