Author: Steven Appler

Antique aficionado, Steven Appler launched his passion for the hunt at the tender age of twelve, combing the wilds of South Park Lake in South Buffalo for cone-top beer cans, but instead finding a dead body. Since then, he has kept busy as an artist, art educator and college professor, and passionate antique picker, seller, and enthusiast of art and design, history, and research. A vintage find that is meaningful to you aesthetically, emotionally or monetarily is what makes antiquing such a worthwhile experience. Steven loves to share his knowledge from over 40 years of antiquing with his customers, and now his readers.

In the spring of 1978, I saved my confirmation gift money to purchase my first all in one, turntable, cassette deck, am/fm stereo and speakers by Sanyo. This wonderful device gave you the opportunity to make mixed tapes from records but also to record songs directly from the radio. With my Courier Express paper route income, it afforded me about an album a week, or a three pack of TDK SA90 cassettes and the chance to hone my recording skills. I know I am aging myself when I tell you that I was not alone in this early pirating of…

Read More

nos·tal·gia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. In the vintage marketplace, what is being bought or sold more than any single object, is this bi-product of life: nostalgia. It is the free-radical element found on the table of every flea market,  in attics or basements and sometimes to the very attentive and lucky – on curbsides. It is the tale, the touch, and the switch, that brings us to that certain time and place. I was thirteen years old, out on another expedition, searching the forgotten, overgrown…

Read More

As a first generation American, my parents had to be very frugal in terms of how to feed a family of nine on a single income. Like most large families in the 1970’s, buying things in bulk, directly from the source was an integral part of this plan, hence making regular stops at the Clinton-Bailey Farmers Market. It was always a part of our Saturday and Sunday mornings as we went to church close by on Scoville Avenue. My father loved a bargain, so along with frequenting the farmers market, we also visited the the now defunct “Super Flea and…

Read More

Over the last ten years, one of the biggest concerns in the antique business has been whether or not a new generation of collectors would ever come to the surface. With the baby boomers having filled their homes with nostalgia from their childhood in the 80’s and 90’s, antique markets have taken a downturn. Collecting things like Star Wars toys, comic books, video games, and vintage clothing became the new norm. The internet and eBay have taken their toll, leaving many antique stores to close, many pickers to find a new line of work, and the number of vendors at…

Read More

Like any passion, often we have certain “Holy Grail” objects or “bucket list” goals that we hope we will find, or get to experience. For Elvis fans, it might be Graceland. For Disney followers, a trip to the Magic Kingdom. But for those passionate about vintage and antique things, our “Meccas” may vary.  As a lover of art, architecture and design, my list is a bit extensive, although many of my early goals have been met. I have been to the Brimfield Market in Massachusetts, The Brooklyn Flea, The Hell’s Kitchen Chelsea Market, Madison Bouckville Antiques Show and lots of…

Read More

Eight years ago an idea found legs, as Newell Nussbaumer and Dr. Michael Calabrese created an urban vintage market – much like the famous Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg and Fort Lee neighborhoods downstate. To repurpose an available parking lot on weekends at the bustling corner of West Ferry and Elmwood as a place for local vendors to sell was, in this writer’s opinion, brilliant. And this brilliant idea is called The Peddler. Did you know that Revolver Records, with a shop on Hertel and a shop on Elmwood, got its start at The Peddler? An antique shop on Elmwood is…

Read More

“Farm Fresh” is often used to describe the quality of fruits, veggies, or even dairy products harvested directly from their source. In the antiques business, the term “farm fresh” upholds a similar ideal: an object just uncovered from some dusty, rural, forgotten place – that has remained unseen and unshopped by dealer or customer, and is only now entering the marketplace. If you are like most people, you may not even know where to begin to look for such an object. Like me, you probably cannot picture yourself knocking on the door of some rural property, to ask if there…

Read More

One of the wonderful and overlooked aspects of the western New York area is the abundance of weekend markets and one off special community events. Along with the major attractions like the Farmers Market on Bidwell, or those that occupy a traditional place like the markets in East Aurora, Williamsville and North Tonawanda, there are these other markets, equally interesting and enjoyable. These other markets are flea markets, antique markets and large antique shows that can be a weekly adventure, but a way to keep good things out of landfills, and fill your life soulful accessories. Over the coming weeks,…

Read More