Elaine's Antiques

Edina's classic shops take a writer down memory lane.

Antique shops, to me, are wonderful transporters … the way they smell, the way they feel, the way they make me feel; they always bring me back to my youth.

My Aunt Elaine owned an antique shop in the tiny burg of Fertile, Minn., which is about six hours north and slightly west of the Twin Cities. Elaine's Antiques, as it was called, was located in the back of her clapboard house right on the main drag, and it was one of the places that folks visited when they made their way through what was almost a one-blink town. She had rows and rows of milk glass items, copper pots, signs, games, household pieces, furniture, and this and that; it was a treasure trove of all things old. 

But the items I remember the most were her dozens and dozens of teapots, teacups, saucers, all flowery and pretty. As a mom with three boys, she'd ask if I could come up and stay with her for a few weeks at a time during the summer. I thought it was heaven being away from my crazy house with my six rambunctious siblings. We'd drink sweetened coffee from those dainty teacups, and she'd light up her cigarettes one after the other and laugh. Once in a while my cousin, Terry, would get on the old dial-up phone and make prank phone calls to folks in the town; all the while Elaine would be sipping her coffee, leaning over an old Formica countertop and scratching the Eczema on her forearm, while the smoke from her Kent cigarettes swirled like a cloud around her. She'd throw her head back and laugh when Terry asked old man Jones if he had Prince Albert in a can. 

And so when I go into an antique shop, I see more than just beautiful things, I see memories. I see my youth.

We’ll be taking you on a trip down memory lane in our June issue’s antique shopping guide, available at edinamag.com starting June 1.

To hold you over until then, here’s a sneak peek at the shops our guide will include:

Victory, 3505 W. 44th St., 612.926.8200

C. W. Smith, 4388 France Ave. S., 952.922.8542

Loft Antiques, 3022 West 50th St., 612.922.4200

Hunt & Gather, 4944 Xerxes, 612.455.0250

Mish Mash, 4504B Valley View Rd., 952.920.8243

Hopkins Antique Mall, 1008 Main St., 952.931.9748


Here are a few others that aren’t in our guide but you should still check out:

Piccadilly Prairie, 5014 Xerxes Ave. S. 612.234.5014

The Vintage Studio, 3016 West 50th St. 612.929.2559

City Chic, 3018 W. 50th St. 612.926.8934