Marika’s of Shelter Island


EVERY DAY’S A FLEA MARKET AT MARIKA’S, a mad jumble of used furniture on Rt. 114, the main artery through serene and pretty Shelter Island, tucked between Long Island’s North and South Forks.


Truth to tell, I have never bought anything at Marika’s, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I check it out every time I pass through the island — most recently yesterday, when my quest was for a set of six matching dining chairs to go around my new 1940s X-legged table. I didn’t find what I wanted, but I totally enjoyed the browse.


There are a couple of outbuildings and several tents next to an ordinary split-level, spilling over with used furniture, kitchenware, framed pictures, and kitschy lamps, much of it in rough condition. Outdoor furniture is a specialty.


Marika’s is one of those places where you can’t help but think, there’s so much, surely there must be something…I may not yet have found anything at Marika’s, but that doesn’t dim my hopes for next time.


I Hate Painting

I’M THINKING RUSTOLEUM. I have a wrought iron bench on the front deck and an old metal bedstead for the guest room, both in need of some bright paint.

That’s not my bench, above. It’s from Gardenhouse, a site that specializes in reclaiming vintage outdoor furniture and accessories, and I find it way more inspiring to contemplate a project like that than what I’ve been doing for the past two days: painting the guest room.

I’d forgotten how much I hate painting walls (and ceilings – they’re the worst). Yesterday I primed, all the while trying to think who I could call to come finish the job. Today I picked the roller up again, reluctantly, bespeckling myself, my hair, and my glasses with China White. The color is creamier than I intended, but so be it. I can’t run out to the paint store as easily as I did in Brooklyn; anyway, I refuse to extend the process.

Listening to music didn’t help. I missed my daughter, who made last autumn’s painting jag a lot more fun.  The fact that I couldn’t see what I was doing added to the misery (the top coat and primer are close in color, and although I had a clamp-on light, the room was dim by late afternoon, or maybe my eyes are failing).

I vowed this would be the last time…that is, until tomorrow, when I do the trim, including a set of window shutters (shudder), and — saving the best for last — one short wall with Benjamin Moore’s Rhythm and Blues. In a couple of days, I’ll wow you with pictures.