I love Sundays. It was always a family day in my house associated with mass (of course) and family outings and roast dinners. Occassionally it was also the day when we would visit family or entertain visitors. So I don’t really suffer from the “Sunday Blues” that seem to plague other people of my generation. But there are some Sundays that are better than others, that are truly special. These are what I call Vintage Sundays.
Vintage Sundays, as the name suggests, entail indulging in everything vintage. I moved up to Dublin for work 2 years ago and during that time I discovered the joy of 1940s radio through an app on my phone. When I start the day by listening to that wonderful station I know it’s going to be a vintage sunday. The radio station is streamed online from the UK and consists entirely of music from the 1920s to the 1940s and recordings of speeches from that whole era, including WWII broadcasts and advertisements for popular household products. Nothing gives me more pleasure than lying in my bed, closing my eyes and being transported back to a time that has been re-popularised by The Great Gatsby trend.
Of course vintage sundays include trawling through vintage and antique shops, even better if it’s a bohemian market. Dublin holds many treasures when it comes to vintage shops, both south side and north of the Liffey. Living on the south side myself, I ensure to frequent The 3rd Policeman in Rathmines as well as the St Vincent de Paul Vintage shop beside it. What makes the 3rd Policeman so special is not necessarily the clothes (which are absolutely stunning), but rather the whole atmosphere of the shop. The antiques, jewellery and furniture are scattered around everywhere giving a real flea-market feel to the place. The ambiance is heightened by the music playing as you browse, which varies from 1920s swing, jazz to 1950s pop with the occassional classical albums thrown in. It really is something special to be transported back in time while fingering the fabric of the beautiful clothes. I have acquired many additions to my wardrobe from The 3rd Policeman but I have also been very happy to lose an hour just browsing through the heart-breakingly fabulous fashions of the past.
When it comes to a truly vintage atmosphere, however, there is a hidden gem along Camden Street, not far from the 3rd Policeman. The Ferocious Mingle is a bohemian indoor market which is truly something very special. It is very difficult to emphasise how special this place is. I love coming here to soak up the atmosphere and it just makes me feel so gentle and peaceful to wonder through the stalls, listening to the artists talking and laughing with each other. Oscar Verne’s coffee bar upstairs is just wonderful. Laid out in the style of a speakeasy bar, serving the most delicious hot chocolate and cakes you will ever taste and occassionaly entertaining live musicians who delight the customers with jazz music, it makes the Ferocious Mingle Arcade what it is – a vintage haven. In the absence of live music, jazz radio and swing music can be heard anywhere in the market. At the back of the arcade is a makeshift cinema which shows old style films, again a fantastic experience. I had the pleasure of watching a silent movie of Alice in Wonderland which is now 100 years old. I have passed many an hour in this bohemian gem in our fair city just sipping on rich hot chocolate, listening to live music and admiring the quirky furniture dotted around the place.
For anyone with a passion for anything bohemian or vintage, please visit this truly unique place. I am always relcutant to leave it and when I do it is with 1940s radio playing in my head on my walk home to maintain that precious Vintage Sunday feeling.