Antiquing on a Budget
For more gently priced collections, you might opt to tiptoe past the 18th-century tulipwood armoires and explore an increasingly popular neighborhood for adventurous collectors—the Jordaan. In stark contrast to the elegant stores in the Spiegelkwartier with their beautiful displays, the tiny unprepossessing shops dotted along the Elandsgracht and connecting streets, such as the 1e Looiersdwarsstraat, offer equally wonderful treasures. Those who take the time to carefully examine the backroom shelves, nooks, and crannies of a small shop may be rewarded with a big find. Prices here are also more in keeping with a downtowner's budget for interior decor. Indeed, this is one of the best-kept secrets of New York's antiques shop dealers, who often scour the Jordaan for their imported wares. You can also enjoy happy hunting in the shops on Rozengracht and Prinsengracht, near the Westerkerk, which offer Dutch country furniture and household items; take a look at the antiques and curio shops along the side streets in that part of the city. Many of the antiques shops in the Spiegelkwartier and the Jordaan keep irregular hours and some are open only by appointment, so it's wise to call first.
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