Friday, November 14, 2014

Favorite Store Alert: Mush

I don't know how I get so side-tracked. I constantly think I'm not busy at all and then weeks go by and I'm like Oh my God I have a freakin blog! Shit! 
It's like exercise for me. When I exercise, even after a respite, I remember why I do it. BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD. Same with the blog. It makes me feel good. And really for many reasons: I get to write differently, it's a true hobby with no monetary gain to be had (meaning I don't have to answer to anyone), hopefully I'm helping people find out about some very good under-the-radar places and things in LA they might not know about otherwise and finally, writing these posts remind me of how much beauty is all around me... if I just look.
Cythia Greenburg
I'm so grateful to those in LA - the small business owners especially - who take the time to make their store just right; those who choose what they sell so carefully. They're like curators to me. And there's one person in particular who really speaks to me. I see her as much an artist as a store owner. This would be Michelle van der Heijden, owner of Mush in Silverlake.
I first met Michelle and her husband Emmanuel Todorov when they started Mush over in the Little Armenia section of Hollywood. They were right on the Boulevard, near a cafe and a Boxes Etc. store. Frankly I have no idea what drew me to the store - wasn't THE nicest block I ever saw. Maybe I liked the name. Mush. Never asked her where that came from. Fun to say. Muuuuuuush. Now that I think about it, they always had these wind chimes hanging in front. And they weren't frou frou or flowery. They looked mod and cool and like if I had the perfect home they would be hanging in it (or outside of it). Yeah, I guess it made sense why I went in.

And go in I would. For every single occasion. I don't have a friend who doesn't have a present from me from Mush (Louise's birthday scarf, Max's earrings, a candle for Ellen). There was stuff for me too. Of course. I remember when I fell in love with a piece of art from Maud Simmons. It was a little out of my range but Michelle and her husband put me on a payment plan. I don't think I paid interest. And now it hangs in my home. Where it was always meant to be.
Art by Maud Simmons
But rent went up in their 'hood and they needed to get out. I ended up writing a little article about when they finally found their new home for The Eastsider. (That's a free little online rag if you ever want to get super local. Anyway...)

Their new spot is on the 7-11 side of the strip of Silverlake Boulevard below The Reservoir. Mush is on the same side as Spaceland but down a ways, across from Yolk. There are a lot of stores in this small area vying for your attention. And without making a big to do about it, Michelle always puts something outside that catches my eye. Last time I was there it was $3.00 TV Guides.
The Cobys TV Guide
This Bill Cosby stuff is beyond disturbing. And don't you think that TV Guide might be worth more than 3 bucks? For such an awful reason. Yikes. Yikes Yikes Yikes.
Vitage TV Guide

Phil Donaho

The other places might seem nice but this place has my number. It's as eclectic as I think I am. I don't know if I really am but you know, I'm not one thing. I'm not just mid-century modern or totally Art Deco. I'm a bit of this and that.

When I go in I'm always ALWAYS so pleasantly surprised. Michelle scours the freakin planet to get the stuff I think she herself would like to own or at the very least, stuff which brings up feelings or a memory for her. I often envision her with one of those beeping gadgets walking on the beach, combing for metals.
And because I'm not willing to rifle through the world's stuff to find all the gems, I'm glad she is.
Vitage Children's Furniture
Vintage Children's Rocking Chair $85. Dangerous $110.
But don't be mistaken. It's not all vintage. It's a mix-up of old and new - and it all has a story; a history...
Navajo Royston Turquoise Jewelry
Last time I was in, Michelle told me about these beautiful pieces of Navajo jewelry. They aren't vintage but they're made by the same tribe with methods passed down for generations. There is a resurgence and truly they are so special. The turquoise is real (which is a big deal since most of it has been mined to death) and frankly I don't even love Turquoise. It's maybe my least favorite part of visiting New Mexico, but I go for this Nevadan Royston blue.  


Some of her pieces are just fun. Fun to look at, fun to touch, fun to feel. 
Fabulous Vintage 80's Mesh Necklace for $75
The above necklace or better yet neck piece is like this coin purse my mom gave to me when I was a kid that I loved to mush around in my fingers or suck on when no one was looking. (Addict in the making). With the right plunging neckline, this thing would kill.

There's also a splash of cuteness here and there. Case in point, this cherub...
Cute as shit cherub playing the flute, $125
And this adorable vintage Bull Dog that could be a door stop or your pretend dog if you're allergic.
Authentic Cast Iron Bull Dog out of Boston for $275.
The knives are apparently a favorite with vegans.
Pewter & Silver Steak Knives. $275 for a set of 6
But remember those gifts?  If you're like me $275 might be a bit pricey for a friend's birthday (if not, look me up). Mush carries those things you can just run in on your way to a birthday dinner and you know there'll be something.
k.hall soaps & candles
The above is a good example. Michelle says she's been stocking k.hall for years because people love and come back for their products. The soaps are only $12 and one bar can last up to 2 months.
These necklaces are kick-ass as well. The chains are gold-filled and the stones are Chalcedony. $35 to $54 each. 

As you can see, there's a bit of everything. It all comes together. Old and new work so seamlessly in tandem. Because it all comes from one eye. One sense of style.
The phone WORKS! From the 40's. Only one owner. Super score. 
Oh my God. I wrote all this stuff and just realized regardless of why she called it Mush I get in my mind what it means. Everything all together WORKS. Duh. Just took me 7 years to figure that one out.

Mush is at 1617 Silverlake Boulevard, Silverlake, LA 90026. 323.664.6874. Through the end of the year, they'll be open every day from 10am to 6:30pm. Street parking available but always check the signs. Also if you're not in LA but interested in what they have to offer, go to their very vibrant and active online store. You'll find a lot more furniture there as well as stuff not found in their store. They ship anywhere. Check out for more info.
Wooden Bowls, hand-turned by Gerry Martin. From $65-260.

*The Tiger's head is a prop from the 80's with realistic glass eyes. Signed by the artist. $250.00