Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bagels and Used Clothing

Seven years ago I moved to Massachusetts to go to school and I've pretty much never looked back. I knew immediately that this was the place for me (or at least that Maine would never be "home" again). There are, however, two shining examples of awesomeness in Bangor, Maine that I have yet to find even a passable substitution for. They are obligatory stops when we go back to visit family.

1) Bagel Central, 33 Central St., Bangor, ME.

The bagels here are simply great. Chewy but soft, salty but not too much. I blame the dreaded Dunks for Massachusetts' serious lack of good bagel shops. I tried searching Google Maps once for "bagel shops" in "Lowell, MA" and the first three or four entire pages were exclusively Dunkin' Donuts. Ugh.

Anyone have any good hidden-gem suggestions?

2) Goodwill Retail Store, 805 Stillwater Ave., Bangor, ME

I get the feeling that most of the people I know around here, even people who are exceptionally thrifty, have a bad vibe about thrift store clothing. I can really see why. The used clothing stores that I have sampled in the area are lame, lame, lame, dirty, and lame.

Goodwill in Bangor is huge, has an ever cycling selection, and it's super clean. The patrons are not overwhelmingly sketchy. It's okay for the average person to walk into the store and shop. Almost every time I go there I walk away with exciting amounts of clothes that actually fit me.

Where's the secret spot for great thrift shopping around here? Let me know. We'll go together.


Kimberly Pye said...

I usually have a hard time finding clothing there because women's clothes are so era-sensitive.

On one trip, though, I got a fairly good-sized bag of yarn for $7.99. There probably weren't more than 20 skeins of acrylic in it, but the real deal (and the clincher for the sale) was the big ol' collection of needles tucked inside! (There were at least 50 dollars worth!)

That was my favorite trip. My second favorite trip was when I got a book of Arabic phrases and their silly English translations (with silly pictures to boot!), a first-edition Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, and a big bag of wool roving and some super soft stuff I can either spin or use (as I just learned today) for thrumming inside mittens or whatnot.

A super long time ago I got a lovely little vintage plate made of bone (for 50 cents).

When we go, I always check all the records (99 cents each) for colored vinyl.

So, yeah, I second that. We need a better thrift shop 'round these parts.

P.S. My favorite bagel at Bagel Central is the sunflower one. After the first time I had it, I never tried another flavor. It's the best.

Steve Athanas said...

Good (though not perfect) bagels can be had at Main Street Bagel in Salem, NH.

My favorite bagels of all time were at this place called Godfried's on route 1, but they closed long ago when Boston Chicken bought the building. I wouldn't go to Boston Chicken (and later Market) for years because I never forgave them for taking away my favorite lox cream cheese and bagels. I do, however, now covet their cinnamon apples.

Danielle A. said...

I mentioned this to Dan earlier, but the Salvation Army on Rt. 1 in Saugus is pretty big. I remember it being clean and also going through records there as a kid. I haven't been in years, but I'd been thinking about heading there since I went into our tiny one here in Salem. If an excursion were to occur, and you were looking for company... :)

I second Steve on the Main St. Bagels. Though, that might be a bit of a hike from Lowell. There's gotta be one near you guys someplace...

Missy said...

I haven't been there, but I've heard from Andover-ites that Perfecto's Caffe ( has awesome bagels, you should check it out...

Chris Menice said...

Did you try the Starbucks bagels? Those are great! Yeah, I'm kidding.

I like the bagels at Panera Bread, but I'm sure it's nowhere near as good as a real bagel place. Don't think I've ever been to a place like that.

Kimberly Pye said...

Oh, man, I do love the asiago cheese bagel from Panera (another one of those never-order-anything-else dealies for me).

It's a good thing I love that one so much, too, because it's one of the few that doesn't have any hydrogenated fat in it. Sadly, Dan's [former] favorite (cinnamon crunch) does contain the poison.

jill said...

Every February I visit my sister who lives outside of Bangor and always look forward to our day in Bangor! The Goodwill there is esceptional. I enjoy it so much more than the Salvation Army. The Goodwill organizes by size and always has a good selection. Massachusetts has a lot of Salvation Army stores but I don't know of any Goodwill stores. Though I used to consider them one in the same I have come to learn that they often are pretty different.

I have a clipping on my fridge for Trading Clothes, a consignment right by you guys on Chelmsford St. Have you checked it out? Ah, as i read the clippoing again I see that they sell only women's clothes... Good trip for the ladies!