Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Shopper’s Diary: A Poet-Collector’s Finds at Pidgin in Upstate NY

Search

Shopper’s Diary: A Poet-Collector’s Finds at Pidgin in Upstate NY

May 24, 2023

In the early days of pandemic, when so many of us were starved for inspirational browsing, news of Kostas Anagnopoulos’s new upstate New York antiques shop, Pidgin, sent ripples of excitement throughout the design world. Kostas himself could relate: Since his purchase of a pelican-shaped Art Deco bottle opener at the age of 14 , he’s been on the hunt. “I think all antique and vintage dealers who go into business do so in part because they’ve been accumulating for so long that it’s just time to practice detachment and share the finds,” he tells us. “That’s certainly true for me.”

Kostas is also a poet and a seasoned salesperson—he and his husband, Jesse James, founded the creative consultancy/design firm Aesthetic Movement, which we have been chronicling for years: see the couple’s city apartment here and the upstate tent resort they designed here. As anticipated, Kostas’s offerings are far-ranging and soulful: “I’m a very democratic collector. I like patina, and often gravitate towards the homespun and anonymous, how something feels in the hand. The thing has to have nice lines, like a drawing within a larger space.” Come see.

Photography by Victor Schrager, unless noted.

pidgin—named for the shorthand form of communication—is set in th 17
Above: Pidgin—named for the shorthand form of communication—is set in the charmingly untouched hamlet of Oak Hill, which, like so much of upstate New York, has been swarming with city escapees since last spring. Kostas posts new offerings and shop hours on Instagram @thisispidgin.

Not all is vintage but everything has a story: the wood-handled knives in the glass case are by The Shin Blacksmith, a fifth-generation Korean family business. Writes Kostas on Instagram: “Master Shin hand makes each piece using the repurposed carbon steel of railroad track, which is rich in manganese and can be heated to a very high temperature. The handles are chestnut, slowly dried in sunlight for years, so it is lightweight, strong, and rot-resistant.”

the shop is set in a landmarked italianate building, originally a general store 18
Above: The shop is set in a landmarked Italianate building, originally a general store and more recently a record shop. Its original beadboard remnants inspired Kostas to panel the entire space, ceiling and window stage included.

Shown here: a driftwood lamp—”the most monumental I’ve ever seen,” says Kostas—and, on the floor, an outsized ceramic fruit of mysterious origin.

a limited edition elephant portrait by photographer victor schrager—kost 19
Above: A limited-edition elephant portrait by photographer Victor Schrager—Kostas and Jesse’s friend and upstate neighbor who also took the shop photos shown here—is displayed alongside a Napoleon III painted wood mirror. The abstract ceramic sculptures on the top shelf and in the window are by Jesse’s cousin Ashley James.
mame kennedy, another upstate neighbor, specializes in &#8\2\20;woodware&am 20
Above: Mame Kennedy, another upstate neighbor, specializes in “woodware” ceramics: her pieces are handmade stoneware, no two exactly the same.
to ready the space for the shop, kostas divided it into front and back sections 21
Above: To ready the space for the shop, Kostas divided it into front and back sections. The ladder came out of the library of an old house in Bondues, in northern France. The transom windows were found in the building’s basement and “placed to mirror the the horizontal panes at the top of the front windows.”

Of the materials he gravitates to, Kostas explains: “Glass is always good to brighten an area and create reflection. Wood is extremely soulful and has a sense of life. Metal can be weighty and formidable or shiny and delicate.”

a \1930s ukrainian dress and a linen nightshirt by area hang on pegs lining the 22
Above: A 1930s Ukrainian dress and a linen nightshirt by Area hang on pegs lining the back wall. The shop’s hemp dish clothes, towels, and other textiles are newly sewn from decades-old hand-spun yardage from Transylvania. Says Kostas, “I have a soft spot for textiles. My mother was tailor.” Photograph by Jesse James.
Above L: Kostas is the son of Greek immigrants–he grew up on Chicago’s West Side speaking Greek before English. His Uncle Dionysus tends the family orchard on an island across from Puglia, Italy, and oversees its small-batch olive oil production. “The olives on the island are a bit spicy. Because the oil is always from the first cold press, it’s the most beautiful shade of green. I didn’t want to add a label; I wanted the olive oil to say it all, but my husband convinced me that some sort of simple label was necessary. We chose Didot for the font: the Didot family were among the first to set up printing presses in the newly independent Greece in the early 19th century. Above R: Pidgin’s honey is from photographer Victor Schrager’s nearby hives. Photographs by Jesse James.
pidgin&#8\2\17;s trivets are woven in new york state from greek leather cor 25
Above: Pidgin’s trivets are woven in New York State from Greek leather cording. Photograph by Jesse James.
a chalice and darning egg fall under one of kostas&#8\2\17;s favorites anti 26
Above: A chalice and darning egg fall under one of Kostas’s favorites antiques categories: treen, meaning small domestic wooden objects. “I think old things have more soul than new things, maybe because they have a history that is a mystery,” he says. “You can know them, be custodians of them for a time, but their existence precedes you and will likely outlast you. They are survivors.” Photograph by Jesse James.

Pidgin is at 7811 Route 81, in Oak Hill, New York, a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of NYC (and 30 minutes west of Hudson). . You can read some of Kostas’s poetry here.

Peruse our Shopper’s Diary archive for more Remodelista favorites, including:

N.B. This post is an update; the original story ran on January 15, 2021, and has new links and information.

(Visited 7,370 times, 1 visits today)
You need to login or register to view and manage your bookmarks.

Frequently asked questions

What is Pidgin Antiques Shop?

Pidgin Antiques Shop is a unique antiques store located in Oak Hill, New York. It is owned and operated by Kostas Anagnopoulos.

Where is Pidgin Antiques Shop located?

Pidgin Antiques Shop is located in Oak Hill, New York.

Who is the owner of Pidgin Antiques Shop?

Kostas Anagnopoulos is the owner and operator of Pidgin Antiques Shop.

What can I find at Pidgin Antiques Shop?

Pidgin Antiques Shop offers a wide range of antique items including furniture, decor pieces, artworks, and collectibles.

Is Pidgin Antiques Shop open to the public?

Yes, Pidgin Antiques Shop is open to the public for browsing and purchasing.

Does Pidgin Antiques Shop ship items?

Yes, Pidgin Antiques Shop offers shipping services for purchased items. They can provide shipping quotes upon request.

Can I sell my antiques to Pidgin Antiques Shop?

Yes, Pidgin Antiques Shop buys antiques from individuals. You can contact them with information about the items you wish to sell.

Does Pidgin Antiques Shop offer restoration services?

Yes, Pidgin Antiques Shop offers restoration services for antique furniture and other items. They have skilled craftsmen who can restore and repair your treasures.

Are the prices negotiable at Pidgin Antiques Shop?

Yes, the prices at Pidgin Antiques Shop are negotiable to some extent. It's always worth discussing your budget and preferences with the owner.

Are there any upcoming events or special promotions at Pidgin Antiques Shop?

For information about upcoming events or special promotions at Pidgin Antiques Shop, it is recommended to check their website or get in touch with them directly.

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0