The Junk Shop ‘Stary Kufer’ [Kraków, Poland]

An oldfashioned pram stroller and some other stuff put near the entrance to a tenement house on one of the streets in Kraków suggested that there’s something extraordinary hiding behind the doors. That impression wasn’t misleading.

The mentioned place was a junk shop full of old things, starting with fancy dishes and finishing with wooden furniture. All that taken together perfectly reflected the name of the shop, ‘Stary Kufer’, which means ‘old chest’, so symbolic when talking about storing old stuff.

The thing that I found the most impressive about this place was a cosy mess inside, so uncommon for modern stores. No usual shelves as in most of the shops, some things in sale are at the same time the place to put another ones, while the another ones look as if they were there to make a nice surrounding for some else items. All that makes the store look as if it was an old dusty attic full of undiscovered ‘treasures’, and invite to make a few steps among an old furniture and explore the place.

That’s worth mention, each step made there should be very careful, as there are so much of everything inside that just one move seems to be enough make something fall down.

And that was one more thing making this place so interesting. So much stuff, each item with its own story behind. Seeing that all makes you wonder. Who played with the dog on wheels?

Where did the owner of the suitcase travel?

What was stored in the huge chest?

Just a bit of imagination, and faded colours of the things in the shop become brighter, and you can get the image of the times when they were in use, seeing the place where they had been kept before, and maybe even the people who were owning them. That lets to hear a bit of the story of these things, in this way turning the mentioned store into some kind of museum, just more authentic than the ordinary ones, as a little mess inside makes you feel as if you were in an old attic surrounded by plenty of forgotten stuff.

Being in this junk shop it’s very easy to loose count of time, as each of the things stored there invites to have a closer look at it. What is more, the quantity of the stuff in the store as well the composition the items create make an impression of a secret place still waiting to be discovered. Because of the charm of the things there this illusion is so suggestive that it’s very simple to forget about the world left behind the doors, and only bright price labels silently remind that it’s just a little junk shop in a big modern city.

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