SHOP RIGHT Where else can your comfy-couch and elephant-teapot purchases help the greater good?
Back from an arduous vacation full of nail-biting beer-pong battles and vigorous Wii tennis matches, you enter the dilapidated dorm or apartment where you'll be spending the next year doing much the same. What do you see?
Well, nothing. The place isn't gonna furnish itself.
Don't panic just yet. What if we told you there was a store in which you could get everything you needed in just one visit, for a bundle less than you'd fork over for furnishings at the mall?
Boomerangs, a Jamaica Plain re-sale shop owned by local powerhouse nonprofit AIDS Action, is thrift-store heaven for a college student with a taste for the ironic and the vintage. (Our readers agree: they voted it number-one thrift find in the city for our annual Best issue.) Even better, the store's proceeds go toward myriad services provided by AIDS Action, which counts the shop as one of its most important sources of revenue.
A recent swing-by turned up the occasional Xena: Warrior Princess T-shirt and more practical items, too, like comfy couches, kitchenware, and handsome wooden armoires. The following guide should help you out on your spree. Keep in mind that items come and go fairly quickly, as the Boomerangs staff is constantly updating their shelves.
Clothing: For all you newcomers, first things first: you'll want to grab something warm because Boston gets cold. How cold? Put your head in the freezer for about a half hour for a rough simulation. Jackets cost anywhere from $8 to $15. Do yourself a favor and invest in a sweater ($6), too. If you won't do it for you, do it for dear old mom.
Formalwear: Guys, if you want to look professional for that law-firm internship your parents bribed their way into procuring for you, you're gonna need a suit. We spotted a three-piece vintage wool number ($30) and an ample selection of ties ($6) for just such an occasion. Or, if you're really lucky, you might snag a Brooks Brothers ensemble (the store gets donations from high-end clothing manufacturers including Armani, Kenneth Cole, and Banana Republic) for the price of a tank of gas.
Caffeine: Freshmen, have you tried this drink called coffee? If not, you will. For the inaugural cup, we recommend checking out the fine collection of kitschy mugs ($0.50 to $1), like the one that reads "Being 40 Means Being Twice As Sexy As You Were When You Were 20" (har-har-har) or the creepy "face mug" with an earring dangling from its handle. Those who prefer tea might consider the oversize bright-yellow tea pot in the shape of a cartoon elephant (priceless).
Art: You'll need something to occupy your mind while partaking in a little herb with your weed buddy. Whatever you do, don't buy a Dali print. You run the risk of not only coming off totally unoriginal, but also becoming permanently stoned should you look in its direction for too long. Paintings gone hilariously wrong are a safer bet, and there's few places in the city where you can find a better selection.None other than the Museum of Bad Art itself acquired a piece from the shop they're calling James the Male Model, an oil work featuring a paunch-bellied man naked except for a coonskin cap.