Pawn Shops Are Fascinating

DSCN4059, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I’ve noticed that the pawn shops on 14th Street have extraordinary number of musical instruments for sale. A bit odd, yeah? Any theories? Who shops at pawn shops anyway? Sadly, I didn’t see any recorders. That was the only instrument that I was mildly proficient at. My masterpiece was “three blind mice”. It is a bit sad to think of all these musicians pawing their saxophones…

11 Comment

  • My husband uses that pawn shop to buy instruments for his students.

    Those aren’t as great as a new instrument (and not all new instruments are great), but kids don’t always stick with it so a parent with limited funds may feel better laying out the pawn shop price rather than full price.

  • P.S. You can get recorders for cheap at Dale Music in Silver Spring or Middle C Music in Tenleytown. I got one recently and have now perfected Hot Cross Buns.

  • What Sassy said.

  • My theory would be that kids take up band instruments in the 6th grade or so and abandon them by the time they graduate H.S., if not sooner. Why not pawn it?

  • I really dig Pawn Shops, they are constant sources of entertainment, each random discarded object has obvious wear and tear that betrays a story which always ends in a 25% monetary reimbursement of the original price.

  • saf

    My dad plays the accordion.

    See, when he was a kid, he wanted to play the piano, but the piano was too expensive for his parents to get him one. (I note that he did eventually get a piano)

    So his dad went to the pawn shop, and could afford an accordion. What? It has a keyboard!

    The only reason I’ve gone shopping at pawn shops is looking for my jewelry after a burglary.

  • Saf,
    just don’t tell the pawn shop why you are there or they won’t buy your jewerly and you will prob never see it again. Believe it or not, some stuff does come back from their database. I had a bunch of things lifted, but the power drill came back because someone pawned it and they recorded the serial number in their database that the police run their serial numbers through. There was a match, they not only gave me back my drill but they had a suspect as you can’t sell anything without them making a copy of your photo id.

  • i always wonder aboutt pawn shops… i always imagine that the pawn-er of the item had to do some for some rotten reason, be it a breakup or financial desperation… so i feel like the items carry the sadness. so i’ve never bought anything there. does anyone else have this problem?

  • College was a 5 year series of feast and famine; during which I managed to subsist on ramen and pbr long enough to save up and buy a diamond necklace for my girl friend at a pawn shop, beautiful necklace, beautiful girl… as I recall, I found out they were both fakes at roughly the same time.

  • saf

    There’s a pawn shop, on the corner, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania….

    Anyhow, Kalia, that time was 18 years ago. And it was several days, perhaps a week?, after that burglary. So, it was either there already or never going to be by that point, IMO.

  • Found two stolen bicycles [one mine, one belonging to a friend] at a pawn shop near 6th & U. I kinda freaked out and called 911 – an employee heard me on the phone with dispatch and tried to kick me out of the shop and began locking the store down. By the time MPD got there he had closed the store & thrown several bikes in the back of a truck and driven off.

    I don’t have any real faith that MPD has the resources to check the serial numbers on pawned items, and would bet a pile of money that most merchandise in pawn shops is stolen. After speaking with a detective who works in the pawn division here those fears were pretty much confirmed. They may work in rural America or college towns, but here pawn shops are mostly just fencing operations for thieving junkies/crackheads to get drug money.

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