by Elaine Louie
THE NEW YORK TIMES 2003

The actor Justin Theroux is Mr. Downtown, the kind of guy who patronized authentic Village spots like C. O. Bigelow Chemists and Garber Hardware. His prize acquisitions tend to be from the trash. The garbage is picked up on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings on Mr. Theroux’s favorite streets — Perry, Charles, and West Fourth — so he recommends poking around the night before, especially when brownstones are being renovated.

“I found my sofa, my little bookcases, a green, pretty ordinary chaise lounge, beautiful silver fire extinguishers and the lamp above my desk,” he said.

In his current situation, he shouldn’t have to resort to street finds. Nonetheless, “I was looking for some garbage yesterday,” he said. “But I’m not doing it on an organized basis anymore.”

He does pay for things, but as little as possible. Every weekend he is at the 26th Street flea market. “It’s a more tactile eBay,” he said. He knows how to wait. One antique bed was $400 on Saturday and $40 on Sunday. “And he delivered it,” he said.

Among his favorite shops are Lake, at 280 East 10th Street (“strange tchotchkes, and sewn bumblebees, black silhouettes”), and down the street, Obscura Antiques (“true curios — stuffed monkeys, mummy hands”). He bought Shepard Fairey’s pictures of Andre the Giant for $100 each at CB’s Gallery on the Bowery. In 1997 he paid $250 for a Haitian barber sign at Craft Caravan on Greene Street.

Between shopping trips he samples the flavored tobacco in a hookah at Sahara East on First Avenue. “If no one is there, it feels like an old English outpost in the Middle East,” he said.