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Meet the middle men

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They get their hands dirty so you don't have to. If the thrill of the hunt doesn't arouse your passion, or if you have no patience for old clock radios blaring Whitney Houston through the combined funk of several generations, these stores are for you. It may cost a little more, but rest assured: It'll be cool.

Velouria, 274 North Goodman Street, 461-1020: Open from 12 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Focusing mainly on '60s and '70s fashion and accessories, this store runs the gamut from funky cool to outrageous. All items are clean and in good condition with a $2 bargain bin for a few "as is" buys.

Ricky's Place, 274 North Goodman Street, 442-0042: Open from 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Visa and MasterCard accepted (and small children, according to employee Michelle Zingo). Ricky's caries clothes from the 1920s to the 1980s for anyone from "teenagers and old ladies to hipsters and weirdos," says Zingo. Great place to stop for a Halloween or prom disguise.

Godiva's, 732 South Avenue, 244-3370: Open from12 to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 12 to 7 p.m. Friday. Closed Tuesday and Sunday. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Godiva's carries vintage clothes with some new and military thrown in. Anything hip from the 1940s to the 1970s is packed into this small, hip South Wedge shop.

Aaron's Alley, 669 Monroe Avenue, 244-5044, www.aaronsalley.com: "11ish" to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, "11ish" to 9 p.m. Friday, "11ish" to 8 p.m. Saturday, 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Aaron's vintage section (stocked by Rochester ex-patriot Jack Wanderman) presents mostly '70s stuff at relatively inexpensive prices. Great selection of leather jackets.

Monroe County Ministry of Fashion (at the Record Archive) 1880 East Avenue, 244-1210: Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visa and MasterCard accepted. "We carry whatever appeals to me at the moment," says proprietor Lucinda Storms. Lots of high-quality, hand-picked estate- and garage-sale items with maximum cool. Recent acquisitions include a bunch of 1960s nylon slips. This store caters primarily to young girls and "the $5 shirt guys," Storms says. "I have a ton of men's vintage shirts. Buying one is easier than doing laundry."

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