Deadly Dragon Sound just joined the long list of shuttered downtown record stores, but that doesn’t mean the news is all bad where quirky vinyl shops are concerned. One of the quirkiest, Tropicalia in Furs, is making a slight return after leaving the East Village a few years ago.
Fashion + Shopping
Visitors to Eclectic Collectibles in Williamsburg may enter with something specific in mind: an antique frame, perhaps, or specific knife for their latest film shoot. But as they pick through the endless piles of vintage flotsam, more often than not they stop dead in their tracks in front of the weird taxidermy corner.
A large vitrine shows stuffed chipmunks cavorting on a carousel, serving up drinks in a mini-tavern and playing in swings. In a full-on assault of visual information, there are also stuffed foxes, two-headed calves, and a wild-boar head placed in haphazard stacks. The exhibit is so weird and ripe for Instagram that owner Anthony Torres placed “No Pictures” signs all around.
This Friday on Bedford Avenue, the dream of the ’90s will collide with the dream of the mid-aughts when The Misshapes spin at the grand opening of the Dr. Martens store. It’s all a little bit overwhelming. The jet-setting DJs, in case you haven’t read their book, achieved “it” status with their Cobrasnake-friendly parties at Luke & Leroy and Don Hill’s; these days they work the decks at international fashion fetes you’re not fabulous enough to get invited to.
Julie’s Vintage slipped quietly onto Second Street in the East Village this winter. So quietly, in fact, that it wasn’t until Julie brought out tables to showcase her wares on a warm spring day that we noticed her nook.
Inside, you’ll find an outlandish hodgepodge of vintage dresses and retro-ish styled jewelry, surrounded by plumed collars and fantastical headdresses of plastic flowers and feathers. It’s the result of 35 years of discerning collecting and creativity, finally released to the market.
Very few of us are actually hat girls. They’re the manicured, mimosa-sipping waifs who have soldered to their skulls decadent sun hats. (You know, those enviable, woman-of-leisure hats that look weird worn around cubicles, and are way better suited for yachts and brunch.) Hat girls also count as part of the .05 percent of the population that can rock a maxi dress without looking like a berobed Ewok. Believe me, the only time I tried on a maxi, I was one walking stick away from someone addressing me in Ewokese: “Are you lost, fair creature?” I might have known what street I was on, but actually I was very, very lost. What I needed was a solid hat, not a technicolor muumuu.
And now that the warm season has returned I and you, womens- fashion-wearing readers, have one more chance to make it right and perhaps redefine this hat girl. Enter the Spring Fling Pop-Up, an ephemeral clothing and accessories shopping experience coming to the LES next weekend brought to you by a cohort of local designers.
We were bereaved last month when The Sock Man’s awning came down for good after 33 years on St. Marks Place. But what’s this? This morning we spotted a new sock man selling $2 tube socks, beanies and chullos on Astor Place, a block away from the old Sock Man’s location. Totally tubular! With spring just around the corner, it might be his time to shine.
It’s the final countdown.
Update your calendars if you’re planning to raid Trash & Vaudeville’s St. Marks Place location one last time before it leaves its home of over 40 years. The closing date has been moved up to this Sunday.
With a “Hey Ho Lets Go,” the store announced last week that its last day before relocating would be Monday, Feb. 29, but we’re now told that’s been changed to Feb. 28. The reopening at 96 East 7th Street, near First Avenue, is still slated for early March.
Selfies have become so ubiquitous that if your Instagram feed can’t claim at least one, it’s safe to assume you’re the hideous victim of a Korean rubber face mask gone horribly wrong, or you’re so vain that turning a lens on yourself for an arms-length shot is totally out of the question. In art, that lens has been swapped out for an electron microscope, aimed squarely at the self, but penetrating far beyond the puckering duck face.
“The Future of This Great Nation Will Be Determined By Vapers,” declares Gawker, going on to quote conservative puppet-master Grover Norquist: “I think that the next election, at the presidential level, and a lot of other levels, is going to be determined by the vaping community.” Bold claim! If that’s true, you might find some of the Leaders of Tomorrow puffing away at Vapeology 101, the latest of many vape shops to hit Williamsburg.
Tonight’s your very last chance to say goodbye to the Montrose Avenue location of Alt Space– the netty, uber-hip physical incarnation of Alt Citizen. We told you last week that the gallery slash super-fetch fashion boutique would close at the end of the month, and now the time is upon us. But we also promised you more deets about where founder Nasa Hadizadeh and the Alt crew would be headed.
The dream of the ’90s is alive on Bedford Avenue.
Williamsburg recently got Soho-esque retailers like Levi’s, G-Star, Scotch & Soda, and Ralph Lauren, but they’ve all been on side streets. Which makes it notable that Dr. Martens, the once favored boot brand of punk rockers and grunge poseurs, is coming to the main strip. The DM logo is now up at 193 Bedford Avenue, the long vacant Tasti D-Lite space that briefly housed the Lola Star holiday pop-up. A Dr. Martens rep tells us there’s no hard date yet, but the store should open “most likely end of February.”
It’s official– the sockpocalypse has come and gone, and the Sock Man is gone for good. His iconic awning came down this morning, and we were there to witness the carnage. Marty Rosen, the “grumpiest man on earth” (per Chloe Sevigny), was nowhere to be seen, as he’s now minding his online store. When we spoke to him earlier this month, the St. Marks denizen told us, “I don’t want to leave this block. As bad as it is, I don’t want to leave.” If it makes you feel any better, Sock Man, we’ve snagged the awning and are keeping it safe in the B+B vault, right next to this tile from Mars Bar.
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