“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.
Fashion + Shopping
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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The past half-year has been a busy one at Alt Space, the gallery/boutique presence of Alt Citizen, the online/print culture mag devoted especially to music. They’ve hosted all kind of exhibitions, from sassy net-art shows to pop-up shops featuring their own lineup of hip, small-run clothing and goods curated specially by artists like photographer Anna Bloda (whose work is starting to look like it was shot by a Millennial Richard Kern). From this angle, Alt Space always looked packed with fresh, accessible art and covetable wares (they even went live with the stuff), but turns out their current space at 41 Montrose Avenue is no longer ideal.
With so many one-of-a-kind boutiques and vintage shops on 9th street, it’s somewhat surprising there isn’t already a high-end tailor on the block to cater to all those strangely proportioned 1960s dresses and awkwardly fitting fashion pieces. This week, Nigel Ramsey entered the scene with Tailor’s Atelier, hoping to complement the strip’s identity as a one-stop destination for discerning shoppers.
Snipping and sewing has been Ramsey’s lifelong metier. When he was 17, his father sat him down and laid out his options: He was either going to find a job, go to school, or get out. Ramsey thought he might like welding, but on his first day of class he burned himself so badly, he still has a scar.
The story of Mamoun’s had a happy ending, but not so for another St. Marks Place institution. Marty “The Sock Man” Rosen is shuttering his doors this Friday, January 15. Today, we caught up with the beloved grump, who confirmed rumors of the closing and told us he’d been socked with a rent hike.
“This is the East Village,” he said, in the midst of rearranging the funky socks and tights he has long sold to everyone from neighborhood punks to Chloe Sevigny. “I don’t want to leave this block. As bad as it is, I don’t want to leave. I don’t know what to do.” He’ll be looking for a new space, but in the meantime you can still order online.
We’ve all seen em: the fishers who, poles in hand, sit alongside the East River, gazing forlornly into the putrid, black waters below. Everything in our bones tells us that we’re witnessing something wrong here. The East River? And food? They simply do not compute.
Whitney Brown predicts 2016 might be the year New Yorkers finally turn off Tinder. (We imagine every bartender in town is rooting for this miracle as well.) But she’s adamant that our Seamless hook-up mentality has just about run its course, and we’re bound to return to an era where big, romantic gestures are in style once again. “Romance in the 21st century is in sort of a struggle stage,” Brown said. It was hard to imagine this willowy model-entrepreneur could be having any issues. Well actually, Brown is in the business of love, or romance at least, so it’s in her best interest to see a return to romance.
Each year you politely implore your relatives to gift you “gift certificates only, please,” and each year they let you down. It might as well be a tradition at this point– that inevitable, subtly passive aggressive, five-times-too-large homely sweater, that was without a doubt harvested from the clearance section.
But suck it up and smile for the camera, even if the fabric vaguely smells of urine, and return the dang thing. Because if you pool your sweater money, you’ll be rewarded handsomely in the afterlife (i.e., I Survived the Holidays January 2016) with cash to spend at Maeven vintage, popping up in Greenpoint throughout the month of January.
You may have heard the news that Patricia Field plans to close her hallowed shop after 50 years of shaking up New York’s art and fashion scenes.
The style icon, known both for stocking a mind-boggling variety of wild, boundary-pushing clothing and for her award-winning work designing costumes for productions like Sex and the City, says she’s ready to move on. She told the Daily News, “I’ve gotta watch out for my health and myself,” but still plans to work on other projects, like pop-ups and movies.
It’s the time of year for spiked apple cider, festive but often indiscernible light displays above your block, and that priceless gift of a 311 call from your neighbors when you’re belaying a Festivus pole through your third-floor window. Amassing unique holiday gifts for your pals, loved ones, and others you’re obligated to feign closeness with for at least as long as you’re sharing a roof, is apparently all part of the fun too.
After all, what’s the holiday season without conspicuous consumption? Unless you’re in the business of being a total troll, then grabbing generic crap from J.Crew Wythe the day before is simply not an option. The least you can do to ease your capitalist guilt is patronize local businesses. Here’s how you can be nice (and not naughty) this holiday season.