At Urban Jungle, artfully arranged bric-a-brac (a toboggan! a skateboard!) hangs from the ceiling and the colorfully painted walls. Twenty-somethings snatch up the type of cut-off jorts and camo jackets that are featured on the store’s blog (sample post: “Vintage Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch Cassette Tape”). Outside, they pose against one of the nearby murals for Instagram shots of their own.
Meanwhile, a steady stream of Spanish pop fills Le Point Value. Energetic toddlers head straight to the toy section while their parents gravitate to the store’s basement, a tightly packed museum of shoes. On a recent Sunday, nine of the dozen or so shoppers we stopped outside didn’t speak English.
We asked customers what lured them to each store, and whether they shopped at the other.
118 Knickerbocker Avenue, nr. Thames Street; East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Precious Blackledge, 18, with Shauna Witten, 18 (Photo above)
East New York
Haul: A hockey jersey, some high waist cut-off jean shorts, a five-panel Phillies hat, and a basketball jersey . $25.
What do you like about Urban Jungle? “I liked the variety, and it has more ’90s clothes. It’s really vintage, and that’s how I dress, really vintage.”
Le Point Value? “I checked it out, but there’s nothing inside I really liked.”
Mikaelin Bluespruce, 29
Haul: His girlfriend bought a purse, $10
What do you like about Urban Jungle? “It seems like they pick out specific stuff, they have more specific style.”
Le Point Value? “That might be our next stop, if we don’t stop for food first.”
Fields Harrington, 27
Haul: “I got a pair of pants, some shorts, and a shirt. I like that the shirt has a light material, it’ll be good to wear when it gets hot. And it has a nice tag on the back, it says Sir Walter, it’s kinda funny, kinda cool.” $23
What do you like about Urban Jungle? “They usually carry some older, vintage-style shirts that are really nice, and they’re in good shape, not stained or anything. They just carry cool clothes.”
Le Point Value? “I haven’t been to that one.”
Calum Craic, 25, and Bex Craic, 26
Haul: Nothing today
What do you like about Urban Jungle? Bex: “It’s got a good mix of different eras. It can be really hit-or-miss, because I got these shoes there and they’re my favorite shoes.”
Calum: “Usually I like the jackets. There’s so much here it can be almost overwhelming, but if you take the time to look you’ll find something you like. And it’s not expensive.”
Le Point Value? Bex: “I think I’ve been there before, but Urban Jungle is my favorite.”
LE POINT VALUE
96 Knickerbocker Ave, near Thames Street; East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Jesse Castro, 28, and Chrislande Dorcilus, 23
Haul: Chrislande: Shoes, two purses, $20. Jesse: Ties, $8.
What do you like about Le Point Value? Jesse: “The bags are to die for. I can’t believe that nobody was snatching all this there, it was just waiting. But as much as I wanted to get dress shirts, they were all XL, so I just went for the vintage ties.”
Urban Jungle? “We actually came to Urban Jungle, but we saw Le Point first and were like, ‘Let’s go inside.’ We’re on our way there now. It’s the first one that popped up on our search on Google.”
Marzena Chludzinski, 43, Alexandra, 9, and Matthew, 9 (Alexandra answering and translating from Polish)
Haul: “Clothes for school and for summer”: a dress, a T-shirt, and a skirt, $38.
What do you like about Le Point Value? “We come here a lot, mostly on Sundays but sometimes on Saturdays. I like the clothes a little bit. I like the toys.”
Urban Jungle? “We go to the one further down the street with more toys.”
John Zambrano, 42, and Luisana, 10 (Luisana answering and translating from Spanish)
Haul: Shoes, $3.40
What do you like about Le Point Value? “They have different stuff, like they have a lot of shoes and everything. We come here a lot.”
What do you think of Urban Jungle? “I don’t like it as much.”
Enrique Orteja, 40, and Mayleen, 7
Haul: A vest, $4
What do you like about Le Point Value? “This is my first time here. My wife’s always coming here. She likes the price, and what they have. I think it’s alright, I’d come back.”
Mayleen: “I like it. I like that they have toys.”
Urban Jungle? “I haven’t been there.”