That menacing man in the British safari hat is Sir William Leroy. If you don’t know the “Wizard of Odd” as one of the stars of Travel Channel’s Baggage Battles, then you certainly know him as the dapper gent who, for years, sold antiques, props and oddities from an iconic tent at Bowery and Houston. That billowing cabinet of curiosities was sadly forced to fold in 2012, but we’re bringing Billy’s beloved tent back Saturday — for one day only — at the Bedford + Bowery Bazaar.
Rest assured, a myriad of morbid curios from Billy’s personal collection will be up for sale Saturday, just in time for Halloween.
Visiting Billy’s place is basically like stepping into a museum of the macabre. We didn’t ask whether the grim reaper out back was a Halloween decoration — our guess is that he’s probably chilling there since summer.
Meanwhile, this old ouija board and Boris Karloff doll were just lying around in storage…
….along with a papier-mâché bust of John the Baptist. (Yes, that’s one of Billy’s famed subway signs in the back. He’s bringing some of them to the Bazaar on Saturday.)
And then there’s the taxidermy! Such taxidermy.
But look, not everything in Billy’s place looks he pilfered it from a haunted house while high on shrooms. He also owns a tasteful bust of Drew Barrymore’s grandfather, actor John Barrymore. (Drew, if you’re reading this — Billy wants to talk.)
We also spotted pieces by LES-turned-Brooklyn artist Joe Coleman, the one and only R. Crumb, and some fine French oil painters.
There’s a ton more where this came from (including some remaining Billy’s t-shirts!), and you’ll get to ogle it all Saturday while sipping free beer from Brooklyn Brewery, shopping for stuff that won’t terrify your roommates (home wares! jewelry! vinyl!), and noshing on food from some of our favorite restaurants.
The Bedford + Bowery Bazaar, Saturday, Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Hester Street Fair, Hester and Essex, Lower East Side; see here the lineup.