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THE WEST VILLAGE—Before American Apparel came to Bleecker Street, we heard that plans for the store included a tribute to former occupant Banana Republic, complete with pith helmets and palm trees, but when the store opened we were found no such thing. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, we allowed some time for them to settle in and prepare a shrine that included more than leopard-print awnings, but a follow-up visit today didn't reveal many changes. There's lonely tiger at the store's entrance, and on the wall above a small zebra picture lays an incredibly pixilated scan of an old article regarding the uniqueness of the original Banana Republic. Perhaps the illegible article is a testament to the bleak circle of retail life—or maybe, we're just thinking too much about zebra stripes in a basics store.—Jake Goicoechea
GREENPOINT—Tonight, Fred Flare celebrates its Your Message Here project, wherein a sign in the store's front window broadcasts a different message every day, with a party. From 7pm to 10pm, the shop will provide visitors with "cocktails and treats, limited-edition surprises from the artists and, of course, the latest and greatest in cute merch from fred flare!" Get your cute on at 131 Meserole at the corner of Leonard Street. [Racked Inbox]