The tent at Billy's Antiques and Props has become just as much a staple to the neighborhood as the shop's owner, Billy Leroy, but pretty soon the tent will be coming down in favor of a real building. Leroy tells the Times today that late this winter, his landlord will begin construction on a two-story building at the store's location, and that he'll reopen in part of it soon thereafter. But of course, he's not just going to take down the tent like it's no big deal—he's going to put it in a coffin under the foundation of the building and have a week-long wake for it.
Activities at the wake will include "poetry readings and concerts," and the idea for the ceremony was conceived from the movie Dirty Old Town, in which Billy's store was a setting. While one of Billy's employees, said "It'll be part of that final transition to a landscape of Pottery Barns and Starbucks," it's probably not too bad of an idea to have a brick-and-mortar structure, instead of a tent. After all, it'll be harder to raid the merch that way.
· Tent to Vanish, Taking With It Some Bowery Spirit [NYT]
· Billy of Billy's Antiques Is an Energy Drink-Commercial Star [Racked NY]
· At Long Last, Subway Signs Return to Billy's Antiques [Racked NY]