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New York City has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around our fantastic city that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.
Image via Monica Khemsurov
Monica Khemsurov is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer. She co-founded the online magazine Sight Unseen in 2009, which also hosts pop-up shops and produces the annual Noho Design District event during New York Design Week. She spent four years as senior editor at I.D magazine, when she traveled around the world scouting the best furniture, products, and emerging design talent. She continues to do so as a contributing design editor for Details magazine, and a regular writer for T Magazine, Surface, W, Interior Design, and others. Here, she introduces us to Bnai Tzedukah Thrift Store, her favorite Park Slope vintage spot.
Earlier this year, a thrift store popped up on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, two blocks away from my house. Now, I'm from Columbus, Ohio, where the thrift stores are legendary (or should be), and so ever since I was a teenager I've had an obsession with digging for buried treasures at even the grossest-looking secondhand establishments. I'm always convinced that I'm going to walk in there and find a dust-covered Ettore Sottsass teapot hiding amongst the bric-a-brac. While that hasn't happened yet, this shop has potential; it's no fancy-schmancy Housing Works but rather an oddly styled Hasidic establishment where folks that seem to be living in a time warp have been dumping their abandoned vintage treasures."
I've spotted incredible geode bookends, iridescent art-glass vases, and ceramic outsider-art lamps there, not to mention an incredible '80s-inspired jewelry box and amazing silver cuff with bronze and brass triangles on it that I bought for $5 each. One time I caught some kind of dealer or store owner trying to conceal her excitement as she negotiated a bulk discount on 30 old copies of Easy Rider. Sure, some days it's all junk, and some of the price tags are too high (the geodes were $80), and you can't go on Saturdays because that's when it transforms into a makeshift synagogue (I'm serious), but it's worth a stop if you're already making a pilgrimage to Beacon's Closet down the street. Just don't take my Memphis teapot, please.
· Sight Unseen [Official Site]
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