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Where Man-About-Town Darrell Hartman Finds Ornaments

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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 Yelp

Darrell Hartman writes for, The Wall Street Journal, Travel+Leisure, and New York magazine, among other publications. His job involves frequenting store openings and velvet rope events, often clad in a tux, but he grew up in rural Maine and still has a fondness for all things country. When he wants to get back to his roots, he checks out The Upper Rust on East 9th Street.

One day I ran into Chloë Sevigny in Tompkins Square Park and she told me she was going to this place called The Upper Rust to get a Windsor chair. Yup, I just did a massive name-drop. But it's true. That's how I learned about it. What I love about The Upper Rust is that it's smack in the middle of downtown New York but feels like the attic of an old country house in Connecticut—that and I love the name, of course.
I should say that it's an antiques shop. There are beautiful cigarette cases and silver cufflinks and engravings of East Coast campuses and ships at port, not to mention a lot of white furniture, much of which they put out on the sidewalk. One of my favorite things in there is a pile of old baseballs—they instantly transport me back to Little League. The first thing I bought there was a vintage Christmas tree ornament, in a shade of raspberry-pink that I feel like no one makes them in nowadays. (Then again, am I really qualified to say such things?) It was very pretty, but far from perfect, and way cheaper than the super-fancy ones at John Derian. I bought it for my mom and she didn't seem to mind that it was a little bit scratched.
· Darrell Hartman [Official Site]
· Darrell Hartman [Twitter]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked NY]

The Upper Rust

445 E 9th Street New York NY 10009