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Where This Photographer Finds Japanese Imports in Dumbo

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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

Lyle Owerko is a New York City-based photographer, filmmaker, and self-professed pop-culture junkie. He's worked on music videos for Rufus Wainright, and his photography has been published in magazines like New York, BlackBook and Vanity Fair. ASME named his Time magazine cover photo depicting the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center one of the 40 most important magazine covers in the last 40 years.

Zakka Bookstore in Dumbo (formerly a resident of Grand Street in the cross-over section of Little Italy to SoHo) is one of New York's best independent booksellers and curio emporiums. Importing specialty magazines from Japan in addition to books and graphic design samples, the store also doubles as a gallery and exhibition space. Zakka is one of the true non-gentrified hidden gems of the city. Every time I drop in to their location under the Manhattan Bridge I'm transported back to Tokyo and the amazing cultural array that the city of speed absorbs and spits back out in to the world.
Not unlike walking through an impeccably kept Zen garden, Zakka is curated and stocked with cool upon cool in carefully manicured chaos. It's perfect for getting your Manga fix, browsing highly detailed fashion magazines with kanji lettering poured over the layouts, or simply finding the latest releases from Japanese book imprints that collect the best logos or product designs from around the world (even back issues of the incredible Far East design magazine idea).
Make it part of a lazy Saturday trip over the Brooklyn Bridge and experience the wave of galleries, pubs and shops that are populating the canyons below the two giant bridges that connect lower Manhattan with Brooklyn. Elemental to the full experience is listening to the subway trains rumble overhead while exploring a vibrant neighborhood buzzing on caffeine and creative agencies. Visiting Zakka is an inspirational shot in the arm for anyone in the media or arts field. In fact, I think I'm going to make it a point to bike over the bridge there this weekend!
· Zakka Bookstore [Official Site]
· Lyle Owerko [Official Site]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked NY]

Zakka Bookstore

155 Plymouth Street Brooklyn NY 11201