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Since Trash and Vaudeville opened its doors on St. Mark's Place four decades ago, owner Ray Goodman and his staff have outfitted fans and performers for every wave of rock ‘n' roll, from glam rock to grunge to hip hop. So when it announced it was closing up shop on St. Mark's Place last summer, the reaction with rockers and stylists was equally panicked.
Luckily, it's not goodbye forever: Goodman and company are packing up their skinny jeans and combat boots and relocating within the neighborhood to 96 East 7th Street (its last day in its original home was yesterday, February 28th). Although the neighborhood is now more pop and less punk than ever — what with all the high-end noodle shops and banks — Goodman still feels like Trash and Vaudeville has a place in the East Village, even if it's not just off of Cooper Union.
"I still think it's an amazing block with a great energy," he said to Racked of the neighborhood changes during one final walkthrough of the store a few days before its closure. "I think it's something that flows up and down the street that will be here forever — it has been and will continue to be. But for us, it was a nice time for a change, finally." He added that that particular block has become more about dining than retail with longtime anchors such as St. Mark's Books, Sounds record store, and The Sock Man all shutting their doors for good recently.
But with little time for nostalgia while working on the logistics of their move, Goodman is looking forward to the new store. It's easy "to get a little melancholy about it, but on the other hand, [the staff is] all so incredibly excited about getting a fresh canvas, so to speak. Getting something that is all going to be new and going there clean."
After all, Trash and Vaudeville — in all of its spiky, day-glow glory — is a family business. It's one that he shares with his wife Daang, who designs their widely-available Tripp clothing line; his daughter, Cassie, who's increasingly involved in the business; and even his son, who built their website. In addition to relatives, he notes his loyal employees, many of whom have been with him for almost 20 years. "It's always one of those [businesses] that's felt family-run."
People are Goodman's favorite part of working at Trash and Vaudeville, and luckily it's something he gets to take with him. "The people there that come through the doors that I just have met and the people that I have got to work with and touched — probably the single best overall thing for me is just getting to work with all the people," he said of his favorite memories at the old space, putting it above the store's fashions.
With the upcoming change of location, Goodman wanted to assured fans that the new Trash and Vaudeville will still be "within the realm of what we do. The same feeling, the same vibe — the majority will just carry right through."
Offering a small preview of what's to come, he said that it's not only the merchandise and the spirit that will stay the same on East Seventh Street, but that even the store layout is making the move. "Shoes will be downstairs and clothes will be upstairs. Then we have another store right next to it in the same building...so you will still have to leave to go from one store to the other store.
"We're sort of creating what we have here [on St. Mark's Place] , but in a much smaller version that's still creative," Goodman continued. So, for Trash and Vaudeville, the beat goes on, no matter where it goes.