Rusty fire escapes and packed streets merely glaze the richness of life in Manhattan. The city glows in the night with two-dimensional entities streaming across bulbed billboards, sneaking their way into the photographs of those who can’t stay.
I dedicated a day to hunt down and get a taste of the boutiques, most of which were concentrated in Lower Manhattan. It’s a different scene from Fifth Avenue, but it’s not one to miss.
Opening Ceremony (1190 Broadway | openingceremony.us) was the first store I (accidentally) embarked on. My eyes were greeted by a girl perched precariously on a ladder, reaching towards shoeboxes bricked along the top tier. Below them hung bulging scuba-like sweaters and flawlessly cut threads by T by Alexander Wang. Other brands included Acne, Rodarte, Kenzo, and Gitman Bros., with accessories by Nikolai Rose, Venessa Arizaga, and Delfina Delettrez. The spiky pearl rings by Nektar de Stagni kindled an already burning obsession with pearls.
No. 6 (6 Centre Market Place | no6store.com) was a charming little establishment set in heavenly white. Designed in New York, their own creations hung as lightly as feathered wings on an angel’s day off. It was a balm to the city’s hectic mania, which made me appreciate it all the more. I slipped on their powder-blue clogs more than once and childishly stretched their pleated floral totes with a small grin.
Creatures of Comfort (205 Mulberry Street | shop.creaturesofcomfort.us) was larger than I expected. The space alone was impressive. As I ascended towards the main floor, I received an eyeful of curious clothing and curiouser art, namely a tangled rope piece draping down from the ceiling. The red bricks called home to names like Christopher Lemaire, Bless N°37 New Sheheit, Christian Wijnants, Correll Correll, A Détacher, and Quarry. Their own designs used a silk-linen material that soothed and revivified.
Odin (199 Lafayette Street | odinnewyork.com) was a men’s store worth conjuring lightning for. Dimly lit by antler chandeliers, I seemingly donned sapphire-coloured glasses. My hands brushed over Death to Tennis, Duckie Brown, Venroy, Public School, Alex Mill, and Burkman Bros. The variation would meet any occasion’s needs, but you’d be a notch more electric than other guests.
Pas de Deux (328 East 11th Street | pasdedeuxny.com) is Odin’s sister store. Little sister, I might add, though she compensated for her size with some seriously formidable names: Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Acne, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Band of Outsiders, and Want Les Essentiels de la Vie. Indeed great things come in small packages.
Verameat (315 East 9th Street | verameat.com) was an illusion gone right. The red panels had me thinking it was an actual meat store, but that’s not to say it didn’t pack some quality beef. You will be spoiled for choice with Verameat’s selection of gold, silver and copper accessories. From a hippo-shark hybrid to a rose bud, you’ll find something normal and something so abnormal you’ll need to own it.
It’s one thing to love shopping, but it’s another to love shopping in NYC. You’ll need to practice a lot more restraint and upgrade those money filters (be selective!). However, shopping in New York means dressing like a New Yorker, which is just one step closer to being one.