Sabotage Times, We can't Concentrate so Why Should You?Sabotage Times, We can't Concentrate so Why Should You?

J-Crew Liquor Store New York

by James Brown
5 December 2012 9 Comments

It's a clothes shop in an old off license with the feel of a junk shop. Why aren't there more shops like this?

When I was a kid my dad used to take me to his mates Junk Shop behind Burley Road, Leeds. It was small and cluttered and packed with the sort of things that came out of old peoples houses and went back out into art students houses. You don’t see too many shops like this anymore. There’s one near where I live in London but they’ve long since cottoned onto the idea that people will pay a fortune for old medical wall charts and 70s furniture. I was reminded of the shop in Leeds when I stumbled across the Liquor Store in TriBeca, New York a while back. Whereas Lister’s Junk Shop just had cool stuff and junk the Liquor Store has very expensive cashmere sweaters, neatly folded and packed underpants, suits, caps, jeans and a variety of toys and novelties. But it still had the sort of allure you rarely find when shopping in brightly lit streets in big cities. You’d think the appropriation of an ancient New York Liquor Store to sell a mainstream brands products would leave you feeling a little cynical but the shop is so immaculate in its curation it’s hard to not reach for the camera phone and your wallet. And it feels far more authentic and fascinating than the rock and roll jeans store that now occupies the carcass of CBGB’s.

A bit of subsequent googling revealed the store had been there for a while but it was a joy to genuinely stumble across. To get a sense of it imagine a smaller Paul Smith shop but with ten times more collectable decorations. It’s dark and cluttered and perfectly stacked with old magazines and records.  The wardrobes that carry many of the clothes are bursting with items you can spend a few minutes just feeling without getting weird looks from the staff. Every shelf and bar is covered in curios. The walls host caskets of tobacco pipes and old memorabilia from a long gone era when a chap was a chap and socks weren’t $40 a pair. I came away with a cashmere sweater, a cashmere cardigan and some Astronaut Ice Cream. There’s another grey cashmere top I fancy, I’ll be going back soon. You can find it at 235 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013 at White St.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

The Baron 10:49 pm, 12-Mar-2011

Don't they sell ale anymore though?

David L 4:49 am, 13-Mar-2011

See children, you see what Mr. Brown did there? Made you want to do something, go somewhere, through sheer force of enthusiasm? No sardonic sneering, for fear that he might be caught taking something seriously and be ridiculed for it. No self-conscious irony to detach himself from the fact he got a big kick out of the place. He even started off with an evocation of childhood, to show the reader that he wasn't born some twentysomething misanthrope who hated all those Brighton wankers long before anyone else did. Okay, so the sterling / dollar exchange rate may be the exact opposite of what it was a few years ago, so you won't be going anytime soon, and you'll probably get lost anyway, and when you do find it that'll be the one day the basement flooded overnight so they had to call the plumber and shut up shop, but wasn't it a lot more rewarding than being sat in front of the keyboard enduring another "10 Things I Hate About" tirade? Sometimes I think the main difference between what was Jack Magazine and what is Sabotage Times isn't the passage of time and the bursting of the credit bubble that was so much a part of the spirit of Jack's age: no, it's the toxic influence of Charlie shagging Brooker. And just so you all know, I hated him long before anyone else did, back when I was a mere slip of a twentysomething misanthrope.

James Brown 8:16 am, 13-Mar-2011

Good point and one I'd been thinking over the last week. There's an awful lot of moaning and bitching about stuff going on.

Bill Murray 8:43 am, 13-Mar-2011

Wish we had J Crew here. Simple, classic and afforable clothes.

David Hart 10:07 am, 13-Mar-2011

You can buy J Crew in Trunk Clothiers in London.

Bill Murray 1:44 pm, 13-Mar-2011

Nice One David.

Ben R 4:16 pm, 17-Mar-2011

And while you're in trunk (chiltern st) you can pop into j simons, another lovely little shop. went in this crew's on Monday: some good stuff and isn't there a lot of madras check around in nyc at the moment?

Simon Martin 11:19 pm, 3-May-2011

We used to have a shop in Rothwell called Shearman's. It was a hardware shop with wooden counters, glass cases and small wooden drawers from floor to ceiling. It was untouched since Victorian times and run by two elderly sisters until the early 80's. It's now split into two units, one is a fancy dress shop and one is an Estate Agents. We have to drive 6 miles if we want to buy a bag of washers.

Placid 2:26 pm, 14-Jan-2013

Junk Shop is that the Swiss Cottage one behind Burley Road? can waste a few hours in there ferretting round.

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