While the press has been all a-twitter about Clinton Street being the new restaurant row, Rivington has quietly evolved into an eclectic retail strip. Ludlow may be packed with girly boutiques, but Rivington offers a smorgasbord of strange treasures. In the past year or so, at least a dozen galleries, bars, and shops have sprung up on Rivington between Allen and Attorney streets. These include Lola Y Maria, a boutique featuring Latin designers; Sugarhead Quarters, which sells skater T-shirts, Narnia, a vintage store, and Le Roi, a self-described “Fine body piercing boutique,” where customers can enter a little spa-like room for one of those piercings that looks like Madonna’s old “birth mark,” and purchase their birthday gemstone to decorate it.
The original Alife store recently relocated to Rivington, nuzzling right up to its cultish sneaker store, Alife Rivington Club, which deals in Nikes and other styles aside from the in-house designs. The café Teany shut its doors—allegedly to be reincarnated as something similar but Mobyless. All the while, Economy Candy has held its own. But on the very same block, between Ludlow and Essex, where the Hotel on Rivington’s glass tower drastically altered the mood just last year, things continue to change as we speak. Here is the latest news from the block:
Edith and Daha—Hold the Daha: Since 2002, the vintage store Edith and Daha has been a destination for young hipsters and the seriously fashionable. It is beloved especially for extensive shoe and bag collections and the kind of friendly service that encourages hanging out and chatting with a friend while you shop. (In November, Sienna Miller even took a Vogue writer shopping there during an interview.) This week, the sign will come down, but don’t worry, it will be replaced with one that will most likely read simply: “Edith.” Edith Machinist and her partner Sarah Daha have parted ways, but the store isn’t going anywhere. For spring, the stock will include more of Edith’s designs in addition to the fantastic vintage finds.
Annie O.—Just O-pened “That’s hilarious,” a young woman remarked to her mother on Wednesday evening, indicating a $120 strand of pearls wrapped in cashmere at the opening party for the new store Annie O. From the outside, the shop looks like a glowing light box, weirdly modern for a place located right under a decrepit nail salon. Inside, pristine shelves hold gifts for your girlfriend (multi-strand brass hoop earrings, $57.50) or your wife, if she’s really angry (a centipede choker, with a diamond, $2,640). But the further in you go, the weirder it gets. Like many of the galleries in this neighborhood that seem to be part-store, this shop seems to be part-gallery. In the back, behind sliding glass doors and under lock-and-key, packs of cigarettes and travel-sized packages of Immodium AD are lined up artfully, with the same tiny labels used to identify the jewelry prices. This seems a lot less strange once you realize the shop is connected to the hotel. In fact, a door in the back lets shoppers right into the bar. Near a tiny toothbrush even sits a travel kit from Toys in Babeland. What would the neighborhood old ladies think?