After 17 years in business on East 9th Street, Atomic Passion has closed. Calling it "The End of the Atomic Age," Dirt Candy shares the sad news, saying, "This is the kind of store that makes a neighborhood in New York." Agreed.
It was one of the last of the old-school vintage shops in the East Village, along with the vanished Love Saves the Day and Howdy Do.
After the co-owner Justin Vogel told the Post in January that his shop might be closing, I stopped in. I snapped a few pictures, bought a couple dirty magazines, and said goodbye to the taxidermied squirrel.
At the time, Vogel seemed resigned to Atomic Passion's fate. He expressed mixed feelings, including a sense of relief. It's tough to run a small business in the East Village, especially one that hearkens back to the way the neighborhood used to be.
Here's what the Times said upon their opening.
Stepping into Atomic Passion was like walking backwards in time, back to the early 1990s. It had that still-sort-of-1980s, bathtub-in-the-kitchen, Christmas lights on the ceiling kind of vibe. Old Devil Moon gave you that feeling, too. It's a feeling that's vanishing more and more.
Writes Dirt Candy, "Most people didn’t notice Atomic Passion close, but if you were on East Ninth Street last week you would have seen part of the city die."
Now I wonder: What will become of the armless, fishnet-stockinged ladies on the brick up above?
P.S. Thanks to Grieve for pointing us in the direction of Terry Richardson's online diary, where you can find many photos of Atomic Passion and the goodbye party.