Opened on Greenwich Avenue in 1992, the designy gift shop Mxyplyzyk has closed.
Reader Tommy Raiko wrote in with a photo, "I walked by and saw the place entirely vacant, with a good-bye sign taped to the windows." In the sign, owner Kevin Brynan writes, "For 20 years we maintained a vision that has set us apart... We sincerely loved being a part of this community and we will miss this corner." There is no explanation for the closure.
photo: Tommy Raiko
I sent an email to Mr. Brynan to ask what happened. He responded:
"After 20 years running an independent store in Manhattan, it just became impossible. With the closing of St. Vincent’s 2 years ago (the largest employer in the West Village), this incredible recession, and tenants being responsible for real estate taxes, I was just forced out. It is quite clear the current city administration prefers chain stores over the 'mom and pops' with their tax abatements. This island is destined to have a very boring retail landscape. All the creative entities are in Brooklyn or Jersey City where I have my second store."
photo: New York Magazine
Kevin Brynan has been doing business in Manhattan for quite awhile. His first store, reported The Jersey City Independent, was "Dot Zero, opened in 1984 on Fifth Avenue at 22nd Street. At the time the neighborhood was unsavory."
The New York Times' description of the scene at Dot Zero in 1991 is too colorful not to quote at length:
"A young Asian couple in Mondrian-patterned sweaters and plastic knapsacks picked over Dot Zero's ultra-selective inventory. This is a store that sells only six magazines, three of them with River Phoenix on the current covers. Dot Zero is very much about yin and yang, and makes an obvious attempt to balance architect toys like Slinkys ($3.25) and Decision Makers ($9.95) with earthier wares like barbecue sauce ($7.50) and banana shampoo ($9.95).
Almost every customer at Dot Zero wears a Swatch. It's that kind of place. One woman in a long camel's hair cape knew only that it was time to rest her mall-weary eyes. With a little chirp of pleasure she seized upon a pair of vibrating Eye Massager goggles by Travel Tech ($17.95). Adjusting the Velcro strap around her bobbed white hair, she flicked a tiny switch at the nose bridge and flew madly about the store, exclaiming, 'Isn't this just the thing!'"
Brynan & Cleary, Jersey City Independent
When Brynan moved to Greenwich and 13th, he named his new shop after a foe of Superman. Last year, with his partner, Bill Cleary, he opened another location of Mxyplyzyk in Jersey City, where the rent is significantly cheaper than on the rapidly changing Greenwich Avenue.