Thursday, January 10, 2013

Reminiscence

Reminiscence is having a closing sale. A tipster writes in to say, "The sale runs until January 30. There's a chance they might be moving locations." Update: Reader Bryn says, "They are moving back to their old hood on 13th and 5th. PHEW!"


Opened by Stewart Richer in 1975, the shop has bounced around town quite a bit, with locations on MacDougal, Avenue B, and Fifth Avenue, finally settling on 23rd Street near the Flatiron.


In the 1970s, it was the place for colorful Army work overalls dyed by Richer--as well as these amazing pants. In the 80s, you could find two-tone creepers with faux-pony on the toes. (The store's wares were regularly featured in New York magazine, where all of these clippings were found.)


Lady Zombie at the Examiner recently visited the store and called it "a proverbial 'diamond in the rough,' in the form of an incredibly cool vintage shop...fully stocked for the shopping pleasure of novelty enthusiasts, performers and seekers of oddities." It's "a secret shopping mecca for Goths and artistic Manhattanites."

Of course, Manhattan, and the city at large, has fewer of such people every day.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

"It's "a secret shopping mecca for Goths and artistic Manhattanites."

Of course, Manhattan, and the city at large, has fewer of such people every day."

In other words the people that made NYC interesting.

This is a great store, suprised it's still around and can afford to exist on the Home Depot block. Just like all of the interesting New Yorkers, I won't be surprised if it disappears altogether in the next few years to make way for some hollow SATC bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Hope they relocate. I was a student at the New School when the shop was around the corner on Fifth Ave. They had a great selection of used and unusual new clothing and great tchotchkes.

BabyDave said...

Don't scare us like that. A one-word headline and "closing sale" in the lede makes a reader fear the worst. Here's hoping they are relocating. It gets really tiresome and angering (not that you need to be reminded of this) when another old faithful falls.

Abby said...

I stopped by there today and the clerk told me they are actually moving to 13th and 5th Ave. So they are not closing permanently, also everything in the store is 50% off. Phew!

laura said...

sorry to be negative, ive lived thru this. i remember that store when it first opened. tacky trendy clothes/objects for young people w/no taste. still i would rather have those than BIG CHAINS!!! (god, those shoes are ugly).

Frank Jump said...

I bought my first paper jumpsuit at Reminiscence as well as so many other great outfits I'd wear to Studio 54. I miss chunky platform shoes for men.

Gojira said...

I shopped there when I was young and skinny, doubt anything would fit me now!

argie said...

I remember when I first moved to New York in 87, I had heard of Reminiscence and wanted to go to the store, but I got the address wrong and walked east on 13th instead of west...I walked and walked and walked, getting nervous, feeling a little unsafe, thinking "this can't be right," but I kept going, I think to Avenue C...ha, no stores there, not in those days!

Anyway, I have a long-standing fondness for them and wish them well!

laura said...

so........what is the new store for trendy clothes? anyhting on the LES? has american apparal become the standard? i didnt do "trendy" weird even as a teen, but still i support small creative businesses.

BarBarSeven said...

It seems that Jeremiah is just addicted to obits. Look, you want to know where there are trendy vintage places? Just walk over to 13th Street West & there is Beacon’s Closet. Walk down to 13th Street East & there is Buffalo Exchange. Take the L train to Williamsburg & Bushwick & you will find more outposts of the same two places plus a few more small scale vintage shops. Heck, just go over to 5th Avenue in Park Slope, guess what? More & more.

Stop whining.

laura said...

sevenbarbar: what is an "obit" ? if there are small creative businesses as you say, that is good news. i dont mind if things close as long as more of the same open. looks like some streets are much too expensive in rent to support these stores.

Pat said...

@BarBarSeven: I recently sold clothes to Beacon's Closet and Buffalo Exchange (Buffalo Exchange on East 11th Street, not 13th Street.) Anyone who has seen these stores will notice the difference between these places and Reminiscence. By the way, if you refer to these locations as "13th Street West" or "13th Street East" you really do sound like you haven't lived here very long.

BarBarSeven said...

Pat, actually I was born & bred here. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Brooklyn. Parents worked in factories in Gowanus & WIlliamsburg. So that snide comment about "13th Street West" or "13th Street East" holds no water. Maybe I should have written "Walk down to 13th Street on the eastside…" & "Walk over to 13th Street on the westside…" would that have made you happier?

Seriously, the issue is that Jeremiah ultimately laments the death of a culture in the Village that has ultimately shifted to other places.

When I was 16 years old in 1984, I liked to hang out on West 8th Street & Saint Marks Place was rough. Now in 2012 cool 16 year old kids head down to Bedford Avenue. Whoop dee do. Things change & people move. That is this city.

I hate the gentrification that this city is going through but ignoring the creative outlets that still exist nowadays in different locales is masochistic.

Laura, an "obit" is an obituary. And Jeremiah loves them. He loves reporting on death & being overwrought in his descriptions of a small slice of NYC that has changed. That’s it.

hannah whorevath said...

Buffalo Exchange? Williamsburg thrift stores? Seriously? An overpriced second hand clothing store catered to the trustafarians who could afford a new brand named clothes but would rather pay for a more expensive "vintage" clothes just for the irony of it, and who don't know how to create but only knows how to consume. Try cranking on that lever again. Damn hipsters.

Jeremiah Moss said...

if anyone thinks it's not happening in Brooklyn, and will continue to happen, faster and faster, then you're not paying close enough attention.

http://www.bkmag.com/BrooklynAbridged/archives/2013/01/02/there-is-now-a-literal-map-of-brooklyns-gentrification

laura said...

why dosnt jeremiah do a post on small boutiques/large stores that are "still here" we can start w/macys & go from there. dont forget some tiny creative shops grew into large companies. (for some reason this never bothered us).

Uncle Waltie said...

Only went into Buffalo Exchange once, to look for I forgot what. The one thing I remember is that I can get new clothes for less than what they charge for used ones...may not have that fancy label on the pants, but I'm a Route 66 type of guy anyway. Could never really acquaint myself with the thought of putting my family jewels in previously owned pants.

BarBarSeven said...

hannah whorevath your comment that begins: “Buffalo Exchange? Williamsburg thrift stores? Seriously?“ is so utterly tone deaf it’s past belief.

Have you ever actually shopped at Reminiscence? Or Canal Jean Company when it was around? or Unique Boutique? Or even FLIP when it existed on West 8th Street. All—and I mean, ALL—of those stores have catered to the same “hipster” crowd. The only difference is one “crowd” existed in the 1980s. And now another “crowd” existed in the 2010s. Simple as that.

If you cannot see the parallels between the folks that shop at Beacon’s Closet & Buffalo Exchange versus the places that some folks here claim are more “legit” like Reminiscence I have no idea what to say. But as someone who shopped on West 8th Street in 1984 & shop at the places in Williamsburg & Park Slope in 2013, it’s really pretty much the same.

Disparaging anyone shopping at Beacon’s Closet & Buffalo Exchange as “trustafarians” is past belief.

Laura, Jeremiah will never ever report on small shops that still survive. This blog is about masochism & death. There is no “fun” in pointing out a cultural life in NYC still exists. Maybe not on the same level & not in the same physical location as it once did, but it is still here.

Just stop whining & make an effort to realize that the “hipsters” of today that you decry are basically the “hipsters“ many of you once were.

Anonymous said...

They never came back, did they? :(

Maureen said...

Heh hipstahs! A "little birdie" told me that Reminiscence, like Lazarus, shall rise from the dead! And it will happen on April 19 at Fifth ave bet 13th & 14th sts. Miracles can happen in NYC ;-)

Mark said...

Thank you for the memories!

I moved to 39 Christopher St., at Waverly Place, in 1975; living there for the next 28 years. Reminiscence, on MacDougal, was such a great place to shop!

http://wp.me/p3vKAK-9H

Anonymous said...

I worked at Reminiscence while in HS and a summer home from college 86-88. So many great memories!