Monday, March 25, 2013

Clocks to Cupcakes

In business in the city for over 60 years, the Sutton Clock Shop had perched above Lexington and 61st since 1967. They lost their lease in 2012 and have since moved north to 82nd Street. (Watch author Douglas Rushkoff in the new store.)


2010

At the time, the second-generation owner told NY City Lens that the landlord had "plans to merge the space with its downstairs neighbor and anticipates a large franchise to move into the building."


2012

The first-floor jewelry shop was also forced to close. From an old photo on the Sutton Clocks site, we can see there had been a jewelry shop in the space for many years. It made sense, the shops went together: jewelry and clocks. Solid objects that last, that get passed down through the generations. Treasures that aren't consumed and then flushed away. But so much for all that.



What's moving in? It's yet another link in the ever-lengthening, sticky, gooey cupcake chain that continues to constrict New York City.

Baked by Melissa has its plywood up, all wrapped in a vinyl sheet dotted with mini cupcakes like a measles outbreak. Melissa has only been around since 2009, but her shops are spreading like wildfire (maybe because her cupcake-making ethos draws "on inspiration from the care-free rock 'n roll culture of the 60's and 70's").

Just half a block south there's already Sprinkles, the Beverly Hills cupcake chain that replaced the great and unforgotten Gino. Cupcakes beget more cupcakes.



The Sutton Clock Shop signs are down, with their "PL8" telephone exchange and their invitation to "please come up." You can't walk on Lexington anymore and look up to see something rare and wonderful, a window cluttered with clocks, a shop where a son has taken over his father's old-world craft, where the room ticks with the heartbeat of time. (Watch this lovely film for a look inside.)

Since the landlord planned to merge the spaces, I assume Melissa will be selling her cupcakes in the clock shop's space, too, but I don't know.

“New York is always changing,” the shop's owner told NY City Lens last year. “When I was growing up there were all these little ‘mom and pop’ shops up and down the avenue with hot dog stands and now they are all being replaced with banks and national chains.”

And cupcake shops. Don't forget all the goddamn cupcake shops.


More cupcake mishegoss:
King Kong and Cupcakes
Make Way for Sprinkles
How the Cupcake Crumbled
Cupcake Trash



20 comments:

Lisa H said...

Who is eating all those cupcakes? God thing NYC is a walking city!

Anonymous said...

Idiots. Idiots are eating all those cupcakes...

James C. Taylor said...

Because nothing evokes the care-free rock 'n' roll culture of the 60s and 70s quite like a cupcake.

Tiny Tim said...

From the Baked By Melissa's creation myth...

"New York City's SOHO district."

May be the linguistics nerd in me, but a whole lot can be read into that statement.

For starters, when did a neighborhood turn into a district? Was it when it got its realtor approved name? Why was the the word neighborhood abandoned in favor of district?

Don't even get me started on the ridiculousness of a cupcake inspired by the "rock 'n roll culture of the 60's and 70's and the idea that people should be able to taste more flavors without that post-dessert guilt trip..." Free love and promiscuity in the form of a cupcake? Cupcakes spiked with LSD or with pot baked into them? A free Foghat album with each dozen?

I'm sure Melissa is very nice and really likes Pink Floyd, especially that song about two lost souls swimming in fish bowl. That was totally symbolic of her and her soul mate in college. They used to love getting high and just baking all kinds of tasty treats for one another while the psychedelic strains of "'scuse me while I kiss this guy" by Jimmy Hendricks would play in the background over her brand new Ipod.

Though in all seriousness, and in an attempt to not be cynical all the time, I'd love to be able to do what I love for a living, so to that end I will give her my appreciation.

Anonymous said...

I (#*@&$ hate cupcakes. Especially teensy-weensy-adorable-precious miniature cupcakes.

SInce Billy's came to Chelsea (and we thought it was so cute at first!), the mobs of starving turdists clog Ninth Avenue from 23rd Street to the MeatPacking District (yeah, I hate that word, too) and rendered it so unpleasant for those of us who actually live here.



Remo said...

As it seems, having a wind-up, repairable, potential heirloom clock on one's wall is quickly falling out of fashion, too. Who needs a clock (or even watch) when your smartphone can tell you the time, all the time, with clockface apps if you please?

Goggla said...

I was walking in this area over the weekend and went for several blocks passing banks, Duane Reades, more banks, CVS...if there wasn't a street sign, I didn't know where I was. Every block is becoming the same old boring things that could be anywhere.

I really don't get this obsession with cupcakes - are people trying to relive an idyllic childhood? Time to grow up.

Elwood D Pennypacker said...

I'm a Ramones and Talking Heads kind of rock n' roller so that must mean these cupcakes are for squares. Punks eat chocolate chip cookies...

...work with me on this...

DrBOP said...

OK......

"White Punks On Chunks"

"Never Mind The Cupcakes, Here's The Sex Chips"

"Damned(Cupcakes)Damned(Cupcakes)Damned(Cupcakes)"

"Fresh Fruit For Rotting Cupcakes"

Tried to work something with The Ramones "Road To Ruin" The Buzzcocks "Love Bites", and Crass "The Feeding Of The 5000" but they already summed up the situation perfectly as they were :+)

JAZ said...

If Carrie had screamed and spit out her bite of cupcake as a cockroach had scurried out of it and up her arm, I wonder how things might have been different.

Has Alan Wolfson figured out how to shrink us into his miniature NYC yet?

Anonymous said...

ARGH!! I can't take it anymore. I loved that place and had my first antique clock serviced there. Initially I was blown away by the cost of cleaning the thing, but the work and care that went into the task was worth every penny. It still runs great today and I had it cleaned there at least 12 years ago. Why is it whenever something really special closes down in the city it is almost always replaced by something really egregious like a cupcake shop, 7-11 Subway or some posh eatery. Its almost like an intentional salt in the wound kind of thing.

vzabuser said...

"Nice Pair of Cupkakes there Melliser"

Anonymous said...

NYC- becoming more and more useless daily. Skills turn to styles, creation turns to consumption, observation turns to vanity. Sincerity turns to contrivance.

Henri said...

We've got one of those damned Melissa's on Broadway in my neighborhood (Upper West Side). Who's buying those cupcakes? Seemingly NO ONE. The shop is empty virtually every time I walk by. Just a mostly empty, white space, with a lonely looking cashier, and a case full of, brightly colored cakes. How this business survives is beyond me. The sole consolation is that the landlord stupid enough to rent to them will get it in the neck. When you chuck out businesses of 60-80 years standing (vide Embassy Florists) for businesses with no loyalty or real neighborhood connexity (those storefront type banks and drug stores are gone quicker than you'd expect) you and the neighborhood both lose.

Anonymous said...

"Skills turn to styles, creation turns to consumption, observation turns to vanity. Sincerity turns to contrivance."

Great and accurate post, Anon 10:41 PM.

laura said...

i dont get this: clock store is still in business, right? moving to a nicer & more peaceful location. that should be GOOD news. but you are all like old crabby people & i myself can be your mother. lexington gets better on 61st st, but still it is close to the racket. this is not the worst news i have heard. as for cupcakes, how immature to blame this. its another quick traffic trend. just like the yogart fro fro, icecram cones, roll up sandwichwiches, bagels, you know the quick snack for the "shopper". remember the "shopper" is above & beyound everything.

Catherine Stratton said...

The shop has a new beautiful location at 218 East 82nd Street. Please give Sebastian your business. In the meantime, if you want to see what the old shop looked like inside please check out this 3min film I made for Etsy.com. http://www.9beachfilms.com/sutton-clock-shop/

Catherine Stratton said...

The shop is in a new lovely location at 218 East 82nd Street. Please send Sebastian, the owner, your business. In the meantime, if you'd like to see what the old shop was like please watch the 3min film I made for Etsy.com at http://www.9beachfilms.com/sutton-clock-shop/

Utherben said...

Like Henri, I pass by a Baked By Melissa shop daily (on 7th Ave near Times Square) and it is always, ALWAYS empty. It makes no sense why the franchise is expanding when their current stores don't make any money, unless these empty stores are being written off as a tax loss on some level (business, real estate or all of the above).

laura said...

i still love carnegie hill, yes a lovely location. yes i still like cupcakes. melissa's sinage is very early andywarhol illustrative. how can anyone compare it to a "subway"