Tuesday, February 27, 2018



Our neon-loving friend Tom Rinaldi writes in:

"I was dismayed to see (first) that Bosco's coin shop on E32nd St has closed and moved to the holding area for displaced antique shops known as the 25th St Antiques 'Showplace.' I was then further dismayed to see that Olde Good Things, in the same building, has been similarly displaced. I was then still further dismayed to see that the gorgeous (to me anyway) building formerly inhabited by both shops appears to have been completely cleared of tenants."


I was sorry to hear this. I always liked walking past Bosco, usually by chance, and looking into the fantastic, jam-packed window, filled with coins, antique political buttons, trinkets, all of them described on hand-lettered cards.

It was one of those odd little survivors, the kind of place you come upon and wonder how it manages to remain in a city hell-bent on destroying everything unique about itself.

I took pictures, but went inside only once, because I am not a collector and this was most definitely the realm of serious collectors, and I didn't want to be one of those "just looking" people who take up valuable space in a narrow, overstuffed shop full of enthusiasts trying to spend money and talk about their obsessions.

Still, I liked knowing it was there, attracting the sort of people that it attracted, and offering a wonderful window for passersby to enjoy.

Today the window is empty, blocked with plywood. Nothing to see.

today, photo by Tom Rinaldi

Mr. Bosco always had good signs taped inside the door, written in the tone of a straightforward New Yorker. The last one reads:

By Appointment Only (Building's been sold; everyone must pack up).
Tell us what you want; we will help if we can.
Just want to "have a look"? NOT POSSIBLE!
Want to sell something? It better be small. Like COINS.
See something in the FRONT WINDOW? Maybe we can help. Be fast.
Of necessity, we have to start ignoring people. You are fascinating, and beautiful, but we don't want our stuff put out on the street on Feb. 1. Thanks for understanding.

It appears that, as the clock ticked towards Bosco's deadline, the sign became more adamant. "By appointment only" is crossed out and replaced with a handwritten "Go away, please" and "Don't even say hello."

The land beneath 147 - 149 Madison Avenue was bought last year for $88 million by Columbia Property Trust, according to The Real Deal. "Upon the expiration of the 60-year leasehold in January 2018," they wrote, "Columbia would then own the building outright." All tenants would be cleared out.

They say they plan to renovate the building and rent it out, presumably to higher paying--and far less interesting--tenants.

As for Olde Good Things, they've got a few other locations still open.


Sarah Rosenblatt said...

I loved this little place! The "not possible to only look" attitude was more their confidence that they'd be able to find something that interests you. Sign on the door says they're moving in May to Manhattan Art Antiques Center at 1050 Second Ave (55/56th Sts). They left contact email: bosco@covad.net, and said to find their website "google bosco + coins".

Cosmo said...

Ha, I love those goodbye notes, even if they are sad. Sorry to lose places like these, run by real individual characters.