Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Untitled & Dogs

In 2006, the Untitled book shop on Prince Street closed after being there since 1973. Downtown Express wrote, "Untitled epitomized the Soho art scene ambiance of the ’70s and ’80s."

Lower Manhattan spoke to the co-owner, Bevan Davies, who remembered a quieter Soho: "a time when the bookstore was one of several in the neighborhood; he has seen a lot of neighborhood businesses come and go."

photo: downtown express

As the values of one generation of New Yorkers were replaced with those of the next, when Untitled went, a shop called Harness Dog came.

Harness Dog was described by one blogger as a "luxurious concept store for dogs where you’ll find clothes and accessories for your four legged friends. The store has key items such as dogs jeans, dog strollers, fake cakes and tea assortments for dogs, customized Swarovski jewelry."

Today, Harness Dog is gone.

The place is sitting empty and for rent. Maybe, with the crashing prices, Untitled (or something like it) could return. Is it ever possible for the vanished city to reappear? Or once lost, is it lost forever?


Anonymous said...

As much as I'd like the next Untitled to come along...I have a feeling we're going to be seeing empty storefronts for some time.

Anonymous said...

What a nice post. I loved Untitled and browsing through and buying postcards there was one of my favorite all-time SoHo experiences. Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

With the rent that space is asking, I doubt another Untitled will move in. I agree with Grieve, there are already tons of empty storefronts in the immediate environs.

Jeff Trexler said...

Thanks for this post--Untitled was one of my favorite bookstores. Wrote the better part of a design article on books I got there. Still think of it when passing the location--truly a symbol of lost time.

Anonymous said...

Untitled was my favorite store for browsing and buying art books and getting introduced to artists and illustrators I was unfamiliar with. It was a real oasis in consumerist soho. I was devastated to see it go and am gratified to see the succeeding puppy palace go under. BN

Jeremiah Moss said...

in just the past decade, we saw many long-standing, strong-rooted businesses like untitled get wiped away, replaced by what we see now are temporary businesses.

the new places are like empty calories. they'll quickly flush right out without adding much nutrient to the city. and we're left with only voids.

Anonymous said...

I was just on my way to Harness & Dog today to get a new japanese school uniform for my schnauzer and noticed it was gone. Sad, it's a great small chain from Japan with outrageously inexpensive prices and a great sense of humor (like a Patricia Fields for dogs). Guess I'll have to go to the one in Osaka or Tokyo now.

Untitled was a book store? I thought it just sold postcards?

Rocks In Yr Head is the store on that block thats is sorely missed. Back in the day (1982) you could shop for new wave records, watch music videos (not to be confused with the crap MTV played) and have ice cream in the bar at the back.

exModia Staff said...

Of course a "vanished" civic culture can return. These things don't vanish, they recede to marginalized areas where they remain until a major social and economic upheaval refocuses the life and culture of the city to its roots.

We are in the midst of not just a major social and economic upheaval. We are in the midst of THE social and economic upheaval of our lifetimes. Yesterday I heard it described as an economic upheaval "greater than the Great Depression" by no less than Warren Buffet.

Our time to reclaim our city's soul has arrived.

Anonymous said...

it was heartening to see that idiotic dog store go out of business. just this past weekend, my friend and i pointed gleefully at the sign.

the old bookstore was great. it is almost impossible that it will become another bookstore given the rise of and the absolute ridiculous price of the rent. although mcnally a few books down is surviving, but that may be because of the family connection and money.