Monday, May 24, 2010

Treasures & Trifles


After 44 years in business, Bleecker Street antique shop Treasures & Trifles closed some weeks ago. Their store is now empty--and available to become another Marc Jacobs. The entire contents of their shop were auctioned off recently.

The owners, Ned and Buddy, have decided to retire.

Ned Kell: photo by Omoo, flickr

Buddy McCarthy: photo by Omoo, flickr

Western Bleecker Street has changed dramatically since they opened in this spot 26 years ago. It has become, as the Wall Street Journal put it, the "new Gold Coast for designer boutiques." Not long ago, it used to be very different. As Ned Kell told the Observer, “Bleecker Street is a mall now. They’ve ruined the Village, as far as I’m concerned.”

Still in the window of the dark and empty shop, behind a rusty metal gate, Ned and Buddy have left behind the best goodbye sign ever, with a sad little nod to the kids on MJ Way: "It's too bad that this generation never experienced the village of yore..."


jewcas said...

Just curious with all this complaining you do what did you do to stop this. Do you always buy things from this store to help keep it open? Why are you so arrogant about whats happpening in the east village. Its a trendy neighborhood thats what happens. Stop with all the "this generation" crap your blaming the for not buying shit from old ass stores. Your not even from the east village. Your like a sophomore making fun of freshman.

Frank said...

It's funny how the only memory of "the old Village" the owners cited in their farewell mentions the celebrities that used to shop on Bleeker.

Maybe the Village hasn't changed that much after all.

Unknown said...

So, gay icons of yore don't visit Bleeker Street anymore, and this is a bad thing?

I would think after 26 years they could've come up with more than "Bette Midler shopped here."

Mardou said...

Jeez, what is wrong with you people? Do you *like* huge chain stores aimed at the rich? If you do, that's your business, but not everybody does.

Fine, let new stores that people *will* shop in replace the old. I don't object to that. But what I would like to see is NYC retain some pockets of character and individuality and not become one big high-end mall.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

I took a somewhat depressing walk down Bleecker over the weekend, west to east. I used to love shopping along there as there were so many small, independent and unique shops. Now the majority are chains or big names that can be found anywhere. The area did not seem to be hurting for business, which is a good thing, but the liveliness and personality are all but gone.

Mark said...

Their next door neighbor, Leo Design, is relocating to Hudson Street, leaving nearly all half of this block vacant and ripe for the picking by Marc & Ralph.

As someone who has spent the last 40 or so years in the Village, let me assure you that the it has changed, and drastically.

I'm sorry to see them go.

Caleo88 said...

So as far as jewcas and other posters are concerned, no one ever has the right to complain. Under any circumstances. I've said it before, if you don't like what Jeremiah posts on HIS blog, then why do you keep reading it? Or maybe you're just trolling. Start your own blog about how much you love the hyper renovated chain store filled mega mall known previously as New York City.

jewcas said...

I do like his blog. Its the only blog i ever read.

chris flash said...

I'm on Bleecker between Seventh + Hudson every few days and I notice that 95% of the fashionista chain stores have NO customers. Just store employees sitting or standing around with nothing to do.

It seems to me that the mock attempt of these non-indigenous establishments to sell their over-priced slave labor-produced crap is secondary to their obsession to create and maintain a presence in the West Village. Something akin to putting up a huge and very expensive billboard.

Whether or not we patronize every one of the remaining cool real New York businesses before they are forced out has nothing to do with our genuine desire that New York retains its special character and charm, of which real neighborhood businesses are a part.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

The same could be said for St Mark's Place now. Why go there when you can get a Pinkberry yogurt or Chipotle burrito anywhere? What gave St Marks its unique identity as a destination is gone, same as Bleecker, 29th St (flowers), 38th St (trimmings and zippers)...and I think Orchard is on its last generation of tailors.

And, yes, I do patronize the small shops and groceries when ever possible. There is something to be said for having a personal relationship with a business. That's what bothers me most about large chain stores - they are impersonal, cold and anonymous. Could anyone really enjoy spending more to buy a coffee from a giant faceless chain rather than getting it from Ray?

Caleo88 said...

It is an interesting point about the emptiness of the high end boutique's and expensive chain stores. Much the way Starbuck's tried to destroy all competition by renting space on every other block in Manhattan. Ultimately it had to close certain locations.It appears many high end retail spaces can't possibly make enough to turn a profit every month. I have a friend who works by Gansevoort, and he says the stores there are almost always empty, day and night. I think alot of it is simply maintaining a space in the city.

Mark in Cape Town said...

Buddy McCarthy must surely have been the lover and model of George Platt Lynes? I was googling his name for traces of his life since those days!

laura r. said...

they were the nicest. they were impressed that i didnt own a cell phone. they told me what days NOT to come to to the village. i ran into their store stressed as i didnt know about the "sex in the city tours". (one of my NY visits-). they told me what streets to walk on during those days, explained the whole deal. we talked about many things, my kind of people.