Where can I buy curious decorative objects in Manhattan, NY?
March 28, 2006 1:43 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a store in Manhattan, New York where I can buy curious decorative objects: pop art, retro kitsch, odd memorabilia (not sport-related), ancient ad posters, antique swag, Americana, etc. Quality, authentic stuff, not crap; though I'm not against mass-produced items.

What I am looking for could be esoteric and strange, but not so esoteric that you can't appreciate by just looking at it. I only have a couple of hundred dollars to spend (gift for girlfriend), so expensive collectors' items are out of the question.

My girlfriend also likes Far-Eastern art and antiques. Real antiques are probably beyond my budget, but perhaps something like a pretty box with the inside decorated with obscene art would be perfect.
posted by gentle to Shopping (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It sounds like you're looking for T.G.I. Friday's/Ruby Tuesdays kind of stuff… according to this (interesting) article, they hire companies to scavenge flea markets & rummage sales for items.
posted by designbot at 2:07 PM on March 28, 2006

Response by poster: It sounds like you're looking for T.G.I. Friday's/Ruby Tuesdays kind of stuff...

I have never been to those places, so I can't affirm or deny that.
posted by gentle at 2:10 PM on March 28, 2006

Love Saves the Day, in the east village, might be just the ticket. Some of the stuff is overpriced, but I've found treasures in the past.
posted by dbiedny at 2:12 PM on March 28, 2006

I heard there was a neat place in Chelsea called the Antique Garage which was a good source for stuff like this, but then when I was actually in Manhattan last year, I couldn't locate it.
posted by Rash at 2:43 PM on March 28, 2006

Grace of design*sponge lives in Brooklyn. I'd probably send her an email if I was looking for that type of item in NYC and was having trouble finding where to look.
posted by birdie birdington at 2:46 PM on March 28, 2006

Pylone's has sitting buddhas and buddha heads.

Mr. Pink has vintage glassware.

Clio Home has pretty housewares, vases, interesting candleholders.

Everyone loves Jonathan Adler. His fish are cute and he has some pretty whimsical stuff in his Utopia line.
posted by birdie birdington at 2:54 PM on March 28, 2006

Alphaville on Houston at Varick.
posted by xo at 2:58 PM on March 28, 2006

Billy’s Antiques & Props - 76 E. Houston St., at Elizabeth St.

You can't miss it, all their stuff spills out onto the sidewalk.

They have huge mirrors, and weird props and other stuff.
posted by splatta at 3:19 PM on March 28, 2006

I cannot recall the exact store names, but you might check out the Lower East Side, which has a ton of antique-pop culture-kitschy stores selling unique furniture, curios, etc., representative of the past century. I previously purchased a wonderful '50s-'60's era dining set from a store on Orchard or Ludlow street right below Houston, that was reminiscent of a classic diner. From what I recall, there are more than a few such stores in the general area. Sorry I cannot be more specific, but I am sure that the stores are still there in the general area I described.
posted by orangeshoe at 4:10 PM on March 28, 2006

Response by poster: Keep the good suggestions coming. I am jumping on a plane home to my girlfriend tomorrow, so I still have time to shop. Heh.
posted by gentle at 7:29 PM on March 28, 2006

Another vote for LSD. That place is fun.
posted by jtron at 8:05 PM on March 28, 2006

There's a great Asian department store with LOTS of inexpensive stuff. It's just off of Canal Street in Chinatown - I think it's called Pearl. It's about 3-4 floors. Ask around... it's a great place.
posted by kdern at 8:59 PM on March 28, 2006

ancient ad posters

Chisholm Larsson Gallery
145 8th Avenue
(212) 741-1703

Amazing collection with online search option.

antique swag

B-4 It Was Cool Antiques
89 East Houston Street (Bowery)
(212) 219-0139

The Demolition Depot
216 East 125th Street (2nd & 3rd)
(212) 860-1138

I love this place - you should be able to find something here for a reasonable price.

Olde Good Things
124 West 24th Street (6th & 7th)
(212) 989-8401

I don't think there is anything in this store that is a reasonable price but they do have amazing things - maybe stop by for some ideas?
posted by mlis at 10:30 PM on March 28, 2006

Oldies, Goldies, & Moldies. Awesome restored art deco furniture and random goodies.
posted by Maisie Jay at 11:30 PM on March 28, 2006

Response by poster: Sounds great, will check out all of the recommendations. I went by Loves Saves the Day today and bought some old magazine ads and some (expensive!) copies of Life magazine. Aside from a few vintage toys, they had an awful lot of low-quality crap, though.

Where can I find more vintage toys and magazines?
posted by gentle at 11:47 PM on March 28, 2006

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