Famous as the birthplace of American punk and home of the legendary CBGBs, the gritty, artistic vibe of the East Village still exists in its many alternative clothing retailers and independent book and music stores. Perhaps best-known for its quirky clothing shops, the East Village offers an eclectic array of homemade jewelry, funky hats, and a collection of 70s and 80s vintage clothing so extensive, you will think you have stepped right into an early Blondie music video.
Stop by East Village vintage staple Screaming Mimi's at 382 Lafayette Street for a mix of colorful clothes, classy designer dresses, trendy sunglasses, and even 80s skinny ties. For home furnishings, the glass-enclosed Lost City Arts at 18 Cooper Square at E. 5th Street will add some spunk to your apartment, offering everything from modern furniture to retro decorations.
The ghosts of the 1970s punk scene still haunt the streets of the historic St. Mark's Place, which offers a fun mix of stylish clothing boutiques, toy stores, and an extensive collection of media shops. For eye-popping original designs, don't miss FAB 208, which showcases a colorful plethora of hats, bags, gloves, jewelry, free-flowing skirts, and wrap tops made from vintage silk. The environmentally conscious AuH20 sells only clothing made from recycled material and alters all items in house, free of charge.
For all things punk and goth, be sure to check out Trash & Vaudeville between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. which dressed stars like Blondie and the Ramones during punk's heyday. Today, among its endless supply of bondage pants, belt buckles, fishnet tights, and band tees, it remains a counter-culture icon. Stop by Dinosaur Hill on 30 E 9th Street for a huge selection of vintage, educational, and just plain fun toys, or spend an afternoon browsing through the extensive collection of books at St. Mark's Bookshop.
- Subway Stop:
- 6 train to the Astor Place Station
- R, W trains to the 8th Street/NYU Station