On the Washington Heights Report: Revolutionary New Retail Operation Sells Only Questions


In which The Gay Recluse goes to Broadway.

Ohai, so did anyone else see these crazy new storefronts in Washington Heights, on Broadway between 160 and 161? (We didn’t think so.) They went in a few weeks ago — during the middle of the night — and there’s still no signage or anything else to indicate what’s going on.

Here’s store number 1, between a Dunkin Donuts and a clothing store.

Whoas, is this some kind of art installation? (But wtf, not in Williamsburg!?) To us, it kinda looks like a tawdry set for a Victorian brothel. (It would be better without the nasty fluorescent light, though!)

We love how the table is set for two. And hey, the necklace on the tree is a nice touch!

We’ve never seen anyone inside, though, so any rendezvous will have to take place in our imagination.

Here’s store number two, which is just a few doors down. This one’s between a Chinese take-out and a new and rather garish bodega that we’ve been referring to as “Whole Foods Washington Heights.”

Here you can look at — but apparently not buy — a straw elephant and a treasure trove of antique bottles and costume jewelry. Fun! Or fun? But srsly, why? Maybe it’s a publicity stunt, but for what?

More romantically, we like to think of it as a somewhat more benign sign of our new recession economy, where trade is built on useless images and mysterious purpose.

If so, it’s not surprising to find this in Washington Heights, which has always proved inimical to the purer forms of capitalism that have possessed the rest of Manhattan.

9 Responses to “On the Washington Heights Report: Revolutionary New Retail Operation Sells Only Questions”

  1. 1 kirsten

    Dude, it sounds like some pretty cool stealth art is happening up there. Your pictures are really good; this looks interesting!

  2. Thanks, K — yeah, I can’t wait to find out wtf is going on!

  3. Cute. Strange. Do keep us posted on WHC (Washington Heights Capitalism) as you learn more. Maybe this is the next step in WOOB (Way Off-Off-Broadway) theatre…?

  4. 4 Douglas

    For a recluse you sure get out a lot.

  5. 5 sluggo

    Porn set, obviously!

  6. I believe it might be part of the public installations that are being done by the West Harlem Art Fund. I read that Vantage offered empty storefronts. You can read about it on http://www.uptownflavor.com

  1. 1 Thursday PM Linkage | new-york-real-estate-stalker
  2. 2 The Digest. 11.03.08. at C-MONSTER.net
  3. 3 Harmless and Respectable, Also ‘Smart’ - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com

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