Whenever I see a shop (differentiating from eateries and bars) in the East Village I’ll take a picture and tell you why I think it rocks. Here’s one of my favorite stores, called Archangel Antiques, located at 334 E 9th St (between 1st and 2nd avenues). It spans two storefronts, really, and you have to enter the two rooms separately from the street. One room has a number of antique items ranging from jewelry to glass bottles to leather suitcases. But the real gem (in my opinion) is the other storefront next to it, which, among other things, has (literally) over a million buttons, vintage and antique. Buttons? What’s cool about that? Take a look at what you’re wearing. If it has buttons, they probably suck because mass-produced buttons are boring and terribly made. If you go to Archangel Antiques you can pick up some buttons, take some clothes to a tailor, and rather cheaply upgrade shirts and jackets significantly. They have brass and silver buttons, ivory buttons, porcelain buttons, buttons with mother-of-pearl inlay, glass buttons, crystal buttons, military buttons, freakin wood buttons, novelty buttons with naked people on them and/or words, REAL JADE buttons… there’s no end. If there’s something you want, they probably have it. Most of them range from modern times to the mid-19th century but you’ll find earlier buttons than that.
An amateur picture complete with my reflection in the window.
This is probably one of the coolest shops we have in the East Village. Just go there and say, where are the buttons? They’ll do the rest. Also, get your ass over there soon because according to Time Out New York they are retiring in a bit over a year from now when their lease is up. Terrible news. But perhaps you’ll be able to barter a little bit lower for some fine, turn-of-the-century buttons to spruce up your favorite spring jacket. Oh, and if you have a garment in mind, just bring it with you so you know the button will fit properly through the holes currently on your garment. Maybe I’ll go in there when I have the time and take a few pictures of the button wall, it’s pretty impressive.