Buddhism and Baubles in Nolita

My friend Rebecca met me for an afternoon beer and pulled out a plain brown box adorned with little more than a mail order address label. She opened it to reveal a pair of gold and rhinestone hoop earrings with a tiny white tennis player perched in one and a muscle man type guy in the other. They came from the soon-to-be-closed Nolita shop of Charles Elkaim that she had been visiting since she was a little kid. In a rare moment of follow-through I found my way to the store last Sunday. The interior is lined floor to ceiling with miniatures, jewelry, stickers, and other assorted objets d’kitsch, all being liquidated by Charles and his wife with the kind of down to earth charm. Even as I overheard Charles tell a customer that they close next week his voice was totally free from the bitterness one might expect from an old-timer who is watching the mallification of those parts first hand. It’s like old-fashioned New York Zen.
You’ve got a few days left. This is a can’t-miss in my book, a glimpse at the end of a New York era.
Charles Place
234 Mulberry between Prince and Spring

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