Sunday was a particularly temperate day in the city, so I decided to stroll down to Opening Ceremony and see if a certain pair of Linda Farrow sunglasses I’d been slow to pull the trigger on were still in stock. The website said no, but I required further confirmation.
The problem with traveling to Opening Ceremony by foot is that I must hack my way through all of Soho to get there. I very much dislike Soho on weekends: a friend of mine who lived there for decades finally moved to Brooklyn because he said he felt like he was living in the attic of a mall, and that pretty much sums up the ambience of the place these days. Happily, with a little strategizing, an enterprising old crank such as myself can get where she’s headed while (almost) entirely avoiding the teeming masses. If you’re going south, the trick is to head down one of the streets west of West Broadway.
I always choose Sullivan Street. For sentimental reasons a little bit, because I apartment-sat there for a family friend over the summer of 1986, and it is a time I look back on fondly. But also because you can still kind of get a sense of what Soho used to be like back when it was still a neighborhood on Sullivan Street. The scale is smaller, and there are a lot of trees, and small, un-chain-y boutiques that haven’t been priced out. Like Global Table, which doesn’t seem to have one overriding aesthetic, but is a very nice source for cute little inexpensive gift-type items.
And also—dangerously—Il Bisonte, the land of about a thousand bags I want and want and want. Il Bisonte bags are not un-pricey, but occasionally I will spring for one because they are so well-built and the shapes are so classic. My last Il Bisonte purchase was just under a year ago, which is far too soon for me to justify another, so I walked on by. It wasn’t easy. But like stopping to play with puppies at the pet store when you know you’re never going to take home a puppy from the pet store, it wouldn’t have been worth the heartache. (By the way: bonus points for anyone who can guess who’s modeling this desperately perfect tote.)
After powering through the final, eastward leg of my trip—there is no street that won’t force you to confront the the throngs on that stretch anymore, not even once-desolate Grand—I arrived at Opening Ceremony. And it turns out the website had not lied. My Linda Farrow sunglasses were gone, and there wasn’t much in the store to compel me further: most of the sale stuff had been swept away and replaced by pre-fall, and I’m nowhere near ready to face all of that business.
So it was off to VPL, a store I can honestly say I love even though I wouldn’t wear a stitch of their clothing. VPL’s whole innerwear-as-outerwear-architectural-ballerina look is quite nice, but I’d look off totally off my rocker if I tried to pull it off. I’m way into their very small—but quite compelling—line of items for the bath and home, though.
Who wouldn’t want to receive this elegant little travel candle as a gift?
And I am nuts for this soap. The design on the packaging…
…is replicated on the soap itself, which you can’t entirely see here, but which is really quite beautiful.
Also! VPL carries Fleabags.* I have wanted one of these seriously forever.
I love the unexpected shape on this one, as well as the somewhat happier price. In addition to which: Proceeds go to help a very good cause.
They also had these suede Repetto desert boots at VPL that are not—maddeningly—on the site, and which I can find for you NOWHERE on the internet. If you’re ever nearby you might want to check them out, as they are awesome.
After VPL I headed home, thinking at first I might pay a visit to the Helmut Lang/Theyskens Theory sample sale on Mercer Street, but the moment I caught sight of the store, I just somehow knew I didn’t have a sample sale in me. As one does. So it was up Lafayette and west toward home. But not before stopping in at In God We Trust to check out this necklace, which is, as advertised (and here you must utilize your zoom):
But that is really the type of thing you can’t buy for yourself.
*VPL has only a small selection of Fleabags on their site. For that reason—and so that you can more completely luxuriate in the wonder that is Fleabags—I’ve sent you straight to the Fleabags site itself.