Only in New York would a basement stairwell be transformed into a 50-square-foot shop, as is the case with this one-man operation selling witty tees and oddities. Owner and former Union Square street vendor Ivan Youngblood, who goes by the nickname Parks Are Zoos for Trees, is half the charm of this eclectic spot. He’ll engage every shopper in conversation or otherwise draw in passersby to the easy-to-miss location, outfitted with a disco ball sitting on the stoop and a working popcorn machine. Inside, the decor is suitably random: The teal space features healthy doses of glitter and paint splatters, and a mirror cracked to form a face sits at the entrance. Highlights include T-shirts ($17–$29) screen-printed with Youngblood’s original designs, featuring sayings such as “Legalize gay divorce” and “Occupy Roller Coasters,” as well as one-of-a-kind jewelry from local designers. We recently spotted a vintage wooden bracelet with metal detailing ($21) and a Rosey B gold-colored scissor-pendant necklace ($27). Everything in the shop is priced under $150, but haggling is welcome. Just make sure to call before stopping by—the store’s hours are as random as the merchandise.
World’s Smallest Store
|Venue name:||World’s Smallest Store||Contact:|
131 Christopher St
|Cross street:||between Greenwich and Hudson Sts|
|Opening hours:||By appointment only|
|Transport:||Subway: 1 to Christopher St–Sheridan Sq|