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La Casa de las Velas

Shopping, Department stores East Harlem

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Whatever your problem—asthma, no cash, fickle lover, trouble with the law—the Santeria superstore Casa de las Velas (New York's oldest existing botanica, established in 1921) has got a candle to cure it. And if a wick won't do the trick, the emporium's shelves are also packed with helpful herbs, charms, incense, saintly icons and bath preparations. It's one of the last remaining botanicas on fast-gentrifying 116th Street, and the store clerks are friendly, happily “blessing” your purchase for extra potency. But you risk a frosty glare and a finger-wagging “no” if you pull out a camera to snap the grimacing deities that hang from the ceiling.



Address: 60 E 116th St
New York

Cross street: between Madison and Park Aves
Transport: Subway: 6 to 116th St
Opening hours: Daily noon-6pm
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