Walking into this shop is like stepping into the bedroom of the coolest kid in an early-’90s middle-school class, complete with neon track jackets ($60 and up) and old-school hip-hop cassettes (two for $10). Owner Mike Spitz, who takes calls on an Alf telephone, proffers popular ’80s and ’90s memorabilia, like “Goosebumps” books (three for $5) and troll dolls (two for $10). Though the clothing caters mostly to men, with gear like Starter jackets ($80 and up), women are known to pick up oversize vintage tees ($20 and up) for themselves. Spitz also offers sneaker restoration ($60–$120) by appointment.
This neighborhood staple may have recently gotten mainstream recognition on the Science Channel show Oddities, but it’s been selling bizarre and unusual items for 20 years. Appropriately housed inside a former funeral home, the eccentric shop specializes in items like medical and scientific antiques, human skulls and taxidermied animals dating to the 19th century. Business partners Evan Michelson and Mike Zohn scour flea markets, auctions and even museums for rare artifacts; recently, we found plaster anatomical models ($475) and a bottle of snake wine imported from Vietnam ($25).
Owner Russell Boyle showcases his love of midcentury-modern style at his shop, which relocated from Clinton Hill to Williamsburg in February. More than 90 percent of the stock—which includes lighting, decorative pieces and furniture—is secondhand or vintage, scoured from across the country. (Boyle will even help you redecorate—the shop offers interior-design services, and initial consults are free.) On a recent visit, we scoped geometric wooden table lamps ($178), bouncer patio chairs ($99) and multicolored dressers ($450). Boyle also hosts events to celebrate Brooklyn artists and designers, such as Jewelry by Miss Ellie ($20–$80), whose work is carried by the shop.
Bad news for fans of this antiques treasure trove: With their lease coming to an end next year, partners Gail Busche and Richard Cullen plan to retire and close the shop at some point in the not-too-distant future. Until then, you can still search for old accessories: The shop offers a selection of more than 2 million vintage buttons ($1–$100)—from fancy French enamel to silver inlays to mother-of-pearl—as well as upwards of 2,000 cufflinks ($25–$400). Three years after the store opened in 1993, Busche and Cullen expanded into the space next door, which now features postcards and photographs ($3–$25), and unusual novelties, such as preserved hornet’s nests ($55) and shell-covered boxes ($500).
This vintage mecca has been peddling men’s and women’s clothing and accessories since 1978, serving clientele as diverse as Alexa Chung, Marc Jacobs and Cyndi Lauper. Owner Laura Wills travels the world, scouting eclectic finds that span the 1950s to the 1990s, and organizes clothing racks by decade. (Do you need sunglasses from the ’70s? How about a royal-wedding T-shirt from the 1980s?) Head upstairs to check out higher-end specialty garments like men’s Moschino printed suit jackets ($595) and Hattie Carnegie satin cap-sleeve dresses with beading ($895).
This housewares and furniture shop offers services such as custom apron-making with vintage fabrics ($45 and up) and denim repairs ($5 per inch). The store also sells an array of locally made packaged goods ($7–$18), including P&H Soda Co. syrup, the Jam Stand jellies and Greenpoint Trading Co. jarred spices. Plus, you’ll find items from local artists, such as Colin Adrian’s feather ornaments crafted from antique stained glass ($60–$120).