Shop Talk: Babel Fair, Lost Weekend, Ritual Archive and More
Here’s Lo-Down contributor Jessica Delfino’s weekly roundup of Lower East Side shops, sales and new collections to keep your eye on.
This week, we venture just to the other side of Bowery to see what’s up, before heading back to ur beloved Orchard Street.
Babel Fair (260 Elizabeth Street)
You know how I feel about silver and gold shoes, dear reader, and if you don’t, then let this be a memo to you and a reminder to me to add a few pairs to my Amazon wish list. It was the Chelsea Crew brand silver shoes ($89) that first drew me into this smaller, hipper Urban Outfitters-esque store, but the cropped polka dotted top ($54) and the store’s other pretty little hipster things are what kept me around.
I’m not a hipster, I’m an independent artist, but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming that I might dress like one someday, the way the items seem to carelessly hang off their uncooked spaghetti like limbs, casting hues of the the cool pattern of the moment over their tattooed flesh like an Instagram filter.
Babel Fair is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ritual Archive: Sale Outlet (167 Mott Street)
I always like to feature vintage clothing as a part of Shop Talk, and am delighted to stumble upon new vintage stores that are affordable, like my beloved ‘Dressing Room.’ Sale Outlet’s sister store “Ritual” is a bit pricier, but RA:SO is a tag sale confined in one small room, featuring name brand vintage shoes, hats, dresses and belts starting at $10 and up.
I couldn’t decide between three nearly identical pair of vintage red, white and black gladiator sandals at $20 / pair, and was thrilled by the sight of a $10 basket full of flowing summery things—it’s something you just don’t see in NYC stores anymore. The odd gems scored in those bins always pair well with most anything.
Ritual Archive: Sale Outlet is open 7 days, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Italian American Museum (155 Mulberry Street)
Walk into this corner storefront and you’ll see presentations curated by founder and president, Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, illustrating the labors of my people laid with care among the innards of the carefully preserved old bank, “Banca Stabile.”.Recently, museum manager Daniella Day co-curated a project featuring work inspired by extremely influential jewelry designer Gene Verri. Mr. Verri is best known for taking jewelry that was at one time only available to celebrities and the very wealthy, and making all that sparkles accessible to the everyday working class person in the form of “costume jewelry.”
On display and for sale ($20 and up) at “IAM” are heart and arrow adorned necklaces, pins, and other items featuring imagery by designers like Betsy Johnson that we see en mass in every store window, but the style of casual jewels (double owl pins and more) was popularized by Verri himself.
The Italian American Museum is open Monday through Friday by appointment only; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Finds Sample Sale (89A East Houston)
The website describes Finds as an eclectic sample sale and overstock boutique for women, and I think that just about sums it up. The small, busy storefront on the other side of Rag and Bone currently offers up a range of summer-y items including flip flops ($24) and a healthy selection of Valentino purses ($484), totes ($125), dresses ($50), tops, jeans and accessories.
I was informed that they get new items in twice a week. Stop by during the day to give yourself a chance to dig and avoid the feeling of what it is like to be a sardine in a tin can in the evenings.
Finds is open 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 7 days.
Lost Weekend (45 Orchard Street)
The vibe at Lost Weekend offers remnants of what it was like to run wild on the beaches of Jersey with my tanned cousins and a place where handsome grown ups who like good coffee hang out. I mostly only ever see dudes hanging out there — surfer dudes, I surmise? (Take note, gals…) Not every hang out in the LES can be overflowing with pretty ladies in leg length summer skirts (or can they?).
Tis the season for their new soft tee shirts ($42) emblazoned with surf themes, sunglasses, surf boards and related books and accessories and a tasty, strong cup of iced coffee. It’s also usually pretty mellow during the day, not brimming with loud child adults, something I appreciate as a local.
Lost Weekend is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days.
If you find some good deals or know about an upcoming sale in the neighborhood, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Delfino is a comedic musician who has lived and performed in the LES for like, forever. She first fell in love with beautiful clothing as a kid when her mom let her dress up in her vintage stash. Jessica was called “One of NY’s 50 Most Fashionable People” by Time Out NY. Check her out at here or email her at: email@example.com. She’s also @JessicaDelfino on Twitter.