The Antiques Garage
112 W. 25th St.
The Antiques Garage—filled with vendors of jewelry, clothing, housewares, and more—has a cool vintage vibe. It feels almost accidental that all these artists and collectors have set up shop side by side in an old garage. Walking around gives you the chance to check out anything from vintage tees to wall art. This Chelsea gem is frequented by New Yorkers of all kinds, so it’s also a great people-watching site—that is, if you can take your eyes off the merchandise.
120 Spring St.
It’s impossible to walk by SoHo’s Evolution without noticing it: There is a human skeleton beckoning to customers just outside the door. Not for the faint of heart, Evolution has an enormous selection of taxidermy, all of which are real animals unless otherwise marked. In the display cases, you’ll find everything from animal penis bones to intricate jewelry. Some trinkets—such as a toy butterfly jar that contains a realistic, moving butterfly—are tamer. And while many of the items are certainly out of a Columbia student’s budget, there is also a great array of inexpensive merchandise, including beautiful crystals and unique rings for under $10.
1 Crosby St.
A short walk from Evolution, De Vera has a much more upscale feel. A better store to explore than to shop in, De Vera boasts a much greater collection of art than some of its peers. While the jewelry can cost upwards of $5000, the beautiful designs are certainly worth admiring. Most noticeable in the store are the countless religious figurines: Take a look at these beautifully detailed statues and feel like you’re walking through a miniature version of the Met.
Obscura Antiques & Oddities
207 Ave. A
You may recognize this shop from the Discovery Channel show “Oddities.” Being featured on TV hasn’t changed this store’s quaint feel, though: It’s still packed with some of the most bizarre, unusual antiques you can find in a shop like this. Viewers of the show get to see the full story behind each of these objects, making Obscura that much more exciting to explore. As of last spring, its new East Village location—a former funeral home—has provided the show’s many fans even more space to explore Obscura’s selection.