Shopping in Downtown NYC

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Musician Jesse Malin knows the importance of having an original style. Sticking to the latest trend reports can result in everyone having the same look (like the infamous man bun). Instead, Jesse prefers to shop off the beaten path.

Whether you live in NY or coming to visit, check out these stores that you are not going to find in a mall.

  • For a broad range of books, go to Strand on the corner of 12th Street and Broadway. It's only 2 blocks south of Union Square, so if you are shopping in NY over the holidays, you should go to the Union Square Holiday Market and walk over to Strand for the book lovers on your shopping list. They have new, used, and rare books. Need quick cash or leaving town? They will also buy your books.

  • For beautiful rare and used books about fashion, art, photography, music, or travel, go to Mast Books at 66 Avenue A. Be warned: it is very easy to spend hours in this 450 sq ft store.

  • Whether you are looking for rare magazines, an egg cream, or in need of condoms, go to GEM Spa at the corner of St Marks and Second Ave. While you are at this iconic store, remember to get your fortune from Zoltar. Be careful what you wish for... especially to be "Big."

  • One of the best ways to find fashions that are originals and not likely to be found at your local mall is to hunt for looks at consignment stores. Jesse likes Tokio 7 for vintage and unusual threads. They will take clothes in on consignment - you can unload your closet and make room for new pieces! 

  • No store says unique and iconic East Village more than Trash and Vaudeville. This store opened in 1975 on St Marks. Recently, they moved to 7th Street between First Avenue and Avenue A. They have the best assortment of punk band t-shirts, bondage pants, plaid skirts, and more. Their shoes include Doc Martens, many lesser-known brands, and Jesse's favorite (you must watch the video to find out). 

  • Jesse has two shops that he goes to for his guitars. Rivington Guitars on East 4th Street - they will work with you to make sure you find the guitar that works for best for you. Carmine Street Guitars has sold guitars to Bob Dylan and Lou Reed. Rick Kelly, the owner, repairs and builds guitars. You never know who you will find jamming on the guitar when you stop by. 

Jesse also mentioned Other Music. But not long after the video shoot, they announced they were closing. Oh, the changes in how we buy or listen to music.

Speaking of that...Jesse's band D Generation has a new album out. It's called Nothing is Anywhere and it's available on iTunes

Check out Jesse’s tour dates. He usually sticks around after the show, so say "hi" and let him know what local shops he should go to in your city.

Filed Under: East Village, fashion, Lower East Side, music, New York, thrift store, vintage clothing, West Village

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