Friday, September 12, 2008

Shopping Recycled: Second Hand Stores in New York City

Like any city in the world, shopping in New York City can be outrageously expensive, and more times than not, have nothing to do with anything “green”. Take heart, although not advertised and usually on less traveled streets, there are numerous second-hand stores throughout the city. Some are simply second-hand or consignment stores, others are run by non-profit organizations that use their store’s revenues to fund humanitarian work helping people suffering from HIV and AIDS, the homeless, and other issues.

Thrift shops tend to be located together in clusters as you will see from the addresses below. On the Upper East side there are many thrift stores along 2nd and 3rd Avenues in the 80s. These stores tend to be more expensive than the stores downtown or uptown. The Chelsea area of Manhattan is a hot spot for thrift stores around west 17th street.

Any of these stores can be a treasure trove for the shopper who likes to reuse and recycle goods, as well as for those who simply like the hunt for a good bargain or special trinkets. Happy hunting.

Chelsea- West 17th Street Area:
Angel Street Thrift Shop, 118 W. 17th St. (bet. 6th & 7th Avenues), NYC, 212-229-0546, Open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12-5pm. Angel Street helps people dealing with substance abuse, mental illness, HIV and AIDS.
Housing Works has seven locations including at 143 W. 17 St. (bet. 6th & 7th Avenues), NYC, 212-366-0820, Open Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday Noon-5. Housing Works supports housing, health care and advocacy for homeless people with HIV and AiDS.
Uja Federation Thrift Shop, 17 W. 17th ST. (bet. 5th & 6th Avenues), NYC, 212-727-7512, Open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm. The Uja Federation works on sustaining and strengthening Jewish communities around the world.

In the area:
Salvation Army, 208 8th Avenue (at 21st Street), NYC, 212-929-5214, - search the website for all of their stores.
Goodwill, 103 W. 25th St. (at 6th Avenue), NYC, 646-638-1725, - search the website for all of their stores.
City Opera Thrift Store, 222 E. 23rd, NYC, 212-684-5344

Upper East Side (not a complete list):
Irving Institute for Medical Research, 1534 2nd Ave (bet. 79-80th Sts)
Memorial Sloan-Kettering, 1440 3rd Avenue (bet. 81-82 Sts)
Arthritis Fund, 121 E. 77th St.
Cancer Care, 1480 3rd Avenue (bet. 83-84 Sts)
Council Thrift Store, 246 E. 84 St.
Grandmother’s League, 1459 3rd Avenue (82-83 Sts)
Housing Works has two stores one on 77th and 2nd and another on 90th and 2nd.

Other Second Hand Stores:
Other clusters of Thrift stores are in the East and West Village, the Gramercy area (East 20s), Harlem, and the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
RePop, 68 Washington Avenue (bet. Park & Flushing), Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn, NY, 718-260-8032, Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 11am-6pm. They have a large variety of goods, 95% of which are recycled or second-hand.

Used Books: Many of the second-hand stores sell books and there are also many used bookstores in New York. Here are a couple of stores with a large selection of used books:

Most famous- The Strand, 828 Broadway (12th Street), NYC, 212-473-1452, sells what seems like acres of used (and some new) books. It has been in existence for over 75 years, Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-10:30pm, Sunday 11am-10:30pm

Housing Works Used Book Café, 126 Crosby St. (at Prince between Broadway and Lafayette), NYC, 212-334-3324, Open Monday-Friday 10am-9pm, Saturday and Sunday Noon-7pm.


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