January 4, 2011
You know how you sometimes come across something—usually something tiny, something you can easily hold in your hand—and it totally intrigues you, totally pulls you in? Whether it has a much of a function or a purpose or not, you want to take it with you and make it part of your life somehow. Well, last month I happened across a store that’s essentially a gallery of such items.
The store is KIOSK, and walking up it’s near-hidden SoHo staircase, you feel like you’re suddenly walking into that old, slightly dangerous, very neon, very graffitied, very cool New York. Take a right and another right, and you’re in a diminutive museum where you can buy many awesomely strange, oft-tiny, well-storied items. Little aluminum olive oil dispenser from Portugal? Got it. 1940’s Swedish stapler that weighs as much as a tire iron? Done. Spool of nylon twine form Germany? Um, ya, natürlich wir haben die. One of the coolest parts about the store? The fact that everything really is displayed like it’s in a little gallery, each individually with well-thought-out, well-written descriptions that seriously makes you, eh, want to buy a spool of nylon twine form Germany, say.
As they put it themselves:
KIOSK is a travel story depicted through objects, a collection of interesting things from around the world, a study of material culture, a shop, several people’s efforts to preserve unique and indigenous objects, an installation, maybe just something other than what we are used to. At KIOSK we feature the things that generally go unnoticed, products that are the result of local aesthetics and needs. Our motivation is to give attention to these anonymous objects and support independent producers. Hopefully what we share encourages you to go out and meet and talk and learn and see and show.
Plus, seriously—check out how much Allister F. McVittes, LLC loves their Japanese matatabi Cat Toy. That’s love, man. That’s love.
Next time you’re in SoHo, skip the Mac store and step into old, weird New York.
All photography—minus Allister’s glamorshot—© KIOSK.