If you're in the habit of following neon arrows up strange stairwells, you might just find yourself in KIOSK.
Kiosk is a funny little store on Spring Street in SoHo. To get there, you follow the glowing arrow, and head up the stairwell painted in neon stripes and patterns. The speakers overhead play ambient sounds, so sometimes birds chirp at you as you go.
A heavy grey door leads you into the store which is neatly arranged with shelves displaying the goods. Every few months, the store is restocked with a random assortment of things found in the owners’ most recently visited country. Each country then gets its own mini exhibition treatment and the new stuff is added to the rest of the inventory. Kiosk is just as much a museum of strange and incredible objects as it is a store.
A different arrangement of neon light tubes always decorates the walls, and the result is always colorful and fun (yet somehow I only ever have black and white film in my camera when I visit!). If you do buy something, they always include a little origin card, explaining what the object is, and where it came from – all stores should do that!
Although I love the idea of the store and the stuff they sell, I guess because of the cost of traveling and the work that goes into supplying the store with cool stuff, a lot of the things they sell can be way overpriced. The Japanese notebooks and Chinese airmail envelopes, for example, can be bought for a fraction of the price just a few blocks away.
95 Spring Street
New York, NY