A Repeat Performance

A Repeat Performance

Photo: Cititour.com

Neighborhood: East Village
Type of Place: Second Hand

Since 1981, owner Beverly Bronson has been stocking
A Repeat Performance with vintage finds large and small. The compact but well-ordered East Village shop is filled floor to ceiling with home items and personal accessories that will bring you back to the days of your youth—or your parents' youths, or even your grandparents'. Specialties are unusual light fixtures and musical instruments, and staffers will gladly do their best to track down specific items customers are looking for. Annoyed no end by cell phones, including my own, I felt almost touched by the sight of two rotary phones in stock ($45 and $95). Beautiful manual typewriters range from $95–$350, while the salt and pepper shakers would make great housegifts and go for $10–$25 (who could fail to appreciate the smiling ceramic carrots, $15?). Costume jewelry goes for $10–$130; current stock includes a lot of pieces in bakelite, which has been a popular collectors' item in the last few years.

Those of you out there in theater and film, listen up: Repeat Performance rents its merchandise to dramatic productions for 20% of the sales price and could turn your nightmarish prop search into the set of your dreams. Dozens of NYC productions have turned to the shop for just this purpose over the years. One well-known New York–based director in particular is a loyal customer; I won't mention names here, but look around at the merchandise and you'll probably be able to guess. Speaking of artistic expression, one of Repeat's loveliest features is only tangentially related to its wares but has everything to do with its spirit: Sharon Jane Smith, a professional musician who has worked there for 13 years, explainse that the shop is staffed exclusively by musicians, writers, actors, and others in the arts. Thus it can offer customers artistically informed advice while giving artists something rare and beautiful: a flexible, bill-paying, and actually enjoyable day job.   - Pamela Grossman; 05, 2004

A Repeat Performance
156 1st Avenue
(bet. 9th and 10th Aves.)
New York, NY 10009