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From a church to a nightclub was shocking enough. But transitioning from church to nightclub to...mall? Well, upscale "marketplace"—but in any case, the twists and turns that the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion on 6th Avenue, in Chelsea, has taken are pretty radical. I was curious about the new, attention-getting shopping mecca and headed out to explore.Review By: Pamela Grossman 5/23/2010
I remember being kind of blown away the few times I went to the Limelight nightclub, when I was new to NYC and thought it was an important part of the "experience" to do those kinds of things. How could a church have become a club...and one that eventually (after my few times there, I'll add) became engulfed in drug-dealing scandals? But there it was...and now here it is, bright and shiny, with no prayer books or drug deals in sight (though the stained-glass windows are still there).
Among the offerings are a dog boutique, a hair salon, a florist, and an (expensive, but I was glad to see it) art gallery. After making the rounds, I chose a sweets shop for a full write-up: cute stuff, affordable, and useful to know about when shopping for graduations coming down the pike.
Not only is there candy here, but there's candy-based gear. A tote bag ($18) suggests pulling for "Peace, Love, Sugar"; and a t-shirt (also $18) praises "Sex, sugar, rock-n-roll." (I dare say, if Limelight clubgoers had stuck to this motto, there would have been fewer arrests and less chaos...but anyway.) A cute refillable gumball machine is $11.99; and one of my favorite items, a gumdrop-printed umbrella, is $11.99 also (I told you things were affordable!).
That's all great, Pam, you say—but you've promised sweets, so what can we eat? Well: There's a jar of big, colored gumballs ($11.99) with a label stating "You blow me away!"; "Extra-strong kiss-me mints" ($3.99); a jar of "chocolate brownie bites" that looked yummy ($11.99); and assorted bulk candy (and *boy* did a lot of that look good) at $2.74/lb. As I was getting ready to go, I noticed a "Choco-scopes bar" ($5.99), breaking down chocolate consumption by Zodiac. For my sign, Aquarius, it said, "Loves chocolate, but likes to think they actually prefer carob health bars," which is not entirely wrong. (I recently ordered a restaurant's Healthy Steamed Vegetable Plate...and, a minute later, a side of french fries.)
So the godliness is gone, and so is most of the drama. (However, there was some: Someone dropped a cell phone from a stairway, and it fell to the floor of It'sugar while I was shopping—nearly hitting some shoppers, including myself, in the head. Until these kinks are worked out, as I'm sure they will be, you might want to avoid standing under the stairs.) The shops are very pretty, the goods are cute, and some things are quite reasonably priced. There was a big and seemingly enthusiastic crowd of buyers. And unlike when it was a church or a club, the space is now employing hundreds of people—so we can say thankful prayers for that.
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