As a typically angst-ridden, rebellious teenager living under the crushingly onerous, authoritarian regime of my strict, socially conservative parents, there was a particular allure to novelty shops such as the seedy, provocative Spencer’s Gifts and the subversive, iconoclastic Hot Topic. Fortunately, one or the other could be found in virtually every mall in the American Midwest. And even though I rarely, if ever, purchased anything at these establishments, I fondly recall the hours surrendered perusing the shelves and racks filled with random, quirky objects, never knowing quite what it was I’d find on any given visit. But eventually I grew up, my sensibilities evolved and interest in such trivial things waned.
Enter Story, a hybridized retail space located in Chelsea right off the High Line, that turns the concept of a novelty shop on its head. It simultaneously offers the meticulously curated products of a boutique, the ever-changing and diverse programming of an exhibition space, and the thematic viewpoint of a pop culture magazine.
Every four to eight weeks Story transforms itself — from the interior design of the space to the inventory on its shelves and racks — adopting a completely new conceptual narrative. Most recently, Story collaborates with USA Network’s Mr. Robot for [disrupt], an exploration and celebration of ideas that challenge social, political, technological, and cultural norms.
At Story you can currently find the requisite Mr. Robot fan gear such as an Elliot backpack and a Mr. Robot plastic mask. But you can also find fun products that capture a similar rebellious spirit, like a pair of LED sneakers or a CapitaLIST Piggy Bank (a piggy bank with a chalkboard exterior on which you can list what you’re saving for). Interspersed among its myriad products are also interactive elements, such as classic arcade games like Frogger, Pac-Man, and Skee-ball (a nod to the Coney Island ties in the acclaimed television show), as well as the contemporaneous Polycade. Other Mr. Robot-inspired additions include a hackable Evil Corp ATM and a vending machine spewing free Mr.Robot paraphernalia which you unlock with a simple tweet.
Every Thursday from 6-8 PM, Story partners with local businesses for “Disrupt Thursdays: Hacking Happy Hour” with an on-site DJ, libations from Brooklyn Brewery, and food from a rotating selection of vendors. Previous offerings include Brooklyn Popcorn, Nathan’s Famous and Carpe Donut.
[disrupt] runs through July 24, so make sure to check it out while there’s still time, because on August 8 a completely new “story” will be revealed.
Thank you to Josef of istillheartnewyork, a fellow Mr. Robot fan, for giving us the idea for this post!
144 10th Ave
Monday – Wednesday: 11am-8pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am-8pm
Pair it with:
Mah Ze Dahr Bakery pastries and Intelligentsia coffee at The High Line Hotel
Head uptown a block and a half and you’ll find the first New York City outpost of Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee at The High Line Hotel. If it’s too hot or raining, there’s the option of sidling up to the cozy, zinc-topped bar nestled in the lobby. But if the weather is fair, take advantage of the stunning, walled-off courtyard with Minibar, the refurbished 1963 Citroen coffee truck. Along with excellent coffee and espresso beverages, an array of pastries — many from Mah Ze Dahr, an excellent wholesale and delivery bakery — are offered daily. On the many occasions we’ve stopped in for treats, we particularly loved the Lemon Ricotta Bread and Dark Chocolate Brownies (which, by the way, Lynn claims are the city’s best).
Note: We’ve also ordered Mah Ze Dahr for delivery on a few occasions in order to try items that are rarely offered in retail outlets. Having made a number of Best Of lists in both 2014 and 2015, we highly recommend the Brioche Doughnuts and the lesser known but excellent Banana Nutella Hand Pies.
180 10th Ave
Sunday – Thursday: 7am-6pm
Friday – Saturday: 7am-7pm
Mini Bar (Truck)
Daily 8am-4pm, weather permitting