The Manhattan Sideways Team was greeted with warm hugs by Nikki Schlanger, the marketing director, who brightly declared that she is “a hugger” and that she prefers to go by the title “lady of the house. ” She was excited by the prospect of us trying everything and made it very clear that she believes in this store. Pure Green is not just a juice shop: There is a wide variety of yummy goodies on the menu, including smoothies. According to Nikki, the Banana Nut smoothie tastes like “Magnolia’s Banana Bread Pudding, ” and the Blue Royale tastes like “a Girl Scout Cookie, ” each for under three hundred calories. They also have a variety of nut milks - cashew milk, almond, milk, coconut milk, and a matcha green milk, which, we learned, can also be used for cooking. Nikki called out “Ladies, let’s do shots! ” referring to the immunity boosting ginger shots, which are especially good for the fall and winter months. Everything is made in house - the nuts milks, the nut butter, and the juices themselves. There are no preservatives, and so each juice has a three day shelf life. Pure Green also offers juice cleanses. What impressed us and sets the business apart from other juice places is that they offer complimentary cleanse coaches. Kayla, the manager of the store and one of the “Pure Coaches, ” told us that the store is “her baby, ” while setting up some juices for us to sample. She spoke with us about the cleanses and the reasons to do one. We learned that they give the digestive system a rest from having to process toxins such as alcohol, fatty foods, and sugar. Each juice contains the equivalent nutrition of five pounds of produce. A cleanse also reestablishes pH balance: Kayla explained that the body is often too acidic which leads to lethargy, dull skin and hair. A cleanse will re-alkalize the body, and should ultimately be done once a month, like “changing the oil in your car. ” “We are all about transitioning people from an unhealthy to a healthy lifestyle. We’re all about baby steps, ” Kayla said. With the help of a “Pure Coach, ” customers gets a personal cleanse based on flavor and intensity preferences. By the end of Kayla’s lesson, Manhattan Sideways members who had never considered doing a juice cleanse were starting to feel tempted. Each of the smoothies and juices we tried were equally flavorful. Nikki explained that Pure Green gets its açaí straight from the source, the raw cacao from Equador, and the rest of the produce from local and organic farms. She let us in on the secret, that zucchini is the key ingredient in many of the green juices, as it makes the flavor smooth and silky without any bitterness. Everything is gluten and dairy-free and there is no HPP, which stands for high-pressure pasteurization. “We don’t cut corners, cuz that’s how you kill people, ” Nikki told us. Not only are they doing good things for the health of those who pop in, including the NYU student crowd, Pure Green donates 1% of their profits to charities that help bring clean water to the world. “We’re saving the world, ” Nikki said with a grin.
René Henricks, a longtime inhabitant of the East Village, feels fortunate to have spent decades being able to walk to work. After spending time as a bartender at a Latin American restaurant on East 1st Street, she eventually took over the small space across the way to give her something to do between shifts. The kiosk had undergone many transformations since the 1930s, first as a shoeshine stand, then a newspaper stall, a flower shop, and even a front for a marijuana dealer, before it became Juicy Lucy Juice Bar. Three years later, René opened a second location on the avenue to attract more customers. All of the drinks and açaí bowls are made in small batches on the spot using produce that is delivered daily. “You can’t get fresher juice anywhere else unless you make it yourself, ” René asserted. As such, her regulars continue to return for both the delicious juices and the relaxed, friendly atmosphere that pervades Juicy Lucy. “I have been lucky to watch the progression of families here. ” The kiosk holds sentimental value for many who are accustomed to visiting Juicy Lucy or passing by its corner spot every day. “The East Village has afforded me a nice lifestyle. I’m really grateful to it. ”
As Hamlet would say, “This is one of the places you come to the village for. ” Walking through the door, a small white pooch runs up to greet you, then leads you back through the racks of coats, pants, hats, and other accessories. As the owner, Hamlet, emphasizes, the inventory here is vintage clothing (not a second-hand shop), that dates from the 1940s to the 80s. The selection is sourced through various vintage collectors from all over the world. Hamlet credits his eye for fashion to his mother, who, he says, was a fashion designer in his home country of Dominican Republic. He is very proud of his collection and iterates that the store is not for “80s party” accoutrement, rather it is a resource for historic elegance and style. And if you stop in, you may even get your picture taken, as Hamlet will often have his customers model his new acquisitions.
Every nook and cranny of this tiny storefront's space is full of an extensive and eclectic collection of musical instruments from around the world. Instruments hang from the ceiling just as haphazardly as they are stacked on top of one another from the floor. Located at this same address for over fifty years, Music Inn has an impressive sitar selection from the 1960's, a rare 100 year old sarinda from Afghanistan, as well as adorable little child guitars and mini pianos. I had a quick throwback moment when I spied an autoharp. Do you remember music class in elementary school back in the 60's?
62 East 4th Street has had a fascinating history. At its inception in 1889, it served as a social hall housing a musician's union known as Astoria Hall, as well as hosting meetings of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. In the 1930's, the ballroom was revamped as a theater and television studio and renamed Fortune Theater until Andy Warhol discovered it and left his legendary stamp here. In 1969, he rented it out to showcase a series of infamous porn films and called it Andy Warhol's Theater: Boys to Adore Galore. Over the years, the Yiddish theater had performances here, and many well known television shows used the space to film. Since 1987, the Duo Center has been here having raised the funds for renovations, and then remaining throughout construction to become home to what is now Duo Multicultural Arts Center and Rod Rogers Dance Company and Studio. Today the building is part of Fourth Arts Block (FAB) and operates as a center for film, dance, art, theater and music and is among New York's designated cultural districts.
Pageant Print Shop’s entirely glass storefront bordered by light blue is instantly eye-catching and proudly displays the treasure within. Inside its bright, buttercream interior, an immense assortment of old prints and maps line every wall and fill neatly-labeled display racks. This sanctuary of beautiful historical pieces was created by Sidney Solomon and Henry Chafetz in 1946. It was originally one of the many second-hand book stores on Fourth Avenue, an area that was then known as “Book Row. ” Now under the leadership of Sidney’s daughters, Shirley and Rebecca, Pageant Print Shop primarily sells old prints and is thriving at its current 4th Street location. Having worked with historic pieces her whole life, Shirley knows how to get the best prints. She has amassed her impressive collection from antique book auctions as well as other various sources that she has built up over the years. Rodger, who has been working at Pageant Print Shop for over a decade, told Manhattan Sideways that “what we are looking for are old books with the bindings broken that are really not in very good shape on the outside, but still have good quality prints, maps, or illustrations on the inside. ” Although they search for old books based on the contents within, the shop also sells the old bindings for creatives looking to make decoupage and other fun art projects. Pageant Print Shop is definitely a fixture in the East Village, and in the words of Rodger, is “one of those neighborhood jams. ” They enjoy “a loyal group of people that have been coming here for eons, " tourists looking for something authentically New York City, and neighborhood people walking by. Rodger told us that newcomers are often “surprised that they are able to buy a piece of history, ” and return for more of their authentic, beautiful, and historic prints. Pageant Print Shop is unique in its extensive, high quality, and affordable selection. Rodger affirmed that “It’s going to be hard for you to find someone who has this kind of a collection at these kinds of prices - it’s just true. ”
After moving to her current location from East 7th Street, Lalita Kumut is pleased with her new address for selling aromatherapy products. On one of our recent visits, we stood by while a delighted group of girls were creating their own fragrances. From the variety of custom blends, soaps, oils and other smell-good body products, to the lovely women who have been in this business for over twenty years, the Fragrance Shop offers a memorable experience for the senses.