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99 1/2 St. Marks Place
The Sock Man 1 Socks East Village

Neighbors were sad to see the Sock Man close in 2015, but after a year, Marty Rosen, the owner, reopened at another location still on St. Marks. Marty sold socks from a street truck until 1983 when he opened his first shop on Saint Marks - back, as he describes it, when the city was a little more grimy and gritty. It is still living and breathing though, a remnant of a romantic, bohemian past.

It is not an upscale, trendy boutique, but rather a store stocked from floor to ceiling with a colorful array of socks for men, women, and children. Anything needed to cover those feet and legs - they have it at Sock Man. From plain gray socks, to cat socks, to skulls, to obscenities and robot socks, and even socks bearing the image of the Virgen de Guadalupe, the shop is a haven for those who have a weird obsession with crazy socks. It also has a fantastic selection of quality socks in every color, shape, and size. In fact, for any and all socks, garters, and tights needs, this is the place. Step down the stairs, remembering, for a moment, old photographs of the live music bars of New York in the 60s and 70s. Purchase a pair of funky socks and take comfort in the fact that the city still has some "sole."

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More places on 8th Street

Lost Gem
Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor 1 Bars Beer Bars undefined

Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor

What a find... down a flight of stairs from street level on 8th Street, Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor is the "antithesis of a sports bar. " Artisan and craft beer are brought together in a friendly environment that certainly had us feeling like we were right at home. The Parlor is also named for the Arts and Crafts movement, “a cultural revolt against the ideals of industrialization. ”When we visited, we spoke to Robert, one of the two owners, with whom we thoroughly enjoyed chatting. Robert is an internationally recognized speaker and writer on dining out and traveling with special diets (he co-authored the series Let’s Eat Out! ), and he also has a background in acting and producing on Broadway. He told us that the other owner, Don, has an impressive resume working with the FBI and counterterrorism efforts both in New York and around the world - which left us wondering what brought this dynamic duo together as friends and eventually co-owners. Robert informed us it was a love of American Craft Beer and the visual and performing arts... and that they actually met enjoying a pint of beer in Manhattan. Just as intriguing as its owners, the interior of Arts and Crafts is beautifully designed; the sophisticated wallpaper is custom made by Bradbury and Bradbury, and the soft green and beige pattern was Frank Lloyd Wright’s favorite, supposedly. The constantly changing art is displayed along the wall opposite the bar, and an exposed brick wall and fireplace give the parlor a true “extension of your living room” feel. Described by Robert, as the “Bugatti of beer systems, ” the twenty plus beers the Parlor keeps on tap rotate monthly and are kept by this state of the art system at a refreshing 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Robert also astounded us with how small the carbon footprint of the Parlor is — he told us they are very conscious of keeping things compostable and earth-friendly. In addition to their rotating display of art from both established and up-and-coming artists, the Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor also hosts a monthly lecture series on the subjects of art as well as culinary topics. We could not get enough of how interesting this place is — both the concept of art and beer coming together and the two fascinating minds behind it.