Mess Around Downtown: September 8, 2010


Welcome back to Mess Around Downtown!

Hello Downtowners. Even as the sun sets on summer in Lower Manhattan new retailers are settling in to their new storefronts. Hand-carved combs, hip art galleries, a fresh Pret, and a guy named Geoffrey await you. And remember that you can find anything you need with our handy Downtown Directory. Don’t be afraid to email me at Thanks.


Volume Black89 Washington Street: 858.442.6798

Volume Black Gallery supports and shows the best of New York’s emerging artists. The dynamic curators behind Volume Black are excited to be bringing even more great art to Lower Manhattan. Their opening exhibition is called The Accretion of Events and it is very worth stopping by to browse, buy, and constructively critique.


Carpenter Tan – 190 Front Street: 347.669.2662

According to my internet research this Chinese company has been branching out lately and doing pretty well. Located in the South Street Seaport, this is the second store to open in the United States. The other is in Queens. The craftsmen of Carpenter Tan hand-carve combs, brushes, and hand mirrorsĀ  from wood, horns, and bone. They even tell you how and why to take care of your hair. After a visit to this store you will have a new respect for the beauty of this ancient craft.


Toys “R” Us Express – 89 South Street, Pier 17: 212.608.7846

I wish I had a backwards “R” on my keyboard. Everyone knows what this store is because we were all kids at one time in our lives. And even though we all grew up, we’re still Toys “R” Us kids at heart. The Express part doesn’t mean they’re going to rush you. It just means that the store fits nicely into a mall.


Pret A Manger– 179 Broadway: 646.558.8745

I’m personally very excited that Downtown’s fourth Pret opened it’s doors earlier this week. I love their fresh made and additive free philosophy on food. All of their food is made on site every day and is just waiting in a refrigerator for you to come by and eat it. I’m addicted to their ginger beer too. Pret is what fast food should be.


Vacancy Alert

– Cafe Toda at 180 Broadway has closed.

Evelyn’s Chocolates at 29 John Street has closed.


As always, thank you for being on the lookout and please continue to send any changes you come across to