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Shopping Recycled: Second Hand Stores in New York City

Submitted by on Thursday, 1 April 20102 Comments

cure-thrift-shop1By Dorian Yates, the author and photographer for the Green Earth Guides-Traveling Naturally Books, Blog and Web and The Alternative Health Guides Web and Blog.

Like any city in the world, shopping in New York City can be outrageously expensive, and usually have nothing to do with anything “green.” Take heart. Although not advertised and usually on less traveled streets, there are numerous second-hand stores throughout the city. Some are simply second-hand or consignment stores, others are run by non-profit organizations that use their store’s revenues to fund humanitarian work helping people suffering from HIV and AIDS, the homeless, and other issues.

Thrift shops tend to be located together in clusters in New York, especially in Manhattan, as you will see from the addresses below. On the Upper East Side there are many thrift stores along Second and Third Avenues in the 80s. These stores tend to be more expensive than the stores downtown or uptown. The Chelsea area of Manhattan is a hot spot for thrift stores around west 17th street.

Any of these stores can be a treasure trove for the shopper who likes to reuse and recycle goods, as well as for those who simply like the hunt for a good bargain or special trinkets. Surprisingly some of the best prices can be found on furniture, so if you are looking for a couch, table or wardrobe, keep your eyes open as you browse these stores. Happy hunting.

Chelsea-West 17th Street Area:
Angel Street helps people dealing with substance abuse, mental illness, HIV and AIDS. Angel Street Thrift Shop, 118 W. 17th St. (bet. 6th & 7th Avenues), NYC; Tel: 212-229-0546; Web: www.angelthriftshop.org. Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, Sunday Noon to 5pm.

Housing Works supports housing, health care and advocacy for homeless people with HIV and AIDS.
Housing Works has seven locations including at 143 W. 17 St. (bet. 6th & 7th Avenues), NYC; Tel: 212-366-0820; Web: www.housingworks.org. Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm, Sunday Noon to 5.

The Uja Federation works on sustaining and strengthening Jewish communities around the world.
Uja Federation Thrift Shop, 17 W. 17th St. (bet. 5th & 6th Avenues), NYC; Tel: 212-727-7512; Web: www.ujafedny.org. Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

In the area:
Salvation Army, 208 8th Avenue (at 21st Street), NYC; Tel: 212-929-5214; Web: www.satruck.com – search the website for all of their stores.
Goodwill, 103 W. 25th St. (at 6th Avenue), NYC; Tel: 646-638-1725; Web: www.goodwill.org – search the website for all of their stores.
City Opera Thrift Store, 222 E. 23rd, NYC; Tel: 212-684-5344

Upper East Side (not a complete list):
Irving Institute for Medical Research, 1534 2nd Ave (bet. 79-80th Sts)
Memorial Sloan-Kettering, 1440 3rd Avenue (bet. 81-82 Sts)
Arthritis Fund, 121 E. 77th St.
Cancer Care, 1480 3rd Avenue (bet. 83-84 Sts)
Council Thrift Store, 246 E. 84 St.
Grandmother’s League, 1459 3rd Avenue (82-83 Sts)
Housing Works has two stores one on 77th and 2nd and another on 90th and 2nd.

Other Second Hand Stores:
Other clusters of Thrift stores are in the East and West Village, the Gramercy area (East 20s), Harlem, and the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
RePop, 68 Washington Avenue (bet. Park & Flushing), Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn, NY; Tel: 718-260-8032; Web: www.repopny.com. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 7pm, Sunday 11am to 6pm. They have a large variety of goods, 95% of which are recycled or second-hand.

Used Books
Many of the second-hand stores sell books and there are also many used bookstores in New York. Here are a couple of stores with a large selection of used books:

Probably the most famous used book store in New York is The Strand which has been in existence for over seventy-five years and sells what seems like acres of used (and some new) books. The Strand, 828 Broadway (12th Street), NYC; Tel: 212-473-1452; Web: www.strandbooks.com; open Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 10:30pm, Sunday 11am to 10:30pm

Part of the Housing Works association – see Thrift stores above – the Housing Works Book Café focuses on used books with a large and ever changing assortment. Housing Works Used Book Café, 126 Crosby St. (at Prince between Broadway and Lafayette), NYC; Tel: 212-334-3324; Web: www.housingworks.org; open Monday to Friday from 10am to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday Noon to 7pm.

For more from Dorian Yates:
http://travelingnaturally.blogspot.com ~ a Lonely Planet Favorite!
By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).


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