Monday, July 12, 2010

"What does the Gap in Rome have that the Gap on Broadway doesn't?"

This question, which Puddy asks Elaine after their failed European vacation, or a variant of it is a Major Question of our Age. One of the highlights of travel is the chance of finding something you can't get back home. This is true of stuff you buy for yourself, all the more important for gifts - if you're getting someone something from France, it probably shouldn't be from H&M. Or Uniqlo. Or... If you live in a major city, and are shopping for others who do as well, or even if not given the existence of the Internet, you're unlikely to find a whole lot that can't at the very least be mail-ordered domestically.

I thought I'd found this bastion of only-abroad French basics, a brand called (of all things) American Vintage, available in Belgium as well as France. I somehow had the sense these t-shirts were not to be found back home. Then a longer look at their website revealed:


Flying A
169 Spring Street
New York NY 10012
Tél 00212.965.9090

62 Grand Street
New York NY 10013
Tél 00212.941.8506

GC William
111 West 72Nd Street
New York NY 10023
Tél 00212.873.2314

170 Ludlow St.
New York NY 10002
Tél 00212.995.8660

Basic Basic
710 Broadway
New York NY 10003
Tél 00212.477.5711

Wink Nyc
188 Columbus Avenue
New York NY 10023
Tél 00212 941 7078

Olive and Bette'S
155 West 72Nd Street
New York NY 10023
Tél 00212.712.0473

644 Broadway
New York NY 10012
Tél 00212.473.3980

One of the stores is literally right outside the subway station I take to campus every day.

The same is true, occasionally, of sources. I constantly have to check that sources are, in fact, only available in France. If they're at the NYPL, JTS, CJH, Columbia library, Bobst, or on the Internet, what's the point?

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