Another Store Is Closing

Manhattan Beauty SupplyI never shopped at Manhattan Beauty Supply (121 Chambers), but I’m sad nonetheless that it’s closing at the end of April. When I moved to New York in 1992, the city was full of stores like it—independent, idiosyncratic, and interesting. I always enjoyed making eye contact with the wig heads in the window. They’re simultaneously haughty and glum, as if they can’t believe life turned out this way. (Click on the photo below and check out that face on the one in the upper left corner.) I guess happy expressions don’t sell wigs? Also, I’m fascinated/repelled by the strange shoulder humps many of them have.

P.S. The guy at the little souvenir kiosk directly to the east said he’s not closing.

UPDATE: A reader reports that the owner of Manhattan Beauty Supply says the store has been there for at least 35 years.

Manhattan Beauty Supply windowManhattan Beauty Supply sign

8 Comments

  1. I moved to NYC in 1992 as well, I remember back in the 90’s there were a number of used book stores along that block on Chamber Street. They are all gone now.

  2. my daughter and I shop there from time to time – we love it. Too bad. they are always very nice. I prefer it to Ricky’s, etc.

  3. less (+ ever less) wiggle room

  4. Having lived in Tribeca since March, 1978, the ongoing elimination of ‘our old neighborhood’ stores has added to its numerous (and not necessarily positive) changes. Sheila has been there for years and has been helpful, friendly, and reliable – in this ‘cozy’ space. You’ll be missed…

  5. Yes, exactly. Full of late-1970s and early 1980s ennui, disdain and depression. Can’t help but feel, in the current context, that they are like a Greek chorus, watching in judgement over what we’ve allowed to become of this neighborhood. Can’t believe life (and this city) turned out this way, indeed.

  6. Erik, you are too funny. I look at those strange shoulder humps every time I pass that store, and wonder what the heck? Sad to see this bit of quirkiness leaving Tribeca, this was a hold-out so I knew it was just a matter of time. As my incredibly observant 9-yr old says, pretty soon Chambers street will look like a scene from Zombie Apocalypse, with all the closings, and non-re-openings.

    • Not to disappoint your son re: the zombies, but there are at least two forthcoming openings on Chambers: Pret a Manger (in the Cosmopolitan Hotel) and something at 150 Chambers (half of what was Manhattan Books). And By Suzette is planning to reopen after its flood. But Nelly will be closing soon, if the “big sale” and “for rent” signs are any indication.

  7. Argh!!! I’ve been shopping there since I moved to Greenwich St in ’96. What’s taking its place…a “high-end” condo or bank???

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