Whatever era you pine for, there’s almost certainly a kitsch objet at Alphaville to embody it. Once a brick-and-mortar shop in the West Village and now a pop-up booth at the Brooklyn Flea, Steve Karchin and Gary Kraut’s golden-oldie company specializes in memorabilia from the 1940s through the ’70s. That means Popeye iron-ons ($6), Laugh-In coloring books ($24), Howdy Doody handkerchiefs ($28), and everything in between. In the market for a ’50s plastic ray gun? They’re happy to help you hunt. Just don’t ask for any Backstreet Boys paraphernalia; the ’90s is one decade Alphaville doesn’t revere.
Best Pop Tchotchkes
From the 2014 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).