Mon-Sat, 11am-7pm; Sun, noon-7pm
N, R at Prince St.; 6 at Spring St.
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When you turn a used-comic-book business into a publishing empire, you’re almost fated to become the darling of an industry. So it’s no surprise that Benedikt Taschen’s verve for untapped markets, no matter how taboo or tacky, has allowed him to ride pop, kitsch, and T&A from Cologne and Paris to this high-ceilinged, polished-concrete boutique in the heart of Soho. His publishing house vends soft-cover anthologies of rock-star artists and starchitects such as Basquiat and Gaudi and also produces pocket-size guides to ultra-mainstream cultural topics like sixties cars and Christmas, each for $9.99. But not everything is as miniscule—the Big Book of Breasts and the 600-page New Erotic Photography are heavy enough to crush lesser Ikea furniture and are priced accordingly. The shop’s art-world cred, meanwhile, gets a boost from contemporary artists like David LaChapelle and photographer Peter Beard. And sure, the flat-screen TVs seem out of place mixed in with the art on the walls, but Taschen's genius seems to be knowing that there’s probably no such thing as too much sheen.