Answer? The one where you walk by the window and are drawn inexorably in as if by some strange cyclonic force. For me – hardly a shopper at heart – that means Fishs Eddy, the dishes, plates, mugs vintage everything-ware emporium at Broadway and 19th Street, steps from Union Square.
In a world drowning in the loneliness of the online shopper, Fishs Eddy is the ultimate tactile experience. What are you in the market for? Grandma’s used and refurbished tablecloth? A half dozen Syracuse white china dinner plates for nine bucks? How about some prison flatware? 50 cents a spoon. Start digging in.
The owners named the place for a hamlet off an exit on the highway in upstate New York, a detail I could not help but notice the first time I drove my son up to Ithaca College. Yes, there really is a Fishs Eddy! I’ve not taken that exit yet, but for anyone who has ever furnished their first apartment in the city, you’ve probably been to the original New York bacchanalia of kitchen goods. The solid, manageably priced dishware often features such fun designs, like their ubiquitous black and white cityscape line or the popular Blue Plate Specials. But if old is what you seek, they have antiques: from long-gone hotels, country clubs, and restaurants you vaguely recall the name of. If there is any china left from the Titanic, I suspect you will find it here.
The place feels like an old barn plopped down in the middle of Manhattan. If you’re looking for a unique wedding gift, this is newbie couples nirvana. If you’re setting up your first fifth floor walkup, half the store is always on sale and the rest is incredibly reasonable. Just walking through on a rainy Thursday evening I could nearly smell chicken roasting and hear the glug glug of a tasty glass of Two Buck Chuck. Fishs Eddy is a culinary design experience for the aspirational. Spend a few moments and you almost think you can make it here.
Fishs Eddy is located at 889 19th Street at Broadway in New York City. Hours: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8 p.m. on Sundays.