Young Thais are drawn by the big city lifestyle
Tucked away on New York’s Lower East Side is a new space that bills itself as a "lifestyle boutique inspired by creative nostalgia."
And that's not just rhetoric. All the way down to its logo — a homage to legendary nightclub Studio 54 -- specialty shop Community 54 lives up to its slogan with an expansive offering of vintage and vintage-inspired fashion, products and accessories, all inspired by the golden age of hip hop.
To get into the store, customers step through a coin-operated photo booth and past the arcade games in the window. They are greeted by a display of snapback caps hanging over the counter, as well as racks of throwback button-down shirts and jackets from Polo, Tommy Hilfiger and other brands, with prices ranging from $65 to $350 depending on the material and rarity. In addition to old-school gear, Community 54 also has an offering of new but vintage-looking apparel by Mitchell & Ness, masters of the heritage sportswear game.
Other usually hard-to-find items include near-perfect condition MCM duffel bags and Gucci cigar ashtrays from the 1980s. And of course they have Cazals, iconic eyewear that is proudly displayed along with other time-warping oddities like a purposefully horrific hockey mask pendant, a homage to both Jason from the movie Friday the 13th and Ghostface Killah from hip hop collective Wu-Tang Clan, depending on which decade you are trying to transport back to.
For those looking to make some money off their own nostalgic treasures, Community 54 also sells goods on consignment (a 50/50 split), and Tuesdays are reserved for people to bring in their wares and negotiate with the store’s buyer.
Be sure to walk all the way to the back of the store, where an outdoor space is covered by ever-changing graffiti, curated by CINIK, a well-respected New York City street artist.
Bucky Turco is the New York City Localite for BBC Travel. He's also the editor of animalnewyork.com.