This Week: B4 It Was Cool (Soho, NYC)

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I stumbled upon the Soho salvage store B4 It Was Cool last May, but because the showroom’s unassuming entrance lacks display windows and signage, I very nearly passed it by.  Luckily, my curiosity was piqued by the bald, tattooed, rather tough looking but smiley gentleman who sat in front of the store, enjoying the near-perfect sunny late summer afternoon while he, as I later found out, cut deals with Soho bobos whose apartments were about to get much more interesting.

Although during my B4 It Was Cool visit, right-wing shock jock Michael Savage’s voice blared from the store’s stereo system, the showroom’s two levels of salvaged lights, furniture and charts was so hypnotic I could have stayed for hours.  In fact, the only reason it’s taken me so long to blog about this is because, frankly, I wanted to buy that astronomy chart (above (and below)), and I was afraid you might call the store and snatch it out from under me.  And the reason I didn’t call to buy the chart (and which is also the even bigger reason I haven’t written about it before now) is because I’d somehow lost the tattooed man’s business card, and no matter who I asked, nobody in the know seemed to know what I wanted to know, namely the incredible store’s name.  Embarrassingly, I didn’t even remember that B4 It Was Cool was on Houston Street (I’d like to see you admit something that ignorant about yourself publicly).

Continued . . .

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Here's another look. Gorgeous, isn't it?

Of course, over time B4 It Was Cool slipped my mind, and it wasn’t until last week when, feeling a bit depressed about the upcoming winter, I started looking through my summer photos and realized it was past time I wrote a post about this amazing store.  Channeling my inner Holmes*, I deduced that the neighbors might know something, so I rang up Soho’s John Derian & Co., which is located just a couple blocks away.  Bingo.  The lovely woman who answered the phone knew straightaway I’d likely visited B4 It Was Cool.  Thank you miss.

Which is why I can finally write this post.  Of course, I promptly called about the chart, and let’s just say I wish I’d have called b4 it was gone.  Please e-mail me if you have one.  Or just snail mail the actual chart to me, which works even better.  And regarding B4 It Was Cool, I highly recommend you add it to your next New York itinerary.

B4 It Was Cool.  89 E. Houston St., New York, NY.  212-219-0939

* Sherlock, that is.

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2 Responses to “This Week: B4 It Was Cool (Soho, NYC)”

  1. Drool… mmm… That is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing, one of my fav salvage places in Palm Beach was like that, never found on purpose only by wandering as if lost..
    I stand by my opinion that you can’t fake vintage soul!

  2. Must. Plan. A. Trip. To. NYC. NOW!

    Note to self: don’t fly, drive a truck with lots of room.