Posts Tagged ‘Shoes’

Clown Shoes

Collection of Clown Shoes at Darrell Dean
Antiques & Decorative Arts, 1stdibs Gallery

You may have heard that laughter is therapeutic but did you know that trying on clown shoes is too? “I can’t tell you how much trying on a pair relieves stress and blood pressure. People really love it,” says Darrell Dean, a dealer of antiques and decorative arts in Kensington, Maryland, who collects clown shoes. “I have had probably 50 to 60 pair, but have regrettably had to sell some as this is my business. But there are always more to come,” he adds. A selection is on display online and at 1stdibs Gallery at the New York Design Center (200 Lexington Avenue, 10th floor), where you can try them on.

Dean says the most common question he gets is “Where did you get all these clown shoes?” His answer: “A clown goes out of business everyday and I get their shoes.” He started about six years ago and generally collects one pair at a time but has occasionally gotten three to four pair from the same retiring clown. There is a wonderful diversity to the shoes, from colorfully decorated ones with bulbous toe caps to long, narrow flap shoes that comically slap the floor to a jester’s curly toed pair bedizened with bells.

“I was never really interested in the remaining clown outfit or even the history of the clown or previous owner,” Dean tells ATZ. “To me the worn and weathered clown shoes speak for themselves and tell an interesting story and as a large group or collection are impressive. Most people are very happy to see and touch clown shoes, and trying on a pair will change your life for sure.”

Collection of Clown Shoes

Collection of Clown Shoes at Darrell Dean
Antiques & Decorative Arts

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Thor's Coney Island

Shoes galore at Rainbow Shops in Thor Equities Retail Ride of a Lifetime building in the New Coney Island. June 15, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The latest chain store to invade Coney Island’s amusement district has opened and it is neither “hip” nor “glitzy,” words used by the mainstream media in recent weeks to describe the chainification of Coney’s Surf Avenue. Over the weekend, Rainbow Shops, which sells discount clothing and shoes, opened on the Stillwell Avenue side of Thor Equities’ “Retail Ride of a Lifetime” Building, across the street from Nathan’s Famous. Shoot Out the Star, Basketball, Balloon Dart and Water Racing as well as the Fascination Arcade were among the amusements in the Henderson Building, which was on this corner until Thor CEO Joe Sitt demolished it in 2010.

This is the new retail building flaunting two ARCADE signs but no arcades, despite the fact that 15% of amusement frontage was required by zoning regulations to obtain the Certificate of Occupancy from the City. We wrote about this sham last week. The “ARCADES” remain vacant. Apparently, having an ARCADE in name only is fine with the City. Anything goes as long as Thor’s Coney Island has shoes galore!


ARCADE sign on Thor Equities Retail Building with No Arcade on Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island. June 1, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The 2,500 square foot Rainbow Shop, the maximum size allowed by the Coney Island Rezoning of 2009, is filled with aisle after aisle of shoes in shoeboxes, just like a warehouse outlet. It’s as if the store owners expected the “PEDESTRIANS GALORE” (“4.7 million subway riders visit Coney Island every year, 13 million people visit the beach every season and over 100,000 people visit Coney Island’s Luna Park on the 4th of July!”) touted in Thor Equities property description to arrive shoeless.

Flea by the Sea

Shoes Galore at Anchor Store # 7 at Joe Sitt’s Flea by the Sea. July 12, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

In 2008, Thor Equities dismal flea market on the Coney lot where the Tornado Roller Coaster once thrilled had vendors selling clothing and shoes, both new and used. At the time, it was a reminder that Joe Sitt’s pitch book unsuccessfully used to lobby Borough President Marty Markowitz for 10,000 square foot retail touted flagship retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap/Banana Republic, and DSW (“Thousands of shoes…prices you love”). Now it appears to have been a dress rehearsal for Rainbow Shops. The Brooklyn-headquartered retailer has 28 stores in Brooklyn and over 1,000 locations nationwide.

Rainbow Shop

Rainbow Shop on Stillwell Ave opposite Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island. June 15, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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