Brick-and-mortar store moves online-only in July
By Laura Shanahan
Say it ain’t so, Joe!
But it is so: As per last week’s news item in this very paper, owner Michael Rosenberg’s singular store Granny-Made, which served the Upper West Side and fans from beyond – way beyond – for 27 years will be closing, with summer the targeted time.
But lest you worry you’ll make a wasted trip if you go now, as the store may be shuttered any minute; or that the selection’s dwindled down to nothing; or that you’ll never be able to buy another Granny-Made sweater, so might as well call it quits now – take heart: The answer to all your concerns is “NO! NO!” and one mo’ time: “NO!”
I just visited Michael and he assures me that the shop, at 467 Amsterdam Ave., between 82nd and 83rd, will be open throughout July – at the very least. So there’s still time, mes amis – and the advantages of going now are twofold: First, you can take advantage of closing sales on items that will not be carried at the online shop (www.grannymade.com) – and second, in-store you have the opportunity to fondle, sniff and otherwise scope out the favorite items that will indeed continue to be available online. And let us not discount the possibility of a third act elsewhere: Stay tuned!
To give you an idea of the quality that inspired and continues to inform this children’s clothing-toys-and-more store, consider the immaculate wool-knit coat hanging on display. Looks like it could have been hand-knit yesterday. In fact, granny Bert Levy made it for a friend’s granddaughter in 1956. (Bert Levy was the real-life granny of Granny-Made, and lives on as its inspiration and guiding force.) “The family sent it to me,” Michael says proudly of the coat, which is framed by other vintage items Bert Levy created.
Today, her original cable-design knits for children, from 6 months to approximately 6 years, are handmade in Peru of cuddle-soft pima cotton. Priced at $70-$78, the zip-up cardigans come in multiple girly shades of pink, plus a raspberry and lavender, as well as in navy, light blue and olive.
Ruth Hornbein, a longtime employee and a well-known children’s sweater-designer in her own right, showed me her hand-loomed pure cotton cardigans for boys and girls. Loved the pink and purple version – I’m such a girly girl – that features the Manhattan skyline on front and the Brooklyn one on back. “That’s Orion on the front,” Ruth pointed out in the design’s star-studded sky, “and the Big and Little Dipper on the back.” (I shamelessly nodded as though I could identify them on my own.) Anyway, $85 for these truly original, impeccably detailed sweaters.
Ruth shared another bit of knowledge: Pointing out a sweater featuring intarsia designs of doggies, she noted that cats used to be the big sellers, and “now it’s dogs.” Interesting factoid, no?
Noteworthy in addition to the knits are glittering rings and tiaras, soft toys for tots and the novel ABC wall-hangings; $45. Made of quilted fabric, the hangings’ 26 pockets each contain a tiny toy corresponding to every letter of the alphabet. (“O” has an owl tucked inside.)
Last but not least, there is the selection of interactive books. Consider the glossy hardcover Noisy Noah’s Ark for $19.99 that features such sounds as rain, hammering and music.
Long before Gene Kelly, apparently Noah was singin’ in the rain…
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