As I headed downtown to inspect Purl’s new digs last weekend, I was a little uneasy. What if the Purl magic was meant to be contained within 2 box-size shops on one of the last “neighborhoody” streets left in Soho? What if it got diluted in more spacious digs on a major shopping street? What if the fabric and yarn weren’t 6 inches from your face? What if you didn’t feel an urgency to get in and get out quickly, to make room for the next customer? All of those things were part of the Purl experience that I’d grown to love. Shops so small, and so edited, that any addition or subtraction was noticed immediately.
Relax! Everything is OK. The new place is great, and the recipe still works. It still feels almost curated, every item or collection of objects placed with intention. But a lot more air and a lot more merchandise. (The oilcloth is out! The linen is out!) And more people, who are not bumping into each other. On a great, if bustling, street of old cast-iron buildings.
Danger: they have room to display all the needlepoint canvases. Oh my. I was able, for many months, to pass by the Charlie Harper needlepoints, when there were just a couple on display. Now, resistance is futile. Move over, rug-hooking. Mama’s got a new craft.
And while I will miss being able to pop into Once Upon A Tart for cornmeal biscotti (and to see what the woman behind the counter was wearing), this new neighbor is intriguing.
Next time you’re in town you will have to check it out. When can you get here?