i am constantly asking around for interesting shop ideas — what’s the newest thing, what has a great collection, what is affordable – and kiosk came up constantly. it was hard for me to believe that i had never heard of this design store that everyone seemed to love, and now in retrospect write about everywhere too (see here and here). so finally, after a few failed attempts with the wrong address and some strange ideas in my head as to where kiosk should be (i could not believe it would be in soho, as opposed to nolita, but i was very wrong), i found it and yes, i am in love.
located on the second floor of a nondescript space on spring street, kiosk seems to me to be a store full of character, whimsy, ideas and wonder. the store is kind of an excellent excuse for its owners to travel around the world. alisa grifo and her husband marco ter har romeny spend lots of time away picking up local useful goods, and then bring them back to new york where they provide detailed witty commentary about each one — describing where it came from, what it is about, and some pithy insights into its use or not. the charm is not just in the how the things reflect the place where they came from, but also how kiosk stamps its personality on these favorites. for the finnish children’s book “who will comfort toffle?” the description reads, in part, “tove jansson’s moomin characters are popular all over the world but still have not made much headway in the united states. we have the most beautiful edition we could find. great as a gift for people who are on the verge of divorce.”
their latest exhibit is entitled “american installment number two,” with a focus on florida where they trawled for the essence of that state. as a result, kiosk is currently overrun with citrus — citrus clippers, citra spoons, citra sipper and orange bubble gum that looked like little oranges as well as other florida-influenced finds like plastic hotel keys and blow-up space shuttles from cape canaveral. see more pictures here. kiosk’s prior exhibits from all over the world have focused on japan, sweden, german, finland and mexico, and they continue to carry some of their favorite finds from those visits.
although lots of kiosk’s stock fall into the silly category, there were plenty of great gift ideas such as a cute tea kettle, an extremely useful though stylish wiremesh basket, great toys for kids, tiny stencils, various journals and even some furniture. basically, kiosk is the kind of place that would be good for getting someone who doesn’t actually need anything, and likes a gift with a little personality. while i would rather go with them, i guess i will just have to wait and see what they bring back from their next adventure. kiosk, 95 spring street, 2nd floor, between broadway and mercer street, manhattan, new york, 212.226.8601.