A clear, warm day in early summer, a pocketful of change and nothing to do can be a magical combination in New York City. Beginning in SoHo, winding through the throngs of tourists shopping at stores where galleries once lived, I could be in any cosmopolitan hotspot, any high end mall for that matter. I trek east, through what was once Little Italy, up to Nolita and feel the tourists beginning to dissipate, the character returning to the neighborhood. Iím starting to feel better, lucky even, that I live here.
The journey takes me further east. I walk towards Delancey and the streets that my mother used to comb in search of a bargain. Heading up and down the streets between Delancey and Houston, Allen, Ludlow, all I see are New Yorkers, or at least, what I imagine are New Yorkers. It is Sunday. Stores are open. People are walking. Music is blaring. I buy two shirts for two dollars. I turn onto Orchard Street and something is happening.
People are gathering, stepping off the curbs and standing around in front of something that looks like a stage. This is the magical combination that can happen in New York. Iíve just stumbled onto something interesting.
What Iím about to see is the First Annual Orchard Street Style Slam. Organized by Erika Lively, co-owner of the store Timtoum which opened not that long ago on Orchard, The Style Slam is a fashion show with interesting parameters. First, stylists are putting on the show. Second, they are drawing from the stores on or around Orchard Street. The interesting thing is that they are not drawing just from the new stores on Orchard Street, but all of the stores, new and old, that have agreed to participate. It is the combination of new and old that makes the magic here and just like it seems to be working in the neighborhood, it definitely works in the style.