Alternate and timely titles for this post also included Wicked Witch of the East Village, A Vision, Seeing is Believing or Nor’Easter Village , dedicated to the second storm about to hit the Northeastern Coast of the USA. Now that the power has returned to Lower Manhattan (and the heat and the water), I spent my Sunday in the city acquainting myself with the many reasons why I choose to remain on this floating island! One of these reasons is the ever changing and always unique East Village.
Badass rocker Patti Smith got her start here, as well as Blondie, the Ramones, Madonna, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, the Beastie Boys, and The Strokes (to name a few). Andy Warhol staged multimedia shows with The Velvet Underground at St. Mark’s Place, Allen Ginsberg lived and dead within these streets, The Nuyorican Poets recite slams here, and the musical du jour of the nineties RENT, was written about this neighborhood’s crime and AIDs epidemic. In short, humanities credentials really don’t get more gritty, cool than this.
Between 1st and 2nd Avenues, on East 9th Street lies the unassuming shop called Fabulous Fanny’s which has the ultimate selection of antique and vintage eyewear for men and women.The clever shop offers services you may not find at your regular opticians for example they will customize any frames with rhinestones and will rent some of their coolest glasses to you for temporarily for photo shoots and events! You might also get a little thrill from knowing that the period merchandise was worn in the Broadway musical “How to Succeed in Business” starring Daniel Radcliffe.
Biting and witty author Dorothy Parker once wrote, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.” However, I do not think any gender could resist the allure of these stellar spectacles. Here I am above in a round, clear, salmon-colored pair!
Come for the eyewear but also stay for the derby style, fedora and pillbox hats or vintage clothing (all in good to excellent condition)!
Feel free to peruse the drawers full of vintage and antique glasses separated by style, color, and shape. Even if you dont need the help of a lense, this store is worth the trip from beyond the metro area. You won’t find your typical aviator or wraparound shades in this retail space. It’s quirky and cleverly edited boutique has an astounding and almost museum-like array of floor‑to-ceiling eyewear.
Fabulous Fanny’s merchandise includes antiques from as far back as the late 18th century, cateyes of all shapes and colors, rhinestoned one of a kinds, visionary designer pieces and iconic looks from the 50’s to current day. You can even find a Pince–nez, a style of lenses popular in the 19th century, which are supported without earpieces, by pinching the bridge of the nose. Want to impersonate your favorite, famed glasses wearer? A Woody Allen Style? Check. A Bill Gates look? Check. Tina Fey’s plastics? You got em. Even Harry Potter, John Lennon and Gandhi would turn in their distinctive frames for a new purchases from this shop!
One of the owners, or perhaps the owner’s friend, even gave me a brief history lesson explaining that the name behind the RayBans is simply based on the fact that the iconic shades were meant to “ban” the sun’s UV “rays”. Get it? Talk about customer service!
A cool stranger, named Roman, who I couldn’t resist snapping! Hello plaid, leather and frayed ends.
There’s no shame in having four eyes, especially if your specs are from NYC’s Fabulous Fanny’s. So don’t be nearsighted, get yourself to this store today!