Billy's Antiques and Props--on the corner of Houston and Bowery--has been a wonderful resource for horns, crucifixes, vintage typewriters and small tables. While researching how to best describe this corner of hidden treasures, I came across a description Billy wrote himself on his website that was so interesting I had to share it in its original form. Next time you are in Soho, pass by this corner, and you will quickly realize that he hit the nail on the head--the prices are actually very reasonable in comparison to other New York curiosity shops.
THIS AINT CRATE & BARREL!":The strange green tent that has been at 76 East Houston Street since 1986 is the last eclectic antique and prop store on the Bowery. Billy’s first incarnation was called Lot 76.In those days the Bowery was like the Wild West. Only the adventurous came downtown. As the sun would set on East Houston the junkies and alcoholics would lurk around like Zombies, asking for handouts.The creator of lot 76 was Rob Fennick a forward thinking antique dealer from Detroit. The tent has provided countless objects to thousands of New Yorkers. All walks of life have passed through the doors: movie stars, rock stars, artists, junkies, hookers, gangsters entrepreneurs, hipsters, and today there is a new breed on the Bowery; the metro-suburbanites. But the spirit of old New York is still alive at Billy's, a good deal at a fair price. All the people involved in the operation of Billy's have been down the boulevard of broken dreams and take their jobs seriously. We treat people the way they treat us. Ask a silly question get a silly answer. We at Billy's want to thank our customers for keeping this tradition alive.
-Billy, May 2007
-Billy, May 2007
76 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10012