Earlier this month we learned that after more than four decades in the East Village, kitsch mecca Love Saves the Day will close. Yesterday we dropped by and, with owner Richie Herson's approval, took some photos of the eclectic boutique—an activity that's ordinarily forbidden. By the way, it's a great time to stop by and pick up some Christmas gifts while paying your respects; the store has slashed prices 30%-50%.
Martin Ruginis, who's been working there for 15 years, said that he "just wants the store to close already" because he's "tired of hearing customers tell him how upset they are about it." According to Ruginis, the best selling product is the fake pile of shit. It used to be called doo doo, but it wasn't selling well so they changed the name to shit and could barely keep it on the shelves. As if to tempt fate, the late Leslie Herson, who opened the store in 1966, then changed it back to doo doo because she didn't like the profanity. Sales plummeted again, so she relented and changed the name yet again in order to sell more shit.
Reached by phone, Richie Herson dismissed the possibility of a benefactor stepping in to save Love Saves the Day (MySpace), floated by Racked, and told us he'll be out by the first week in January. (But for the die hards, there's still a second location in New Hope, Pennsylvania.) It's not known what will rise up in place of the Second Avenue location, but Ruginis predicts it will become a restaurant, further contributing to lower Second Avenue's transformation into "a food court." And Vanishing New York wonders what will become of Karen, the woman who vends outside the shop.
Photos and additional reporting by Katie Sokoler.