Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Love Saves The Day was an amazing shop that opened in 1966. They sold everything from old magazines to wigs to Star Wars paraphenalia to general oddities! The shop also starred in Desperately Seeking Susan! It's the wonderful shop where Susan swaps her fantastic jacket for the equally fantastic rhinestone studded boots! Sadly Love Saves The Day has closed in NYC but there is another shop in New Hope,Pennsylvania.

Love Saves the Day, Colorful East Village Icon, to Close!
East Village kitsch mecca Love Saves the Day (MySpace) will close next month after more than four decades in the neighborhood, Vanishing New York reports. Originally opened in 1966 on 77 7th Street, the day glo-painted shop moved down the block to its current location at Second Avenue and 7th Street in 1983, just in time for a cameo in Desperately Seeking Susan, in which it's immortalized as the boutique where Madonna traded in her leather pyramid jacket for rhinestone studded boots.
The cluttered store was always packed with eclectic items ranging from funky threads to Star Wars paraphernalia to obscure pop culture ephemera. According to the Villager, the landlords tried to triple the rent in 2005, but owner Leslie Herson and her husband were able to negotiate a new three-year lease. Now it's 2008, and with rents declining, you'd think they'd have a better chance of hanging on. Of course, there's probably also a shrinking market for their inessential oddities.
Perhaps another factor, according to Racked, is that Leslie passed away over the summer. Her husband still maintains an LSD in New Hope, Pennsylvania (home of Ween), but that's small consolation when one contemplates the corner of Second and 7th without Love Saves the Day. No matter what depressing chain store comes in its place, it's now clear that we've officially become the old grouch droning on about how things used to be so much better in the old days. But they really were!

When I was much younger, I was Desperately Seeking Madonna. I was one of those 14 year olds who would get into Danceteria with the fake ID, wearing my friend's work jacket from Toys 'r Us because it looked like a damn candy stripe, and I'd have the glitter tie. Oh yeah, I was an 80's kid. And my biggest love then, and maybe even now, was Madonna. I never did get to see her at Danceteria but the stories about her performing there were pretty much the stuff of legend.

So after "Desperately Seeking Susan" came out and Madonna-mania was in full blast, this store was the place where all of us "Boy Toys" would hang out for hours on end. No, we never did get to buy the jacket. -A.Roderick

Vintage store from ’60s closing but will be saved
By Daniel Wallace
Love Saves the Day, a veteran vintage shop in the East Village, is closing this January because of an exponential increase in its rent payments. Located at the corner of Second Ave. and Seventh St., the store has been a community icon for almost 40 years.
“It’s a shame,” said Leslie Herson, the store’s owner and founder. “New York is losing its individuality because little stores like mine can’t compete.”
Herson said her previous landlord, who passed away recently, appreciated Love Saves the Day for its historical significance and therefore charged low rent.
“We were paying just over $5,000 a month,” she said. “But now his wife told us we had to pay $15,000, or leave.”
Love Saves the Day is a carnival-like vintage shop that sells clothing, wigs, hats, Star Wars paraphernalia, Transformers, old magazines, posters and general oddities. Inside, immediately to the right of the entrance, there is a rack of old Life magazines in vinyl sleeves hanging from plastic human fingers.

Owner Herson at work!

The air overhead is traversed by steel dowels, which are suspended by chains from the ceiling, and from which hang a jungle of trinkets, wigs and little stuffed men wielding knives. A shirtless mannequin with long black hair and a goatee, who looks like a lost pirate of the Caribbean, sits on a foldout chair in the center of the floor, guarding two vintage clothing racks.
Baskets on the floor hold piles of severed limbs, bloody and, of course, rubber.
“It’s sensual,” said Herson. “It’s sensory overload. When people walk out they say, ‘What the hell just happened to me?’ ”
A saleswoman behind the counter who wore a long tie-dyed robe and whose (real) fingernails — 6 inches long, half-an-inch thick — were curled like deer antlers, said Herson was extremely sad.
“This store is like her baby,” said the woman, who wished to remain anonymous.
Herson opened Love Saves the Day in 1966. Born in Brooklyn, she was a hippie and New York University student in the ’60s, an art major who designed her own clothes and frequented thrift shops. She became so knowledgeable of the thrift business that she decided to open her own store.
When asked if Love Saves the Day could, perhaps, be an acronym, Herson laughed.
“ ‘LSD.’ Absolutely,” she said. “You have to understand, everyone was on something back then. And the Beatles had just come out with ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.’ ” She admits to having dabbled in drugs back then.
With the help of friends, Herson first opened Love Saves the Day at 77 Seventh St., where she paid only $95 a month in rent. Since then, the store has switched locations; and it has become famous.
In 1985 “Desperately Seeking Susan” starring Madonna was filmed in Love Saves the Day, after which the store became a Hollywood icon.
“Studios started calling, looking for props,” said Herson. “And a lot of celebrities came by.”
Herson said that multitudes of celebrities have come through her store over the years, including Julia Roberts, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Bacon and a slew of rock stars, all leaving signed magazines or photographs.
Love Saves the Day has been at its current location on Second Ave. for over 20 years. Herson and her husband own a similar store, slightly larger, in New Hope, Penn. Both stores are doing well. Herson manages the supply and pricing for both stores and therefore no longer has time to design clothes. When asked which product is the stores’ bestseller, she laughed.
“Well, I’m embarrassed to tell you the truth,” she said. “But we sell fake poop. And that’s our biggest seller.”
Herson said she believes the future for independent stores is bleak. But she is not ready to give up. She is currently negotiating with the owner of the building in which Tokyo Seven is located, at 64 E. Seventh St., which will be vacant next year.
“We’ll move there,” said Herson. “The store is too vital to give up. It provides something for the community, a place where young people can come and see history on the shelves. I just don’t think it’s over yet.”

Susan at Love Saves The Day...

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