It’s been nearly one year since the Antiques Garage officially closed its doors for the last time. After 20 years in the heart of Chelsea, this two-story parking garage was the home of some of Manhattan’s finest antiques, vintage and collectibles. Unique and unlike any other shopping experience in the city, the Antiques Garage was truly a treasure trove of shopping in NYC. The pop-up shop to hundreds of vendors that came to the market each weekend to sell their goods, the Garage was equipped with a unique finesse that welcomed all types of people to shop and explore at will.
A shield from the elements, the Antiques Garage thrived year-round even in the dire heat and bitter cold. Although it was not a conventional building, its thick walls, high ceilings and fluorescent lights exuded an unusual atmosphere for conventional shopping. But this was just one of the major factors that drew people to the Garage.
For the vendors and regular shoppers, it eluded to a sort of secret society vibe where the true insiders knew to go and find some the city’s finest antiques, vintage items and collectibles. Beyond the shopping, it was a market for mingling, experiencing and connecting with old and new friends. It was a community within a community with a presence that was seen and felt by insiders and occasional shoppers alike. Its presence in the city opened doors for many small business owners to have a reliable location to sell their merchandise without the worry of the ever increasing rent costs that are pushing many small businesses off the city landscape. The fate of the Antiques Garage was much like many real estate prospects in the city: sold to the highest bidder, demolished, and giving way to another high-rise hotel.
The echoes and memories of the Antiques Garage resonate with many and evoke a quasi- folklore of NYC yesteryears hidden from modern society. The appreciation for the merchandise that filled the Garage has not diminished and its legacy lives on through Chelsea Flea Market and Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market.