New York City has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around our fantastic city that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends. Laura Neilson is a freelance fashion and style writer who's written for Refinery29, Cool Hunting, NBC's Thread, Marie-Claire, and more. She recently completed a three-month apartment renovation, an experience that might have left her exhausted but not entirely empty-handed. Case in point: She now knows a thing or two about some of the city's best spots for affordable furniture and design pieces, which is why she's obsessed with Furnish Green, a second-hand furniture shop that also doubles as a dance studio.
I can't remember how I first came across Furnish Green (was it an NYC magazine? A blog?)—which is usually the case when I find a place I love; it becomes something that was always part of my consciousness—but I do remember the strange experience of walking through dance studios, some with classes in session, to peruse the furniture lining the walls. That's how Furnish Green works: It'ss a dance studio that moonlights as a secondhand furniture shop (though the last time I went, the furniture had multiplied to consume the majority of the floor space).
Tucked away in a building off Herald Square, it's got everything from mid-century credenzas to vintage industrial spotlights to shabby-chic picture frames and deer antlers. The prices are incredibly low, too, and not just by NYC standards. I furnished half my apartment with items I picked up here, which is why I'm hesitant to let this personal gem out of the bag. With the constantly changing inventory, there are troves of stuff to go around, and all the more reason to check in regularly.