In New York, there is a holy institution more revered than any other: the bodega.
A bodega, for the uninitiated, is a small, local corner-store, peddling all the wares you could ever possibly need, from fresh fruit to detergent and cigarettes. It is a humble and beloved lifeline for the City That Never Sleeps, keeping the metropolis’ hardened residents going with convenient snacks and emergency beer. In short, bodegas are life.
And now there’s a new bodega in town that might just outshine the others, 8 ‘Till Late. What’s so special about this one, you ask? Well, it’s entirely made of felt, that’s what.
The brain child of London-based artist Lucy Sparrow, 8 ‘Till Late was nine months in the making. Sparrow has hand-sewn each of the 9,000 items, including the soda fridge, band-aides, Tylenol and the ketchup-squiggles that can adorn your felt hot-dog (available at the felt deli counter, obviously).
Despite its charming veneer, the the immersive work, commissioned in part by Standard Hotels and the famous High Line, has a deeper meaning. It is intended to highlight the importance of independent shops, the presence of which is rapidly declining due to loss of interest and high rent. In a press release, Sparrow stated that she wanted to, “make people think about the loss of community spaces when these small corner shops disappear; to remind them how valuable these corner shops really are and the colour they bring to our lives.”
For the hipster-fide, like-obsessed mega-island of New York City, this new creation is a divine melding of all of life’s greatest treasures: crafts, whimsy, social commentary, Insta-ops, and, of course, bodegas. Just don’t go searching for it when you’re in desperate need of an ATM, or a bag of crisps. If you can’t make it to Manhattan in time, you can always take a look inside the bodega here.
8 Till Late, Little West 12th Street, New York City, June 6 – 30 2017. Video by The Standard, Highline @TheStandard