Photo by myself on 62nd Street and Lexington Avenue, on the Upper East Side.
Tender Buttons, a store specializing in antique buttons, is located in a tiny building on the Upper East Side.
I first heard about this place when I just started living in New York. My boss at the time mentioned it while discussing interior decorating, and I've been haunted by the name ever since.
And why not? 'Tender Buttons' sounds captivating. The name refers to a book by Gertrude Stein, who saw a sign at a vegetable market for tender (button) mushrooms. The insides of the store are full of little boxes, stacked from floor to ceiling, filled with a variety of precious buttons, all organized by color.
The staff was nice enough to allow me to take a photo inside. Unfortunately I didn't have time to browse around. If I had, I would have been there for a long, long time, making small discoveries with every little box.
Next time you find yourself on the Upper East Side with a spare afternoon, why bother visiting a museum? Browse through buttons dating back to the 18th century, and maybe take home a few.
For the Tender Buttons website, including their detailed history, close ups of their button stash and more photos of their interiors, click here.
Related posts: Outside O. Ottomanelli's Meat Market, in the Village, Russ & Daughters, the Lower East Side, and Esposito & Sons, in Hell's Kitchen.