Trust me on this one: While NYC has many faddy and fascinating shopping destinations Port Authority Bus Terminal is not one of them. Well, until now. PABT itself — the world's busiest bus station — is notoriously dingy and labyrinthine and the city blocks adjacent to it still house leftovers, namely adult bookstores and peep show joints, from the era predating Time Square’s sanitizing scrub-down.
But because NYC is in a perpetual state of reinvention, the area around PABT is unmistakably electric — there’s something a brewin’ — but it’s not as Disney-fied as blocks to the east in Times Square proper. This something challenges the way New Yorkers view PABT while maintaining the integrity (aka the authentic, down n' out charms) of the area. A complete makeover of the area doesn’t seem to be in the works … it’s more of a “touch-up.”
The commercial core of this touch-up is Blank SL8,
a once-vacant retail space — sponsored by the Times Square Alliance
and the Fashion Center Business Improvement District
— that now plays host to a slew of pop-up shops and art exhibitions. Past Blank SL8 pop-up shops, including Save Fashion
and AreaWare’s Design-to-Go
, were anything but humdrum. I really have to hand it to the Times Square Alliance and Fashion Center BID — they've transformed a chunk of PABT into an attractive shopping destination with appeal to a Brooklynite who normally avoids it like the plague.
Blank SL8’s latest tenant, the TerraCycle Green Up Shop
, is no less attractive. In honor of Earth Month, TerraCycle
, the New Jersey-based waste wizards and subject of the upcoming National Geographic show, Garbage Moguls
, give PABT an innovative, eco-edge. In addition to the entire line of TerraCycle products
, the Green Up shop also showcases eco-friendly goodies from New York-based vendors like RePlayGround
, ReStore Clothing
, and more
During a recent tour of the Green Up Shop with TerraCycle’s top designer, Tiffany Threadgould, it was excellent to see all of the company’s offerings — from personal speakers made from old M&M wrappers to cereal box notebooks to the company’s premiere product, worm poop-based All-Purpose Plant Food packaged in recycled soda bottles — in the flesh (the company also has a permanent store in Princeton, New Jersey). Staying true to TerraCycle’s green roots, all merchandise was displayed on tables fashioned from salvaged doors and scrap wood.
What’s more, 1 percent of all proceeds from the Green Up Shop will go to NYC clean water advocate, Riverkeeper, and the space will be home to the world’s largest “upcycling center” where customers can drop off waste of all stripes and get a discount on purchases. Additionally, there will be weekly, one-off events throughout April like lectures, DIY workshops, and a big Earth Day soiree.
If you live in NYC or happen to be passing through in the coming weeks, do not fear Port Authority Bus Terminal. Stop on by the Green Up Shop and pick up by a pencil case made from Capri Sun juice pouches, a garbage can made from recycled plastic, or whatever strikes your fancy. I don’t think you’ll find an eco-friendlier shopping destination in all of NYC.
TerraCycle Green Up Pop Up Shop @ Clean SL8
11 am - 7 pm (M - Sat)
Through May 1st; check calender for special events
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