NYC bodegas are vibrant and lively at all operating hours, and the 8 ‘Till Late bodega is no different. Taking inspiration from an NYC bodega, artist Lucy Sparrow opened up a pop-up art exhibit in the Chelsea Standard Hotel where all the items in the bodega were created out of felt.
The popular and free exhibit gave visitors a chance to purchase items that you would typically find in a bodega: groceries, cleaning supplies, even alcohol. With felt groceries ranging from $20 – $75, they were a bit high for NYC’s standards, but the chance to take home a felt version of your favorite chocolate bar? Priceless.
Besides the groceries in the store, Sparrow opted to turn even the ATM, cash register, and stickers behind the counter into felt. The labels were beautifully and carefully hand-written and every item looked just like the original non-felt product. The detail Sparrow put into each piece was astounding – if you look closely at the ATM, you can even see the different types of credit cards that are accepted written out in paint.
The bodega was true to form, too. If you didn’t know that everything was made of felt and walked by, you would have probably assumed it to be a typical NYC bodega!
While you were able to purchase items for sale, the back room was a gallery of other felt products, the most notable (and my favorite) was the one of the beloved luncheon meat, SPAM.
Although the exhibit was closed nine days early (it closed on June 21st because the store sold out its pieces), Sparrow’s exhibit offered a great take on one of NYC’s great claim-to-fames. It gave visitors insight into a softer version of a bodega, and it made me appreciate all of my beloved NYC bodegas and all the eclectic items that one could find inside. You never know, maybe I’ll find a felt apple next time!