Places + Travels + Vanity + Wearables

The last evening of summer.






I took a little walk in the West Village tonight. It will officially be fall in a few hours, and summer decided to give us one last hurrah with temperatures in the 80s and a thunderstorm that I missed by seconds.

One of my favorite shops in New York is Avignone Pharmacy (no website!). They’ve been in the same location at 6th Avenue and Bleecker Street since 1929, but originally opened in 1898 on MacDougal Street. Avignone is exactly what you imagine a perfect independent chemist’s shop to be like—pharmacy in the back, friendly clerk at a low counter in the center, white penny tiles on the floor, and pretty much every amazing beauty product you can think of. They have everything, including the complete Mario Badescu line (I’m totally obsessed). I used to stop in to Avignone all the time when I lived in Brooklyn since it’s right off the F train, but I’m going to make more of an effort to go there now even though it’s a bit of a haul.

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  • Reply Megan September 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    A few places here in Chicago have those green cross signs. Whatever do they mean, if anything at all? Always stumped me.

  • Reply Anna at D16 September 22, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    @Megan: When you see a green cross (as opposed to red), it’s most likely a pharmacy owned by an immigrant from Italy, France, or Belgium. (Incidentally, there’s an interesting discussion on the use of the crux quadrata in art in the comments on this post!)

    Apparently there are some medical marijuana places using the green cross now, too, but that’s not the case with Avignone or other European-owned pharmacies.

  • Reply Megan September 22, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Aha! I’ve seen it mostly outside of bars… a different kind of pharmacy for some. Thanks for the info; learn something new etc etc!

  • Reply Kelly September 22, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    love these photos! i miss nyc so much!
    and i love mario badescu too. so many great products.

  • Reply Elisabelle September 23, 2010 at 1:20 am

    I like places like that!! Lovely photos.
    I just discovered your blog through Famapa: really nice!

  • Reply Leah September 23, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Beautiful, Anna. These totally have a late summer dusky evening feel to them. And make me want to visit NYC all the more. Plus, Mario Bandescu!! I need to get more of the pink zit treatment stuff.

  • Reply Cait @ Hernando Hous September 23, 2010 at 8:13 am

    If I’m ever in NY I’ll have to visit that pharmacy, it sounds fantastic!

  • Reply Peter September 23, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Avignon looks great. I hope in time they don’t decide to update to a more modern look. I love modern but, I love gems of the past left intact.

    The photos look like they are from an iPhone app. If so, what app did you use?

  • Reply Anna at D16 September 23, 2010 at 9:24 am

    @Leah: The entire line is incredible, not just the drying lotion! Up until recently, that’s the only thing I’d tried, but now I’ve become a total MB hoarder.

    @Peter: The interior has actually been renovated recently, but it was done very nicely—it’s somewhere between old and new, but not fake.

    I don’t own an iPhone (I know, I’m such a throwback!). I adjusted the color and added the borders in Photoshop.

  • Reply Uli September 23, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Yay for Mario! — Excellent quality and NOT prohibitively expensive. I know it’s not as much fun, but if you can’t make it to the chemists’, MB now has have free shipping for orders over $50.

  • Reply April September 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Avignone looks lovely! I have a thing for old chemist/apothecary shops. And after our trip to Europe I decided I wished pharmacists here used the green cross.

  • Reply Rachel Kay September 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Love the photos, the lighting is gorgeous! And thank for introducing me to Mario Badescu, I think I might just have to check the range out!

    It’s funny, I never realised that the pharmacy green cross wasn’t an international thing! They’ve always been here (Ireland) outside Pharmacies. I think it’s the case in many European countries.

    Rachel Kay

  • Reply Anna at D16 September 23, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    @Rachel Kay: How interesting! In the US it’s much more common to see a red cross.

  • Reply ehalvey September 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Oh how I miss European pharmacies. I could spend WAY too much time (and money!) in the ones in Ireland. I still have the sun cream I bought at one near the Pantheon in Rome. It just feels decadent even if it’s a cheapy Italian brand. Sigh.

  • Reply Lori E September 23, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    What a nice way to end the summer… Hard to believe it is fall.

  • Reply kay* September 23, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    lovely snapshots – i’ll have to give that mario badescu line a try!

    oh and @peter – the iPhone app ShakeIt will give pics a similar look. it’s a great app for photos – my fave.

  • Reply Holyoke Home September 24, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    The neon green french pharmacy light TOTALLY threw me off.

  • Reply Samantha September 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I love that store as well! Have you ever noticed the really old ledger books in the store. Very neat.

    And that’s where I buy my MB products too. I’m a big fan of the Buffering Lotion at the moment, and the Healing and Soothing Mask.

    Next time you visit that area, you can get something to eat at !0 Downing ( I’ve been for dinner and brunch, and preferred brunch a little bit just because it’s such a beautiful sunny spot.

  • Reply me@{Life or somethin September 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    A walk in the west village! What a great way to spend the last night of summer. I must admit, I am quite jealous, but so glad you shared 🙂

  • Reply Helene September 25, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Lovely pictures…

  • Reply belinda September 26, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    omg i miss washington sq diner 🙁

  • Reply olimpia September 27, 2010 at 3:39 am


    I’m from Romania (Eastern Europe) and I’m a constant reader of your blog. I read about the cosmetic line Mario Badescu that you like. Do you know if it has some romanian roots? Because the name Badescu is “very romanian”. 🙂

  • Reply Halen September 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Stunning pictures. memories & memories.. …tik tik tik….

  • Reply Sweet Freak September 28, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Man, oh, man, you just transported me home to NYC – thank you! I love those magical nights of strolling to your favorite spots…

    And if you haven’t had an actual facial at Mario Badescu, schedule one tout de suite – one of the best values in the city!

  • Reply Maria September 30, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Love that picture with the green bag!

  • Reply Grumble Girl September 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Nice pics, lady.

  • Reply moparbrownstoner October 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    How is that Mario Badescu line? Of all the strange things, Jafra Malibu Miracle Mask twice a day completely fixed my bad skin. (Really. I’m not a shill for them.)

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