Antiques That Offer a Taste of the Modern

Neighborhood Joint

A series of articles profiling favorite local haunts.
What’s your neighborhood joint?

I walk by the shop occasionally, and its window display has come to seem like a cruel magic trick. One day, an Indonesian stool stood front and center, begging for a privileged spot in my apartment; the next day, when I returned for a second look, it was gone. I was also obsessed with an edgy rocking chair: printed velvety cushions on a low-slung white frame with clean Danish lines. I had steeled myself to resist, but last week it was still reclining in the window, almost mockingly.

“I won’t be here forever, little novice shopper,” I could sense it whispering.

In a neighborhood stocked with historic, heavily ornamented brownstones, casaBAN has set out on a contrarian mission: persuading customers, most of whom live in the neighborhood, to lighten up the look with sleek, distinctive modern pieces. The vanishing act in the front window attests to its success.

“People have been very supportive because it’s like we’re sharing our stories,” said the owner, Ban Leow, 51. “They’re telling me about old Victorian furniture that they have, and I’m introducing the new mid- century modern furniture of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.”

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