Ale Et Ange

When lovers split, the results usually aren't good -- the Ted Hughes-Sylvia Plath separation produced an epic tragedy, and the Paul McCartney-Heather Mills divorce produced a tragic disrespecting of The View. The View! For the rare fruits of an amicable split, hit Ale Et Ange boutique.

AA was originally conceived as a Paris cafe & shop by a London-born, Nippon-schooled Nigerian and his designer GF; then the pair broke it off, but instead of killing each other, they opened a Chinatown emporium bearing both their middle names: a sub-sidewalk grotto street-visible by only its cherry red door, eclectically deco'd w/ jazz LPs, shelves of used books & curios, and a vintage kitchen stove & claw-foot bathtub, which is apparently not for bathing. The gear includes everything from brown leather boat shoes, to wool ties, sweater vests & scarves, to retro-styled plaid button downs, all handmade in NYC by different, hyper-specialized designers, then yoked into AA's eponymous line -- in other words, AA has an A-Team. AA also peddles eclectic goods like leather ball caps and horn-rimmed glasses, plus Euro bath products like Italy's Borotalco talcum powder, Portugal's Luxo Banho sandalwood and lemon balm soap cakes, and Lightfoot's -- the preferred soap of English footballers, sadly not the distilled essence of Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon.

Soon, AA'll throw some folding chairs out on the sidewalk and start hosting English afternoon tea amidst the duck-selling Chinatown chaos -- producing another tragic View, of you, daintily sipping tea.