We Are All Storefronts Now

Around 10 years ago to the day, I wrote my first column as the Critical Shopper. In that time, I’ve written about more than 150 stores, spanning luxury outposts and discount retailers, malls and pocket-size shops, decades-old spots and places that quickly vanished. But I’ve never written about the one I’m most familiar with. That…

Details

Zanzibar in the Rain

If my circumstances had not been so dire — or rather, if my circumstances had been drier — I might never have found myself at the Zanzibar Curio Shop. At first glance, the store did little to distinguish itself from other trinket purveyors besieging the tangled lanes of Stone Town, the historic quarter on the…

Details

The Death of Chintz

When Mario Buatta died in 2018, a few days shy of his 83rd birthday, he left no will. Which is not to say that he didn’t leave anything behind. “I am the original hoarder,” he would tell you. He had a ferocious appetite for collecting that started when he was 11 and bought an 18th-century…

Details