EgoFebruary 22, 2012 at 5:40 am

Aptly-Named Store

The title says it all

Sarah Tse

The best way to describe Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is if your standard hipster–hangout had a love child with a general store from The Oregon Trail. Part apothecary, part distillery, part printing press and part boutique, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is eclectic to say the least. The long, open space exudes an artisan sensibility and, despite its broad offerings, the sense of being highly–curated.

In between racks of  well–chosen earth–tone coats and glass cases filled with handmade jewelry (one standout is a necklace with desert crystal wrapped in a bullet casing, for a cool $340), you’ll find beautiful house–made wall prints and cashmere beanies. And then there are the perfumes.

Oh, the perfumes. The fragrances in Art in the Age are a far cry from the often artificial and sickly sweet scents you might find at Sephora. Even the most untrained nose can tell that the fragrances here are markedly more complex, smelling like something that was made in small batches, rather than in a factory — perhaps the best of these is Hunter by MCMC ($45 for 9mL), which smells like summer.

The clientele and workers at Art in the Age are what you might expect at such an establishment. Customer service was quite standard, though the two women working behind the counter seemed a little more interested in exchanging the results of their star chart readings than with helping the next person in line.

Something that Art in the Age certainly emphasizes is its line of organic spirits. With names such as “Root” and “Snap,” these artisanal alcohols focus on the use of carefully–selected ingredients and small–batch brewing. Though the walls of Art in the Age are decorated with bottles of the alcohol, you’ll have to make the trek to your local Wine and Spirits to pick up a bottle ($36.00 for 750mL).

In general, Art in the Age is something of an experiential store, with plenty of items that are better off observed than actually purchased — e.g. a hand–stitched quilt ($1150), or a “deluxe coffee thermos” ($200). In fact, going to Art in the Age is a treat in and of itself. Picking through well–constructed shirts and taking in the smells of tobacco, old wood and vanilla makes Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction feel like a relic of a time when true craftsmanship was valued.

116 N. 3rd St.
What you’ll find there: Well–made clothing, booze and fragrances
Bottom line: Artisinal items that are worth the splurge

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