The Evolution Store

687 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, US - ☏ +1 212-343-1114 -

Two Midwestern tourists walk down Broadway in Greenwich Village, stopping in their tracks when a fossil cave bear skeleton looks at them through a storefront window. They enter The Evolution Store, where other tourists mingle among jaded New Yorkers and health-goths searching for new apartment décor. A woman with ratty gray hair, dressed in all black, including the beanie and sunglasses she wears inside, systematically searches through the stores’ shelves filled with natural oddities. Meanwhile, a middle aged man in a classic dad outfit (baseball cap; gym trainers; blue jeans a little too short; a tucked-in t-shirt displaying the logo of a high school football team) stares at the walls, his eyes darting about, unsure where to look or what to think. Stuffed zebra, bull, deer and elk heads return his gaze. A young, fashionably dressed NYU student scours through items that range from being on the verge of trite (globes; dried starfish and sea urchins) to intriguing and strange (partially dissected pigeons frozen in glass; baby octopuses preserved in formaldehyde; pieces of the Sikhote Alin meteorite that landed in Russia in 1947), to downright terrifying (human adult and fetal skulls). Each item is presented so sincerely that it makes every visitor, local or not, contemplate fact versus fiction—what is real and what, if anything, is fake? The zebra is believable, but a fetal skull, we hope not.

This review is included in TTA13. Click here for more information about the issue.

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