The experience of walking into the Little Lebowski Shop at 215 Thompson Street in Greenwich Village can be likened to the feelings Alice had when she “dropped” into Wonderland–while it’s fascinating and remarkable in its own right, one can’t help but feel baffled that such a place actually exists. This tiny Manhattan store is a celebration of the movie, The Big Lebowski, and it is the only shop of its kind in New York City.
[In the off chance that you haven’t watched The Big Lebowski: drop everything you are doing and go watch the movie now. You can come back and read this article later.]
But for those of you who have seen the 1998 Coen Brothers movie, the Little Lebowski Shop at 125 Thompson Street is a veritable temple to the flick that has given this store its name. From cardboard cut-outs of the movie’s stars like Jeff Bridges (a.k.a. Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski) and Julianne Moore (a.k.a. Maude Lebowski), to t-shirts emblazoned with the movie’s famous lines (including “Shut the F*ck Up, Donny!”), devotees of the cult of Dudeism will find this tiny space filled with several delightful knick-knacks, all of which are reminiscent of scenes from The Big Lebowski.
But it’s not just the merchandise that makes the Little Lebowski Shop so special—the owners have littered the space with several tokens from the movie. The bright green walls are plastered with memorable quotes, the ceiling is covered with posters, and yes, there’s also a miniature bowling alley in the corner. Then there’s the toilet placed right in the middle of the shop, serving as a sordid reminder of the abuse the Dude suffered during the course of the movie.
I was particularly glad to see that the naive, talkative Donny (a.k.a Steve Buscemi) seemed to have a special place of honor in the shop—given his untimely death in the movie, the character has been remembered in the form of figurines and hanging paper angels, complete with halo and wings. But regardless of The Big Lebowski character you’re a fan of, rest assured that you’ll find some reference to it in this little shrine to the Dude and his pals.
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