I have to admit that sometimes I have this really bad habit of failing to leave the borough of Manhattan when I’m at school.
Not today, though! I had an interview in Queens this afternoon, forcing me out of my Manhattan bubble and onto a Flushing- bound 7 train. I did, however, completely overshoot how long it was going to take me to get to my interview, which was around the corner from the Queensboro Plaza station.
I ended up being over an hour early, so I decided to find a place to just kind of chill for a while. I learned here that for some strange reason, there are no Starbucks in Queensboro Plaza. I resorted to just taking a quick, 2-block radius lap of the area, and stumbled upon RESOBOX.
I was immediately drawn to their precious red porch chairs and what looked like, from far away, small colorful buoys hanging across the windows. Upon entering, I discovered that they were not buoys, but rather knitted stuffed animals. They covered every wall in the store.
The owner (curator?) was standing behind the counter when I entered. His name is Takashi, and he explained to me that the little animals are actually amigurumi, which translates to “stuffed animal” in Japanese. Creating amigurumi is a custom of those who follow animism, and is considered an art form.
He let me know that the space in which I was standing is actually a Japanese cultural center. RESOBOX has been open for about three and half years, and the artwork that is on display changes every few months or so (the amigurumi have been a big hit, so they have been up longer, and will be up until the end of March). All of the artwork on display is for customers to appreciate and is for sale.
RESOBOX is also a cafe. I purchase a pretty delicious, relatively mild iced green tea, and fight the urge to cuddle with everything. Takashi told me that the exhibit started with 4000 amigurumi, all of which are handmade by 144 different artists from 32 countries around the world, and they have sold approximately 1000 of them since. Not going to lie, they’re pretty darn cute, and I really wanted one.
The owner is a really sweet guy who will answer any questions about the work on display (He also let me pay for my tea with a credit card even though it was well below the minimum, so thank you, Takashi!). He let me in on the next exhibit to go up at RESOBOX, which will be a photo gallery.
Note to self: Leave Manhattan more.
41-26 27th Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
Website: http://resobox.com/ (Cafe menu, hours and social media can be found on the website!)