Surprising New York Business Models

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Polar opposites and seemingly random combinations are a never ending source of entertainment. It’s fascinating when luxury condos go up next to abandoned warehouses, or when you find postcards on the street advertising pit bull puppies with a photo of a hot Hispanic girl wearing a bikini while holding two of them. While no business combination is stranger than the Hallmark/art gallery/liquor store that my family stopped at while on vacation, there are some New York establishments that come close. One is completely awesome. The other is just confusing.

Salsa Salon
The Salsa Salon’s Web site says it all: get your hair did by day, take Salsa classes by night. At first, I didn’t believe it existed. The more I think about it, the more it actually makes sense. Salons are already covered in tile floors and ample mirrors, which is the makings of a dance studio. It’s owned by a father and daughter; he’s the barber and she’s the salsa instructor. (He also cultivates a large crop of aloe pants in the front window…it’s like a jungle…for hamsters, but a jungle no less). The hair cut and salsa rates are both pretty affordable, and the Salsa Salon gives off some of the warmest, fuzziest vibes on Smith Street. The smiling, dancing scissors on their awning aren’t lying to you.

Grande Monuments
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Piggybacking on Anna G’s awesome Hey Williamsburg: What the Heck is That? post, I’d liked to introduce Grande Monuments. Why no, your eyes don’t deceive you. Grande Monuments on Graham Avenue does indeed sell granite grave headstones AND fresh baked bread. They’re even listed on Yelp in both bakeries and funeral services. I want to know how this idea comes to fruition. Did someone say, “Hey we’ve got a large oven in the back, let’s throw some dough in with this angel monument?” Or is it some kind of marketing campaign to attract future customers. Whatever the reason, it makes me giggle every time.

Salsa Salon
259 Smith Street, between Douglas and DeGraw [Cobble Hill, Brooklyn]

Grande Monuments
382 Graham Avenue at Skillman Avenue [Williamsburg, Brooklyn]

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About the author

Kiley E - Ragamuffin Researcher

After years of denial, Kiley has finally admitted to baring a striking resemblance to Velma from Scooby Doo. Instead of traveling in a van hunting ghosts, she prefers wandering on foot in search of tacos, cheap beer, and fake birds. Growing up in Portland, Kiley enjoyed the balance of urban and green spaces. Then she spent her four years at Ithaca College, and found herself craving more sprawling asphalt in her life. So she moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where most of the buildings look like they're about to collapse. Kiley's favorite activities include: getting lost, crafting, sewing, biking, and geeking out at museums. Her love of taxidermy probably makes her a terrible vegetarian, but she doesn't care.
  • Laura

    That monument place actually sells prosciutto bread and it is delicious! Seriously, the best in the neighborhood, better than all the other Italian bakeries in the hood