Amazon isn't Nostalgia. A.I. Isn't Real.

In this week’s installment of Shiny Thing$, we introduce you to something remarkably new, that will feel very familiar to many (in the best possible way)…

In the late 1900s (you can call it 1990, the millennial formative years), going to actual physical places was important. Even more important: the physical things that you got to take home with you. That importance took a backseat and gave the lane to social media… but it was patient, and now, in 2024 with the covid-era squarely in the rear view mirror, the feeling is back.

Nostalgia is at its best when its sensory - to be able to see something in person, get triggered by a scent or a feel from the past, and create a new core memory that you’ll look back on in the future. There aren’t many retail shops in New York City that can do it well. One of the (increasingly) few is Bleecker.

Its a card shop. It’s a social club. It’s a gathering space for communities of collectors from all walks of life. Zero pretense. No name dropping at the door. Just a space where you can buy a pack of the newest basketball cards and some merch, or just window shop the Mickey Mantle autograph you might want to buy yourself in celebration of the next life milestone. And its in the middle of the West Village on a tree lined block that feels like what New York is supposed to be. 

Mark, the founder of Bleecker, has been an integral part of the Rally story from day one. One of our earliest supporters in all aspects, one of the first people we spoke to before starting this business, and someone who throughout each phase of the growth of this product has helped us push the mission forward. A true collector at heart who put together a team that really understands the future of hobby-meets-commerce. Bleecker blends the past and the present with a clear lens into that future. 

This past week, they opened their second location 2,800 miles west of NYC. 

Bleecker Trading’s new California location takes over a corner in Santa Monica at 400 Broadway, just a few blocks up from the beach in the shadow of the Pacific Wheel. It’s the next chapter in bringing back that feeling of something real for collectors, and they’re doing it with a much bigger footprint than the NY HQ to deliver an expanded experience on the west coast. 

For context, these places simply DO NOT exist anymore. Not because the demand isn’t there; simply because the price per square foot in major cities is insane, and the major digital marketplaces have millions of dollars in excess to throw at acquiring you as a customer - and that’s why the Bleecker story is this week’s newsletter as they usher in the new era of your neighborhood card shop.

If you find yourself in the area, whether on the East Coast or the West Coast, give them a visit. It will unlock the feeling of childhood meets adulthood mixed with real life that we all need sometimes. Tell them you’re from Rally - you’ll get zero dollars off your purchase, but they’ll be extra nice to you ;)

Bleecker Trading NYC - 96 Christopher St., New York, NY 10014

Bleecker Trading SoCal - 400 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Until Next Week...