Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The peaceful setting of Sharon Jane Smith’s 1st Avenue garden

Text and photos by Daniel Efram

For Sharon Jane Smith, her 39 years helping to run the vintage treasure-laden A Repeat Performance until July 2019 (on First Avenue between Ninth and 10th streets) brought her much joy and inspiration. She adored her business partner Beverly Bronson (who died in 2018) and loved the quirky characters who happened across her view at the shop.
Smith lives next door to the former shop and has a beautiful garden teeming with zen fare that friends of the shop would appreciate. 

It was wonderful to run into Smith recently and get invited in to tour her apartment, complete with a garden with many tributes to Bronson. 

Upon walking through the studio, she points at the window door, which leads to the peaceful setting of stones and bric-a-brac.
“Just as I was preparing to empty the shop ... I was invited to empty an apartment in Village View,” she said. “An astounding collection of stones from the Sahara Desert were in that apartment. How could I turn down that opportunity of a lifetime? I did sell many of those stones because, of course, I have a small apartment, but some worked their way into my garden, where they seemed quite at home. They are the remnants of a culture approximately 6,000 years old with no written language, but the people spoke clearly in their reverence for stone.” 

The enthralling setting gave way to her trademark wry wit.

“The spirit of the garden developed over a period of nine years while attending to an elderly gentleman who had scouted me at A Repeat Performance. He watched me work and I watched him get old.” 

Smith hopes to complete the bulk of “The Confessions of The Shopkeepers,” her nonfiction manuscript, by Valentine’s Day 2022.


hywel dda said...

I met Sharon Jane after my partner/husband died, also in 2018. I was decluttering & showed up in her shop with some donations. We easily bonded over beautiful stuff, losing a loved one, and the Olde days in the East Village (she KNEW Bloo Lips!). A few more visits led to her visiting our apartment with carte blanc to ask for any & all items she wanted for her shop. She didn't get everything but we filled a few shopping bags. And we had a wonderful visit talking about everything through our shared histories. I had the great fortune to bump into her a few weeks ago and it was again a nourishing moment. She seems to represent to me a guiding spirit of the East Village; the same one that Charlie & I shared together for 44 years.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Pennys herb co said...

One SPECIAL one❤️❤️❤️❤️

EVQP said...

Another great story of another wonderful neighbor...
Thanks for posting, Grieve!

nancy koan said...

i'm celebrating ms sharon's bday right here in my own evillage digs. we are not rocking out or even stoned (pardon the metaphors ), but enjoying sharon's cote de rhone 2009 and a lovely rye cake from the new bakery on 2nd avenue.

Sharon is the Best...lucky to know her,