You could have knocked me over with a feather yesterday when I walked by the Smith Street kitsch antique pavilion Astro-Turf and it was....open!
This once-popular Carroll Gardens suddenly closed in early 2008 and it's been as still as the tomb ever since. The shop initially shut down to execute some brick-work repair, to judge by the DOB records, but that work was completed long ago. Since then, the merchandise has remained in place, quietly gathering dust.
Last fall, a local merchant who does business across the street told me the elderly lady who owns Astro-Turf simply chose to let the place cease functioning. Well, the lady changed her mind. She was in there, manning the store. She told me the shop was now going to be open "occasionally" on weekends. No set hours. You just take your chances. On Sunday, a lot of people were happy to look around for the first time in two years. The recession that has befallen the nation since Astro-Turf shut down has not, however, caused the prices to go down.