“For Eddie Feibusch, a Life in Zippers” tells the story of 86-year-old man who has owned a New York City store called ZipperStop since 1941. (“Nobody makes them better,” he says.) What’s your favorite store? Is it small and quirky and unique, like this one, or is it a store that’s in every mall? Tell us what you like about it with as much colorful detail as you can.
Here’s how Ralph Blumenthal begins his article about Eddie Feibusch, “a prewar refugee from Vienna who overcame not just the Nazis but also Velcro”:
What, you need a zipper? O.K., Eddie Feibusch is going to sell you a zipper. Brass? Nylon? Swarovski rhinestone crystals? What color? Mystery orchid? Big or little zipper? For a purse? Or a hot-air balloon cover? How many? One? A thousand?
Doesn’t matter. Mr. Feibusch is sure that he has the zipper for you. It’s somewhere in his store, ZipperStop, at 27 Allen Street between Hester and Canal Streets, among three floors of shelves with boxes of zippers in 502 colors.
How many zippers does he have? “One million, millions, I don’t know — more than a million,” said Mr. Feibusch, 86, a zipper man going on 70 years. His Web site plays Sinatra singing “New York, New York” and says, “Unzipping America since 1941.” Of course he has a Web site. This is 2010.
Anyway, he can find you a zipper. “Tell me what size and what length and I’ll give it to you within 30 seconds,” he vowed.
Students: Tell us about your favorite store. Maybe it’s a place you remember from your childhood that vanished long ago, or a place you were in only once on a vacation — or maybe it’s a store you visit weekly. Whether it’s large or small, unique or ubiquitous, describe what you like about it in detail.
Teachers: Here are ten ways to teach with this feature.
Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.
The cue card question
Describe a favourite item of clothing.
You should say:
what it is
when you bought it
why you bought it
and say why you like it so much.
Read a model answer
I’m not really that into clothes. I do try and look fairly smart but I’m not that bothered by my personal appearance and the clothes I’m wearing. But I will tell about my favourite article of clothing – my leather jacket. That is by some distance my favourite piece of clothing.
What it is and looks like
It’s a fairly normal or regular leather jacket. The one unusual feature I suppose is that it has white stripes down the sleeves. It’s also quite well-worn by now because I’ve had it some time and I tend to wear throughout the winter months. In fact it’s got quite a few little tears where it’s caught on sharp objects. I still love it though and I don’t mind at all that it looks rather second-hand.
When I bought it
I bought it at least 5 years ago now. It came from one of those big department stores and not a specialist leather shop. My old coat was very shabby and I was told by my girlfriend that I definitely needed to buy another one – I think she was embarrassed to be seen with me.
Where I bought it
So I went out by myself. I think it must have been sometime in January when the New Year sales were on. My girlfriend wanted to come with me and help me choose something smart but I said I would do it by myself. We shop in very different ways. She always wants to try everything on and can spend hours buying nothing. My approach is quite different. If I see something that I like and it fits I buy it. She might be two hours in a shop while I normally only take 15 minutes.
Why I bought it
Anyway I saw this jacket and I thought that it looked really cool. I had always secretly wanted a leather jacket and because the sales were on and it was reduced by 50% I just bought it. My girlfriend was really shocked when she saw what I had bought.
Why I like it
I like it because it’s different – it;’s just not like any other clothes I have in my wardrobe.