It seems to me that half the stores on Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue in the Sixties and Seventies in New York City and fronts for money launderers.
Each of these stores seems to be open for about half an hour a month, stocks incredibly expensive tat made of a mix of semi-precious metals, wood, plastic and baubles that no one could honestly think are “that” valuable, and clearly has no practical purpose.
I believe there is a special price tag made for these stores that is extra long to deal with the additional digits required for the prices.
I walk past some of these stores on a regular basis, and for several years I’ve noticed exactly the same items in their darkened depths. They seem to be dust free, so I assume someone visits them regularly.
I can only assume that these are not legitimate businesses but are in actual fact fronts for some sort of nefarious money transactions. Either that of there is some incredible tax break to be had from running a business from a shop front with a lease that would take the GDP of a few small countries (I’m talking about the places that are not yet bankrupt of course).
There could be an entirely different reason for these stores existence. Maybe there is even a market for their goods! It’s possible that given that the apartments in this area range in price from the low millions to a place where the dreams of avarice seem inadequate, that maybe the dwellers at the higher end of this demographic actually buy this stuff.
It’s a mystery to me.