No. 1: It’s a wonderland for comic-book fans

Eye On Real Estate: Ten Coolest Places In East Williamsburg

March 26, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The coolest storefront in East Williamsburg is Sparacino’s Bakery at 540 Metropolitan Ave. No, wait! Make that Desert Island, which is the name of the comics store/book shop that occupies the space.

The landlord, an artist, left Sparacino’s name on the building because he liked the way the sign looked. It’s eye-catching. So are the comic book store’s window displays, which are always devoted to artists’ work, said shop owner Gabriel Fowler.

A mobile-phone store was the previous occupant before Fowler moved in six years ago. He rebuilt the space himself, getting rid of a dropped ceiling and old flooring – in all, 68 trash bags full of debris, he recalled.

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The shop carries comics from big publishers as well as micropresses – which are typically one-person publishing houses with a line of comics by multiple authors, Publishers Weekly explained in a 2013 story. Also, “I encourage people to bring in their weird, homemade books,” Fowler said. “I’m the person who carries that kind of thing.”

The runner-up for coolest storefront in the neighborhood is Haab at 202 Leonard St. The windows are decorated with rows of jewel-toned bottles of Mexican soda pop called Jarritos.

The colors are so happy they make you want to shake off the winter blues.

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