Waves L.L.C.

Waves L.L.C.

Jul 19, 2005

Nostalgia has a place in home furnishing. The Apt. Therapist generally looks dimly on vintage electronics. Technology doesn't age well, and however giddy you may get as you eye the 8-track tape player at the thrift shop ("Wouldn't that be a laugh? Wouldn't I be cool?") he says it's best to move on. Clutter is your enemy.

But we propose there are exceptions to the rule, and some of them can be found at Wave L.L.C., a first rate "antique" electronics boutique on West 30th street.

Some will recall we have been advocating rotary phones since late last year, notably the original Western Electric 302 pictured above.

There are many virtues to these old phones, not the least of which is the thrill of dialing.

Another is that the phones operate off the electrical current in your phone wire, and thus continue to operate in a blackout, something your fancy Panasonic cordless base station does not do. (No, the vintage phone would not replace your primary phone. This is for by the bedside table or in the hall. It's special.) Along the same lines, there may be a place in your life for a classic "wireless," or even an old victrola.

Unfortunately, it's not easy to find just the right old phone or radio -- ones that are in working order -- except on the Internet, where you lose the possibility of browsing pre-purchase. This is why we were very excited to stumble upon Waves this past torpid Saturday afternoon.

Run by the husband and wife team of Bruce and Charlotte Mager, Waves has an entirely satisfying selection of refurbished 20th century items, from Elvis Presley-style microphones to Bix Beiderbeck-style record players, to Western Electric 302s, conveniently refitted with modular jacks.

The store is lodged into a commercial block on the northwest edge of Chelsea among a series of used instrument stores, like Rogue Music, haunted by professional musicians. The whole block makes for a satisfying stroll. OHR

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