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Pop Up Repair Shop In Inwood Will Fix Almost Anything

The Store Will Close At The End Of The Month
Pop Up Repair in Inwood, Manhattan - June 25, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Pop Up Repair in Inwood, Manhattan – June 25, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Think about all the things you have lying around at home that you could fix up, if only you had the time.

Now, as WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports, there’s a place that will fix just about anything for you, but it won’t be around for long.

It’s called Pop Up Repair and it’s located at 4975 Broadway at Isham Street. That’s in the Inwood neighborhood at Manhattan’s northern end.

It’s an experiment dreamed up by Michael Banta and Sandra Goldmark.

“They’re telling you you need to buy a new thing and you need to throw that old thing away. We can fix that thing and I can still get years of use out of it,” Banta told Silverman.

Pop Up Repair in Inwood, Manhattan - June 25, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Pop Up Repair in Inwood, Manhattan – June 25, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Goldmark said the idea for the store was born “around when our toaster broke.”

“In that case, we caved and [bought a new one] to my shame, perhaps, now,” Banta said.

Banta said the month-long mission is “to see how many things we can fix that people bring to us.”

He said he was worried about them being inundated with computer printers.

So far, they’ve fixed almost 300 items. Only 40 of the ones brought in have been beyond their ability to repair.

“It’s sort of a form of time travel to take apart a chair,” said Alex Martin, as she stripped away some grimy green vinyl. “… and you can see how it was made.”

“Seems to be kind of a lost art,” Flora Vassar said of the kind of chair repair work she’s been doing.

It’s an art she taught herself from a book.

“We sort of collected a library to support us in this effort,” she said.

They’re surrounded by broken bits of people’s lives.

“Treasured antiques that their grandfather gave them to, like, a cheap plastic fan that they bought for ten bucks,” Martin said.

Pop Up Repair in Inwood, Manhattan - June 25, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Pop Up Repair in Inwood, Manhattan – June 25, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

“We are curious to know how this would work in other neighborhoods, if people would like to have a repair shop in their neighborhood,” Goldmark said.

With the shop closing up at the end of June and so much to fix, they’ve already started turning some customers away.

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