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Village Grannies Is Like an Art Gallery for Bongs

‘Just Browsing’ takes a visit to the East Village’s most unique smoke shop.

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Smoke shops can seem like they’re all the same: neon lights, glass pipes pressed up against the windows, kinda seedy, certainly not pretty. Village Grannies wanted to change that perception when it opened in New York’s East Village in November 2016, selling water pipes and hand pipes in an unexpectedly delightful space.

The “grannies,” aka founders Zviah Eldar and Vered Behr, envisioned a smoke shop not unlike an art gallery, one that “feels comfortable, welcoming, inspiring, [with] beautiful glasswork.”

Turns out that’s what customers wanted, too. Eldar and Behr say the response was almost immediate, and they see curious customers ranging from ages 21 to 90 come into their shop to check out the unique products — or, as Behr encourages them to do, “build a relationship with the object early.” After all, it will likely be an item you use again and again and again...

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