I remember reading a review of the TV comedy series, Seinfeld, which criticized it for focusing on the insignificant and inconsequential - the characters indulging and obsessing over things of no import. I think the reviewer missed the point and apparently didn't see the self-referential classic episode explaining the raison d'etre - characters Jerry and George propose a new show about nothing. With more disposable income and free time, it's not surprising to see indulgences at many levels. The obsession by many with minutiae and ephemera is quite real and preoccupies much of our daily lives.
Retailers abound in new York City that cater to every whim, fancy and serious interest imaginable. The native population and tourist traffic is large enough to support specialty merchants - I have featured many on this site: Barbie in Furs, The Evolution Store, Scrap Yard, Economy Candy, Agent Provocateur, You're Not in Kansas, Ten Ren Tea, Eileen's Cheesecake, Myers of Keswick, Zoomies, Murray's Cheese, John Jovino Gun shop, Pink Pussy Cat Boutique, Canal Rubber, Botanica, Kiehl's, Pearl Paint, Pearl River Mart, Taschen, Matt Umanov, Bleecker Bobs, Peanut Butter & Co., Patel Brothers, The Strand, Seize sur Vingt, ABC, Mooshoes, Vilebrequin, Girl Props.
The photo was taken in Fishs Eddy (named after a small town upstate New York) on lower Fifth Avenue. The display of porcelain hand molds was very striking - I've never seen this many together. These molds are used for rubber glove manufacture - they are dipped in a liquid latex and removed - once dried, the latex is stripped off and voila - a latex glove. I read that these molds are quite common in antique shops and are used around the home as a decorative item. With a little imagination, I'm sure many uses can be found - the sign below them assures us that they are "handy for just about anything." Or perhaps this is a display which sells things for nothing :)