In most American cities, if you're heading downtown, you're off to the most exciting area. The best music drifting onto the street, hottest clubs, coolest fashions, and - by far - the best shopping. New York's East Village is imbued with the essence of downtown and served as the home of the first Alphabets, which opened in 1985 on Avenue A.
Avenue A is the main thoroughfare of the East Village. It runs from the edge of the Lower East Side (the first home of many immigrants coming to the United States), along Tompkins Square Park (site of numerous rebellions, protests, and drag festivals over the years), and up to 14th Street (which is always populated with every type of character imaginable).
The inaugural Alphabets store was stocked with the energy from the street: the goal being to have fun while shopping. The store combines a wild assortment of great classic toys from the 50s and 60s, while mixing in the nuttiest new items on the market including t-shirts, fine gifts, jewelry, wacky cards, and everything in between.