I haven’t seen Cursed Child yet (I did read the script- we can talk about that later), but after learning about some of the merchandise from YouTubers and podcasts I HAD to visit the merch shop while in NYC! Honestly, I was on the fence about how motivated I was to see this show, despite being a major Potter fan and hearing great reviews of the performance itself, but seeing the theatre and the attention to detail visible just from the front made me really want to come back for the full experience!
Since the show takes place two decades after the time of the original stories, the Hogwarts uniforms have undergone a gentle redesign with new house crest designs. The shop sold tees, scarves, beanies, keychains, pins, patches and pens (regular and quill!) for each house. They also sold- I was really excited about this- general, non-house-specific Hogwarts items! Even in Wizarding World Orlando, which has a ton of shops to meet different tastes, I didn’t find a lot of general Hogwarts school merchandise outside of keychains, pins and patches, so when I saw this G O R G E O U S Hogwarts hoodie I scooped it up faster than you can say “actually, the Hogwarts colors are purple and green and changing it to burgundy and gold is blatant Gryffindor bias!”
As you can see, the shop also sold official Cursed Child owls (in various sizes and reasonably priced for an official product) which I OBVIOUSLY NEEDED. This owl (largest size) is sooo soft and slighly weighted at the bottom so it can sit on any perch of your choosing. Also, I don’t know if this is an intentional element of the design but the talons, made of some kind of reinforced felt, are genuinely quite sharp.
And in case you haven’t yet guessed my house:
I’m not sure if I have a preference between this streamlined design and the more elaborate original crest. I love them both in their own way. I’ll tell you what I do like: this excuse to buy all the Slytherin merchandise I already own over again.
As for the shop itself, it’s simple and not very big but it fits well into the theme- low lighting and dark wood, similar to the uniform shop in Universal as I remember it. It’s kind of like a classic fine menswear shop. I know that there is additional merchandise that is only sold after part one of the show, and a little owl told me that if I sneaky ask them, they MIGHT find a way to let me buy something I know they secretly have, but I decided to wait until I come back for the show.
After we left the Cursed Child shop we headed to Kinokuniya, a bookstore that sells Japanese books and magazines, Japanese art and pop culture imports, other foreign books and a selection of US English language books. I bought my boyfriend the recent food edition of Popeye magazine as well as a programming magazine (he doesn’t read Japanese, I just thought it might be fun to see what he does in another language).
Since it was around lunchtime, we decided to eat in the bookstore’s cafe, which sells a variety of Japanese lunches, snacks and desserts. I got a couple of onigiri (one of my favorite snack foods) and I also got to try That Egg Sandwich.
You know that egg sandwich that always appears in Japanese shows/movies? It’s just a crustless white bread egg sandwich that seems to be available at every convenience store, but for some reason it feels so iconic? To be fair, it’s also the best egg sandwich I’ve ever had. Why did we invent healthy bread again?
I already talked about out next stops in Koreatown in the last post, so I’ll fast forward a little. After finishing up in NYC (for now!), we took the bus back to New Jersey where we made a last stop at Mitsuwa Japanese Market. This is basically a Japanese grocery store, including a Japanese-style bakery, prepared foods, imported home goods and body care.
Mitsuwa is part of a Japanese shopping center that also includes restaurants and other shops, so after buying groceries (onigiri, sakura green tea and HELLO KITTY SHAPED PASTA), we grabbed soft serve ice creams (matcha, sakura and black sesame flavors) and poked around the other shops. You could say…I made another egg sandwich:
And that’s our trip! I can’t wait to come back to NY to see Cursed Child and explore even more of the city. Harry Potter fans, egg sandwich fans, Slytherins – let’s talk about it!