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Storefronting: Abercrombie Wows Fifth Ave.

Storefronting is Curbed's new feature that tracks changes to the retail scene around Manhattan and New York City. Tips, as always, are appreciated, to ye olde tipline. Thanks.

1) Midtown East: From the instant must-read new blog The Shophound comes this detailed, hilarious report of an Abercrombie catalog come to terrifying life in the windows of the retailer's Fifth Avenue store: "Oh, it’s a store? Nooooo. It’s an exercise in absurdity. America might continue to believe what they want, but any New Yorker (of any persuasion) can recognize a gay bar when it sets up shop on the corner of 56th and Fifth." Click through for the pix. [The Shophound]
2) Lower East Side: Seems Timberland has leased space for a "concept store" at 15 Rivington Street (just to the east of Bowery), Lois Weiss reports. Rugged footwear on the LES can't be a bad thing. [NYPost, 2nd item]

3) Harlem: Another sign of Harlem gentrification: upscale pet store Posh Paws set to open this Friday at Frederick Douglas/114th. Says blogger Harlem Fur, "When we moved back to Harlem late last year, I was happy to see that Fine Fare on Lenox and 116th now carries both Feline Pine litter and a large selection of Fancy Feast flavors with gravy, Cimbi's favorite. However, I am more happy to know that Posh Paws Paws, which will carry Wellness, Innova, California Natural and many more products, will be open at the week's end. Now, all we need is a good vet and groomer." [Harlem Fur; Official Site]
4) Nolita: High-end home retailer Nancy Koltes at Home is expanding its Spring Street store (at Mott) into the adjacent space next door. "Summer 2006," the sign in the window promises (top). [Official Site]
5) Cobble Hill: Smith Street (at Degraw) is getting a new cheese shop, Stinky Brooklyn, from the folks behind Smith and Vine. [Chowhound]