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The Talk Shop | Press

Mon, 05/13/2013 - 16:14 -- rprice

The Talk Shop charges nothing and will be open through April 13 at the West 37th Street space, which was brokered through Chashama, an organization that connects arts groups with underutilized real estate in the city. Passersby can see into the salon, and can watch Mr. Redleaf and his team of “shop talkers”—people including comedians, drag queens, authors and a life coach who help keep the conversations going—as they talk to whomever comes in. To make the Talk Shop inviting, Mr. Redleaf set up a beach umbrella and chairs, hung a string of lights and painted the walls lemon yellow. If the “free cupcakes” sign isn’t enough to attract a crowd, the interactive window will help. When you touch a hand-shaped reactor on the glass, a screen brings up messages that strangers from around the world have submitted on the Talk Shop website. The idea for the Talk Shop came to Mr. Redleaf in the days and weeks after superstorm Sandy, when his Murray Hill neighbors suddenly starting talking to hi...