Size matters: ‘Adult Zone’ gets smaller sign, new name

Size matters: ‘Adult Zone’ gets smaller sign, new name
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Talk about shrinkage!

The big, broad and pink sign that drew people to the Adult Zone — an “adult” store on Utica Avenue between avenues L and M in Mill Basin — has undergone a drastic revision: it’s now one fifth the size and identifies the store as the “Lingerie Zone.”

Employees at the sexy shop won’t say why the Adult Zone has suddenly changed its name — a worker at titillation emporium hung up on this reporter — but the sexy shop has long been the focus of the community’s vitriol.

The Adult Zone opened on Dec. 14 to moans and groans from officials at PS 203, which is located just around the corner on Avenue M at E. 51st Street. At the time, school parents passed out fliers alerting the community to its presence — and attacked its existence.

“The owner is not sensitive to the children and families that pass by at all,” the flier read, promising that a petition demanding the store’s closure will soon follow. “Many residents do not want a store selling such merchandise in our community.”

The flier went on to say that residents took exception to the store’s “lack of discretion.”

But the owner was as discreet as possible — and even changed his business plan to placate the parents.

“I keep lewd things out of the window,” the owner, who would only identify himself as Star, said in December. “But all the kids will see is the gate down because I’m not going to be open when they go back and forth to school.”

Star said he originally planned to open his store at 1 pm, but pushed it back to 3:30 pm after a visit from PS 203’s parents association.

Either way, some residents say a sex shop doesn’t belong Mill Basin — no matter what it’s called.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to have a store like that here,” explained senior Geraldine O’Dwyer, 68.

Parents tried to get the X-rated store closed on legal grounds, but it fell into a “sweet spot” of sorts and was kept open.

According to a city law, stores aren’t considered “adult” unless 60 percent of its merchandise is “adult material.”

Star said the products he sells are geared to couples and “help promote sexual health.”

“There’s no peep shows and I have very few videos,” he said.

And it’s even hard to sneak a peak at the stores wares, as security shutters are usually drawn down at the store — a concession the owner made back in December when neighborhood parents worried that their children would spy upon the sex toys, oils and X-rated items he displayed in his windows.

The Adult Zone certainly turned some heads when it opened on Dec. 14 with its bright pink canopy and wide variety of XXX supplies.
File photo by Steve Solomonson