City Island couple offers glimpse of playful nostalgia

City Island couple offers glimpse of playful nostalgia|City Island couple offers glimpse of playful nostalgia
Photo by Silvio Pacifico|Photo by Silvio Pacifico

A life long City Island man is trying to give everyone – both young and old – the chance to feel the joy of childhood.

Dan Treiber, 36, is the the owner of 239 Play, a small memorabilia and antique shop on the corner of City Island Avenue and Schofield Street.

The shop, housed in a building built in the mid 1800s, holds everything from old action figures to authentic – and still working – polaroid cameras.

Dan and his wife Reina Mia Brill bought the building in March and opened up their shop in May.

Treiber said the building needed repairs when they bought it but the couple was able to retain the building’s authenticity.

“We did it right ,” Treiber said. “No vinyl siding, no plastic, it’s all real wood.”

Treiber pointed out there are 48 corbels on the house which are small pieces of wood that are used to help support the building’s roof.

“We took them all down, sanded them, fixed them, repainted them and put them all back up,” he said. “A lot of people would have just pulled them down and put up plastic.”

Treiber speaks with pride when discussing how he got into selling memorabilia.

He said one day he and his wife decided “as sort of a joke” to try to sell some of the things in their home.

The couple had bought Treiber’s childhood house in 2008 and was trying to make some extra money to help pay the mortgage.

That year they took some of the items they owned down to the Brooklyn Flea Market to sell.

“As a goof,” said Treiber, they called the operation “Dan’s Parent’s House.”

The money they’ve made from the flea market also helped buy the City Island Avenue building and do the repairs for 239 Play.

Treiber calls the entire store a “borderline performance” because he believes people are able to go into the store and interact with the different toys and items while remembering their childhood.

On Saturday, October 15 the store held a Halloween memorabilia sale, called ‘Misfits, Monsters and Mayhem’ , featuring different types of toy sculptures.

Some of the items were toys that were broken and were now combined with different parts to make a new piece of art.

Brill, who has a master’s degree in making jewelry, acknowledged with a laugh some of the pieces may look like the toys created by Sid from the Toy Story movies.

However, she said it “was awesome” to take parts of two toys and bring a new piece into the world.

Treiber and Brill are happy with how the store has grown and are still going to the Brooklyn Flea Market every weekend.

“The Brooklyn Flea has been great to me,” said Treiber. “They’ve grown and I’ve grown with them.”

However, the couple now has four-year-old twins and Treiber is hoping their business does well enough where they no longer have to sell at the market.

239 Play is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at
Employee D. Alexander Holmes stands by a display he was working on.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico