Boulevard Trash is a Tulsa treasure
Bouelvard Trash owners Michelle and Tony Cozzaglio
The Tulsa punk scene seems to come in waves. Every few years, a new batch of young people establish punk houses where fresh-faced bands cut their teeth in front of rowdy, all-ages crowds. Now, there’s a new spot on the scene—sort of.
Married couple Michelle and Tony Cozzaglio opened the first iteration of Boulevard Trash in a small strip along Route 66 near Yale Avenue several years back. Although there have been places where you could buy a few accessories here and there, Boulevard Trash was the first dedicated space for all things punk.
They carried a small selection of punk-inspired attire, accessories, and records. Most notably, they hosted shows in the back. But the store closed before many even knew it existed. The closure allowed the Cozzaglios to focus on other projects, such as the Punk Rock Flea Market and the recently-expanded Oddities and Curiosities Expo, which travels to major cities across the country.
Boulevard Trash continued to sell merchandise online after the brick-and-mortar store closed.
But now, with a growing inventory, Michelle said it just made sense to reopen the store. “Once we realized we were basically busting at the seams in our little storage office we just decided to start looking for a new location and open up again,” she said.
The new location, on Harvard Avenue between 11th and 15th streets, is a brightly-lit, roomy space. Brand new clothing from Sourpuss hangs from the walls, and several large bins of new punk records take up an entire room. The rest of the space is filled with used clothing, CDs, cassettes, books on music, pins, patches, jewelry, and more.
The focus for this new iteration of Boulevard Trash is more on the merchandise. No longer a venue, the new spot will include a more robust selection of merchandise for several different alternative scenes—punk, hardcore, metal, Oi!, and rock ‘n’ roll. They also are adding in some of the merchandise from their Oddities Expo, such as bones, skulls, preserved specimens, jewelry, and occult items.
The upstairs will house Taxidermy with Nina, a studio and classroom for artist Nina Lopez. Starting this month, she will be teaching other curious weirdos how to taxidermy their own macabre creations. Her tagline: “Elegantly resurrect the dead.”
One of the things Michelle is asked often is whether or not it’s stressful working side by side with her husband Tony. “It’s not stressful at all, if anything it pushes us to succeed and do more,” she said. “We brainstorm ideas together, work on projects together … It’s truly amazing to work side by side with my husband.”
On top of feeling supported by her partner, she also feels supported as a woman in the Tulsa punk scene. “I know so many incredible and strong women in the punk scene who stand their ground here. I have never felt inadequate in this scene for being a woman. I don’t have any interest in letting someone make me feel that way,” Michelle said. “Every scene is different, and every person has their own experiences. For me, I feel like women in the Tulsa punk scene have continued to rise above and are just totally kicking ass in all aspects.”
Although the duo travels to many amazing cities with huge punk scenes, they plan on keeping Tulsa as their home base for the foreseeable future.
“I love Tulsa for a plethora of reasons—being involved and helping grow the local scene being one of them,” Michelle said. “Every scene and city is different, but there’s something awesome about Tulsa that would be hard to walk away from.
Maybe it’s that most [Tulsa Punks] know they have to do their part to help [the scene] grow. In some larger cities, it’s easy to let somebody else do it all for you,” she continued. “That can be nice, but to me ... working and living it means more. I love visiting other cities, but I’m always happy to be home.”
The bigger and better Boulevard Trash will have its grand re-opening on April 13, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at 1545 S. Harvard Ave. You can also visit them online at boulevardtrashpunk.com.