With the demise of Pete's Spice and Angelica's there is but one place left to buy herbs and spices in the East Village and that is Dual Specialty Store on 1st Avenue. I can spend hours (ok not hours, but many, many minutes) roaming the aisles of this fragrant shop. There is not a single thing on the shelves that isn't utterly captivating.
I bought a bag of mixed lentils and beans, with the phrase "Ask for recipe" on the label. The man at the counter tried to give me a recipe for cooking rice, which is obviously nothing like cooking dried beans.
Their website is very pretty, and completely different than the store's ambiance. The "About Us" section is worth a look.