Spend a Couple Minutes »Tony Fitzpatrick:Nickel History: Nation of Heat

177 North 9th St, Williamsburg

Quick! Make your way to Pierogi Gallery to gaze at the intricate mini etchings by Tony Fitzpatrick (the show ends Oct 9).

From Bazooka bubble gum to Dick Tracy,mutant birds to off kilter snow men, this small collection is like traveling through someone’s half remembered childhood memories. If those memories could be gorgeously rendered.

A few of my favorites are posted but you really have to see them all in person.

A really nice surprise on a Thursday afternoon walk and a wonderful introduction to an artist new to me.

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Posted on September 29, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Eccentricity

At Yes Gallery, 147 India St, Greenpoint

Looking for interesting things to do with afternoon strolls with Van (there’s only so many times we can go out for coffee and baby food) I looked into local galleries and found Yes, an almost hidden space on India was hosting an interesting exhibit of drawings.

Beautiful yet sinister, Dana Bunker‘s bold drawings of women in tangled are eye catching and expertly crafted. They belong to a new wave of illustration style that surely has a name but I’ll call it realistic fantasy (see Deanne Cheuk and my old friend Ashley Macomber‘s work to see what I mean).

It’s very appealing stuff that reminds me as much of hand painted wallpaper as it does Italian Vogue.

So bold are her images that Kenneth Burris‘s almost fade into the background but they are worth close inspection. Some of subtle renderings of skyscrapers and ships are quite lovely, especially in the miniature drawings in the front room.

The pencil work is subtle and intricate (therefor also hard to photograph with just an iPhone, so excuse the lack if photos) but they’re better to see in person anyways so head down before October 9 when the show closes.

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Posted on September 16, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Tribute in Light

9/11 Memorial

The Tribute in Light is a most thoughtful and touching monument in honor of our darkest day.

This might be the last year the temporary art installation is up, so be sure to see it tonight and take a quiet moment of remembrance

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Posted on September 11, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Flor Modular Rugs

Modular Rugs

Looking for an affordable, attractive rug option for Van’s floor play, Friends Mike and Shaun led us to Flor.

Modular, stylish, cheap and offering a myriad of textures and colors it was a perfect solution! I always wanted a pop of yellow in our pale blue grey room anyways.

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Posted on September 9, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Turtle Water Park

What, September already?! While I love Fall, the end of Summer is still a little sad and one thing I’ll be missing is weekly visits to McCarren Park’s Turtle Water Park. It’s a small kid playland, hidden and unnoticed by most others that live around here (unless you’re there really early and sharing with a few sleeping drunk men).

Van, a big fan of water, loves it and I can see it becoming one of those halcyon early-childhood memories he cherishes many years from now–one of those fuzzy experiences that nag at the back of your mind and you wonder if it ever really happened or if it was just your childhood imagination… Or one of those spots that look so small when you return with an adult’s point of view.

Look at me, I’m getting sentimental about it for the grown up him 🙂

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Posted on September 3, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Norman Dental Center

98 Norman Avenue, Greenpoint Brooklyn

Weary of local dentists (and with good reason it would seem based on the yelp reviews of Manhattan Ave Dental Associates and especially Greenpoint Dental Center, yikes!) I was thrilled to get a glowing recommendation from a trusted friend for Norman Dental Center.

After a clean, courteous, informative visit there myself after a filling mishap, I am passing the recommendation on to you!

Rarely do you leave a dentist excited to tell people about it, but Dr. Teague was fantastic and the nurse and receptionist were incredibly polite (something I find strangely lacking in most Doctor’s offices).

If you’re in the area and in need of nearby dental care, look no further.

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Posted on August 26, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Wear Your Baby

Everybody’s Doing It

There’s a new movement in mothering. It says no to the common ideas babies should be left to cry, it supports co-sleeping, breastfeeding as long as you want, and babywearing. Some call it Attachment Parenting, some call it trusting your instincts, some call it spoiling your baby (pshaw!). Some think it’s a luxury, others think it’s insane.

But no matter what your philosophy on parenting, most moms can agree that at least the babywearing part is pretty awesome. And it’s been done the world over for pretty much forever though has only become a trend in the US fairly recently.

I started carrying with the ubiquitous (and terrible for your back) Baby Bjorn, but moved on to other, better structured carriers like the Gemino Becco and the Ergo. But my newest love is the wrap (and as you can see Van loves it too).

I was surprised how easy wrapping is and comfort wise, it feels like I am pregnant again rather than lugging around a big baby.

I found a gorgeous aqua hombre wrap from Girasol at Caribou Baby, which is an incredible resource for moms and moms to be. Owner and friend Adriane knows as much as anyone on the subject of babywearing and will help you get the hang of it.

I’ve found that the Girasol is a free trade product from Guatemala and they often come in rare limited edition colors – making it an special purchase which is really fun for us moms that thought our days of buying exclusive coveted items for ourselves were over.

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Posted on August 4, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Braids of Paradise

Awesome Hairdos

If I were rich, like really really rich where money was just there to be spent, I’d pay someone to brush and braid my hair every day. Ever since I was a kid, with hair as long as it is now, I was designated as the girl who’s hair was played with – and I loved it!

Well, I’ve not suddenly come into wealth, but for an afternoon I did get to pay someone to play with my hair again.

Megan Pflug is a RISD chum and her side project, Braids of Paradise offers awesome braids (as you can plainly see). I felt like a science fiction queen for a couple days.

You can find her at the Backyard Bazaar at the great local shop In God We Trust (where I found a travel razor kit that could be hand engraved for a wonderful birthday gift). I believe it is held every Saturday and features many vendors of cool stuff.

Speaking of cool stuff, she and friend Katie Wright will have their lovely Cairo hand painted silk scarves for sale there as well.

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Posted on July 25, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »East River Ferry

Now Running

I can officially say that the East River Ferry is awesome.

Aside from schedule hiccups (it might not be on time but if you give it 15-20 minutes one will show up) it was smooth sailing for Van and I. It’s stroller friendly, super quick and free until the 24th of this month.

After that, it’s $4 a ride, but I can see it being worth it in many situations (especially with a baby) compared to the hot sweaty, elevatorless subways.

Plus, the piers offer great sweeping Manhattan views.

I hope to utilize it all summer long (anyone up for getting ice cream in Dumbo?) Particularly looking forward to the Summer Friday loop that goes to Governors Island.

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Posted on June 14, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »SPF Baby Hat

from iPlay

I was so thrilled to find this sunhat from iPlay on Amazon. The summer sun can be dangerous, especially if your baby’s as super white as Van is. This wide brim hat made of 50 SPF fabric keeps him protected.

I’m not shocked that I’ve seen tons of little ones sporting the same one and have moms asking where I got mine. Most places offer nothing but flimsy hats with tiny brims that do little to block out the rays.

Plus, it’s adorable.

This is a summer must have!

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Posted on June 13, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Words With Friends

Iphone App

I’ve jumped on the Words with Friends bandwagon and it’s as addicting as I had expected (very). I seem to win about 50% of the time.

If you are my real life friend, my name is brixpicks – come find me.

If you’re not my real life friend, I’ll still play but won’t respond to messages, like “What’s your name cutie?” and “You keep blocking me!”

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Posted on June 7, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »UPPAbaby G-LiTE Stroller

Great Umbrella Stroller

Jim hasn’t been this excited about a piece of baby equipment since, well, never.

The UPPAbaby G-Lite Stroller is, in fact, very light, making it ideal for apartment walk ups. It folds and unfolds easily (which is a huge plus and also surprisingly rare), handles bumpy sidewalks well, has a nice canopy to block out sunlight, and looks great.

The only minor drawback is a pretty small carrying space below.

We found ours for half off on Gilt Groupe, so it might be worth checking their for a repeat offer.


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Posted on June 5, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Eastern District

1053 Manhattan Ave

I’ve been meaning to make it up to the new cheese and beer shop, Eastern District in the northern part of the neighborhood for some time now. A recent “au revoir” party gave us the prefect excuse to head up there and buy some fancy cheeses.

The friendly staff helped me pick some greats: an aged gouda, a raclette, and a lovely goat button called Sweet Emotions. Jim and I also indulged in pricey bottles of Hitachino White Ale, a favorite I haven’t had since getting knocked up (it still tastes delicious!) and were intrigued by their entire selection of canned and bottled beers (including a whole shelf of Saisons and Six Point–now in cans!).

The brightly lit, easily maneuverable shop also offers a rotating assortment of beers available in growlers sans snarky drunk beer snobs (unlike Brouwerij Lane) as well as a wall of local and otherwise tasty treats. Can’t wait to come again for lunch–their sandwich list was making me drool (turkey with bacon marmalade mmmmmm).

A great addition to the neighborhood when you need some specialty foods.

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Posted on June 5, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Christie’s Auction App

Auction Goodness

Since I love the Christie’s website, I’ve had the iphone app installed for some time but only just tried it out. It’s great!

With one thumb I can peruse the latest auctions, view all the items in an easy viewable grid format, see full size images, and email to friends.

Here are just a few favorites from the upcoming Latin American Sale (oh, to be a millionaire – that Botero would be hanging in my wall).

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Posted on May 21, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes,Web Sites »Ritual Vintage Tumblr

A Vintage Life

My dear friend Stacy has been a partner in crime during my few solo outings- whether to gobble Malaysian and gossip or sip pink champange at the Metropolitan Opera House. She’s also, and always will be, no matter how many days go between seeing each other, one of my spirit sisters.

We share an affinity for the voice of Sandy Denny, odd remnants of the past (particularly the turn of the century and the 1990’s), heavy metal tee shirts, and intricate embroidery among many other good things.

Her musings, inspirations, and heads up on the latest awesome vintage pieces she’s procured (that you can buy at her shop!) can all be found at her tumblr page. I only wish she was less busy actually doing amazing stuff to update it constantly!

Her brick and mortar shop is at 377 Broome (formerly known as Exquisite Costume and sporting a stunning make over) and you can contact her for a by appointment to peruse her vintage library at her new show room on Eldridge St. by calling 212 966 4142.

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Posted on May 20, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Suno Sample Sale

242 W 38 st 3rd Floor

Today through Friday, get your colorful happy time frocks, blazers and harem pants from my favorite and one of the best, freshest labels, Suno. Everything is up to 70% off!

I got myself a spectacular psychedelic leopard print dress and picked up a tie dye silk mini skirt and wild beaded blazer (detail pictured below) for a friend. I could have gone broke in there, but had some self control.

PS – Be sure to wear stuff you can try things on over as there are no dressing rooms and the clothes read totally different on the rack compared to on one’s body.

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Posted on May 11, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Make Your Own 30 Day Song Challenge

With Your Own Categories!

Dear friend Ashleigh, of The Awesome Brothers has been posting her very own 30 Day Song Challenge which includes such gems as:

“The song that pretty much sums up the magic of courtship (we ate cereal): Iesha by Another Bad Creation

” The liveliest TV performance ever: Major Tom by Peter Schilling”


“The best song to play at a roller skating rink during the couples skate: I Wanna Be Your Man by Zapp and Roger

I am stealing the idea and will feature a song for every day in May.

See, the challenge is to make up your own categories! Hope you all will join in on the challenge and post your own song picks in the comments. (Steve Olson, if you’re reading this – I assume you’d be awesome at it).

PS. The image provided is one of the first large scale photos to come up on a “music challenge” google image search.

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Posted on May 1, 2011