Desserts »Handmade Snoballs

From Sage General Store, 24-20 Jackson Ave, Long Island City

On my way to the doctor, taking the awkward and on this day, cold outdoor transfer to the 7 train, I often wonder about the adorably hip, quaint Sage General Store, a new-ish shop that reeks of old timey goodness but with a staff of tattooed transplants serving mouth watering comfort foods.

Since yesterday was the first snow (OK, so it didn’t accumulate, but there were flakes) I was even more tempted by the handmade snoballs in the window (choice pink or white) and just had to take one home to split with Jim for dessert.

It’s a hefty dense white cake (probably made denser by my putting it in the fridge) with sugary, yummy frosting both in and outside and big chunks of coconut. To compare with the store bought, processed version is unfair. It’s an entirely different beast – and, for the record, I still have a soft spot for that weird Hostess puck, at least in memory since I haven’t had one in a while, but I do know that it is nowhere near as tasty as this hand made decadence.

The store features all sorts of sweet and savory goodies and will now be the highlight of that train route for me, beating out the one hundred steps it takes to get to the train.

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Posted on December 7, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Eataly

200 5th Avenue

After months of speculation and anticipation, the Italian food market mecca Eataly from Mario Batali, Lidia and Joe Bastianich is finally open and it is awesome! Clean, bright, dazzling and massive, there is so much to see that it will require several visits to feel like I’ve done it all. There are after all, several restaurants, a beer garden, a coffee shop, a cooking school, and all the super market sections you could want. I was extremely tempted by the stunning variety at the fishmonger and am determined to get razor clams next time (when I will be headed straight home after shopping and not worried about fresh seafood + the heat).

I really could have gone any direction for an amazing meal, whether grabbing some sausage (as Mike did for an extremely yummy gnocchi sauce) or enjoying the brick oven pizza I jealously saw so many taking gooey bites of at the pizzeria. There are colorful pastries as well as a crowded counter with gelato for dessert. In the mood for something easy for lunch, I opted for a “Stella” squash ravioli, some fresh sun-dried tomatoes, and a wedge of Parmesan from a huge wheel that one strong armed man spent the day slowly chopping up for our consumption.

Mario was there, and I took a tentative quick shot after the jump (not really into paparazzi shooting) and it begs some explanation since it looks like he’s reaming out an employee. He was actually strutting around like a proud papa and seemed ecstatic about the place, as well he should have been. I am sure Eataly is bound to become both a destination as well as one of the perks of living in New York and a part of the fabric of the city.

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Posted on September 5, 2010

Spend a Couple Minutes »Book Thug Nation

100 N. 3rd St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

We read a lot and therefor had a few hefty boxes of good books to give away with our recent cleaning overhaul. I figured we’d just drop them off at one of the local used book shops and for once, actually enjoy the idea of store credit. I found this simple task far more difficult than I could have imagined. One place, after we dragged a box in (after they previously told us they took books) decided it was too much work to go through the box because they didn’t feel well, another nameless spot only looked at books one inconvenient day a week, yet another told us basically to not even bother because they were “so selective” (was this a used book store or a Manhattan private school??)

With so many fails we nearly gave up until I discovered a small article about Book Thug Nation. This excellent shop takes your books any day of the week and most importantly, have great taste. This means your good books get swooped up and there are plenty of intreguing books to choose from with the store credit.

Of course, the quality of the selection still applies even if you’re not selling including a section of nice art books and walls of fiction titles from all the authors you actually want to read (Vonnegut, Boyle, Sedaris, Price, etc.). The space is also used for a broad variety of events from comedy shows to readings. Check in with their website for the upcoming calendar.

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Posted on September 5, 2010

Places to Visit »Pharmacia Millionaire

301 S Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to write up Pharmacia Millionaire with you guys. It was definitely one of the more unusual spots we visited in LA earlier this year. A treasure trove of magic candles, potions, elixirs and voodoo dolls, the crowded pharmacy sits across the street from the more traditional tourist spot, The Bradbury Building. We walked away with a candle for home cleansing, which once burned to the end offered some charms that we were instructed to put under our mattress. We skipped on the vagina candle and anything black magic related but might be back one day for the bat’s hearts if I can figure out a way to use them. Even if you have no plans to purchase, the iconography and design for the products are worth a peek in this surprisingly friendly shop.

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Posted on August 29, 2010

Laughs »Fartmasters to Ballsacks: The Gems of Potpourri Catalog

Now, for a $5 Subscription

I received a Potpourri Catalog in the mail yesterday. It was hilariously addressed to Jim, but I decided to steal it away for a mind numbing peek at it’s offerings. Many you can imagine: singing stuffed animals, non singing crystal animals, kitchen wall hangings about animals (and wine or chocolate)… but I decided to scan a few that really stood out to me and made me utter “oh my god.” Interestingly, nothing from the cat lady pages made the cut – these are, if you can believe it, far stranger than that.

Believe it or not, this “humorous” ball sack actually escaped my attention the first, even the second time through. Maybe because it’s just so subtle and tucked above a huge crystal four leaf clover.

This is pretty par for the course, but if you take the time to really look at it, nothing but confusion will greet you. Is this what has become of womanhood?

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Posted on August 15, 2010

Spend a Couple Minutes »Bright Socks at Uniqlo

546 Broadway

Take note bold men of fashion: Uniqlo is currently selling the most adorable bright, sometimes neon sock and I think you should get some. Four pairs for ten dollars, how can you resist? Especially since it’s always tough to add a touch of color to men’s outfits in a great way.

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Posted on July 25, 2010

Web Sites »The Frock

Vintage Heaven Online

The Frock has, for years and years been one of my favorite places to look at truly stunning vintage clothing online, dreaming of where I’d wear each piece to. Run by artist, former paralegal and man of great taste Christian Madrigal, the site grew out of a colletion of Edwardian capes gone wild. Since then, it’s a beloved source of vintage for film makers, magazines, and the rich and famous – Dita Von Teese names it her favorite spot for vintage. Below/after the jump are just a few favorites (including an Oleg Cassini that would be my wedding dress number two if I were allowed to remarry Jim every few years and a Mary Quant that I actually unwittingly own – it’s without a tag), but there are hours of browsing to be had on the site and if you have a special occasion that calls for a bank breaking gown, look no further.

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Posted on May 31, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Manhattan Vintage

at the Metropolitan Pavilion

I hadn’t been to Manhattan Vintage in years, but am glad I made it to this months event if not to gawk at amazing gowns, jewelry, and hats, then to be surrounded by sometimes fellow lovers of vintage (sometimes kind of famous ones at that). The place is certainly not for bargain hunters (which I am, I admit) but the selections from an array of dealers are not bargain bin either. You will find well curated clothing and accessories that after a couple hours will make you spin with want.

I’d recommend it for lovers to browse, designers to find inspiration, the very wealthy, or those looking for a special something for an occasion where they don’t mind spending a little extra for a one of a kind piece. Of course, I could hardly leave empty handed and with my own special ability, managed to root out an beautiful Egyptian inspired necklace that was sold for about a third of the price most booths averaged. It came from Fool’s Gold and I love it dearly.

I also dearly love my good friend Stacy and her shop Exquisite Costume, which boasted an impressive spot full of incredible pieces.

While this season’s show is at an end as I speak this, the next one will be October 8-9. Then you can see for yourself as I neglected/was too scared of the vendors to take photos.

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Posted on April 25, 2010

Spend a Couple Minutes »Zac Posen for Target

April 24

Another month, another Target designer collaboration and, despite the fact that I am not a particular fan of Zac Posen‘s main line, I’m surprised to say that this is one of the best Target designer lines yet. I failed the stamina check to stand in line for the late night 24 sale for the pop-up shop, but intend to do my vigil and get up in the earliest hours and go crazy online.

From gold lame, to tuxedo tanks, from ruffled skirts to funky prints there’s just so much to covet! Maybe Posen, who faces major financial issues, should design more affordable all the time and rake it in.

See some shots below/after the jump and more at Fashionista.

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Posted on April 18, 2010

Web Sites »Wolfgang’s Vault

Where Live Music Lives

Jim stumbled across Wolfgang’s Vault, a site that specializes in live music downloads and memorabilia and is currently holding a pretty awesome Family Dog sale poster. For those not in the know:

The Family Dog was a loose collective of free spirits managed by Chet Helms, a contemporary of Bill Graham, who put on rock dances at the Avalon Ballroom more or less continually from 1965 to 1970. These almost-nightly events, like those hosted at the Fillmore, were more than conventional concerts; they were social gatherings with plenty of dance, music and light. Some of the early Family Dog posters are among the most significant art of the period

The posters are fun to browse and worth checking out for those of you looking to add some psychedelia to your walls; there are some pretty great prices for first run printings.

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Posted on March 21, 2010

Desserts »Baklava From Kaluatyan’s

123 Lexington Ave

Mike often shares goodies he picks up from Kalustyan‘s including raisins even a raisin hater could love and more recently, this flaky, honey soaked baklava. Delicious!

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Posted on March 21, 2010

Spend a Couple Minutes »Ivanhoe Books

1618 Silverlake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Right next door to the La Mill Coffee shop is Ivanhoe Books, an art and design specialty store filled with tons of great stuff. We had a lovely time browsing the collection of design, fashion, and art books and, while we were hesitant to bring any over-sized books back in our luggage, the shop introduced me to a book called Handmade Woodstock Houses that I couldn’t get out of my head and ended up finding on eBay.

While some of the books they offer can be purchased for slightly less online if you’re willing to shop around for awhile, others (like the Ossie Clark book that I really want) are priced better than other book sites. You can find some selections from their very select and tasteful collection on their site as well as on their blog which just informed me of a Soho Deborah Tubeville exhibit that I’ll try to swing by on my lunch hour next week.

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Posted on March 14, 2010

Spend a Couple Minutes »Gaultier for Target

On Sale March 7th

While my personal list of must-haves from the Gaultier Target collection arriving in stores this Sunday might not be quite as long as some other designer collaborators (Rodarte, Tracy Feith, Anna Sui), there’s still plenty to get excited about starting with that bright yellow dress that will have me up first thing in the morning shopping online. Also like the sailor stripe, but wish there were more of his signature stripes sprinkled throughout the tattoo prints (never my favorite), lovely painted florals, and chic leather. I do hope the fingerless gloves are for sale and not just styling extras.

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Posted on February 28, 2010

Desserts »Bespoke Chocolates

Chili Pepper Dark Chocolate

Bespoke Chocolates is hidden down the aptly named Extra Place right off of Bleecker. Blink and you’ll miss it – but you won’t want to. While the occasion for which I bought their Chili Pepper Dark Truffles (to share with my fellow Dungeon and Dragons players on the first night of our adventure) may not have been the most romantic, the spicy heat and rich darkness is an ideal gift for Valentine’s Day.

Other equally enticing flavors are available and made fresh daily. The chocolatier, who I believe served me, is as nice as can be and speaks with a lovely British accent… she’s like Tammy Littlenut’s hot older sister from across the pond that makes incredible sweets.

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Posted on February 7, 2010

Spend a Couple Minutes »Eye Candy

329 Lafayette St.

Eye Candy on Lafayette is a peaceful little treasure trove of accessories and, if you know me, you know how I feel about accessories (I love, I adore, I get chills). I particularly loved, adored and got chills from a fantastic, giant swan/crystal claw ring that I spotted a few months back designed by Brooklynite Bora Yasar. I was out to buy gifts for others at the time, so with all the strength I could muster, left it in its place. But now that my birthday draws near(ish), I went back and the ring was still there – so I simply had to have it.

Now it adorns my finger daily. I also grabbed a pair of wonderfully flat, dangly modernist earrings that I get a lot of use out of – but the shop is full of scores of other little beauties I wouldn’t say no to (like a giant pair of tribal hoop earrings)… but restraint is a virtue, right? A calm Tim Gunnesque man runs the place and can offer you gift certificates for the accessory lovers in your life.

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Posted on January 31, 2010

Desserts »Chocolate Santa

chocolate santa jacques torresfrom Jacques Torres

Thanks to Astrid and Marcus who gave this jolly dark chocolate fella to Jim for his birthday. It comes from Jacques Torres and, you might agree, is not a little bit creepy in the eyes. I’m almost concerned about the ramifications of eating him with those penetrating eyes baring down on me… it’s easy to envision myself in some sort of Twilight Zone moment. However, this is Jacques Torres chocolate and eating it will be worth the slim possibility of supernatural retaliation.

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Posted on December 20, 2009

Spend a Couple Minutes »Rodarte for Target

rodarte for targetAffordable Fashion

December 20th ladies, and it’s all bow belts, lace cardis, high waisted tights, skeleton dresses, flowy skirts, and envy of anyone living close to a quiet, empty Target for all!

In probably one of the most inspired and anticipated Target collaborations, sisters and dream weavers, Laura and Kate Mulleavy will grace the masses with their Rodarte creations.

I missed the pop up store at the Highline, but will not miss out on mustard colored lace when it hits stores!

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Posted on December 13, 2009