Tag Archives: Lee-lai

The Way We Shop

All around the country people are rushing to find the perfect holiday gifts for their friends and family; they are running through the aisles of Walmarts and department stores and shopping online at Amazon. Here in The Big Apple we have a better way to buy gifts. The way we shop? Craft fairs my darlings, craft fairs. Our fine city is a treasure trove of artists and artisans who can provide you with everything from scratch ‘n sniff holiday cards to one-of-a-kind jewelry, not to mention all the best munchies imaginable!

If you missed Craftacular last week I apologize; I should have given you a heads up. Luckily most of the vendors also sell in select stores and on Etsy so you still have a chance to pick up my favorites: beautiful purses by Shara Porter, heavenly bath products by Lee-lai and stunning dresses by Les Enfants Sauvages.

Purse by Shara Porter

Purse by Shara Porter

The Brooklyn Flea’s Gifted is still running so you can experience the madness of all those wonderful vendors in one place. My picks are scratch ‘n sniff holiday cards from Mélangerie Inc., fancy cards from Moontree Letterpress and snarky t-shirts from Paste.

Scratch n' Sniff Holiday Cards from Melangerie Inc.

Scratch n' Sniff Holiday Cards from Melangerie Inc.

This weekend you can give to charity while shopping for great gifts at Brooklyn Indie Market; indie designers donate 10-15% of sales to benefit Brooklyn Community Housing. With a hat from Rocks and Salt you’ll be ready for your next night out in hipsterville.

3rd Ward’s Handmade Holiday Craft Fair this Saturday is likely to be one of the biggest hits of the season. Even if you don’t find gifts you’ll get to enjoy live music from Raya Brass Band. On top of all the vendors and the music there will be free demos and workshops including:

Handmade Skincare, Wire Wrapping: Making Old Jewelery New, DIY Printing Methods, Heat Printing on Fabrics, How to Make your own Textiles with Textile Arts Center and more!

The holiday season is also the time for pop-up shops! New York Magazine has compiled an excellent list of the temporary shops that you’ll want to check out before they disappear! I am particularly excited about anything that has anything to do with Papabubble; their candy is truly “too pretty to eat” (Carnival- I know I’m a dork).

Candy by Papabubble

Candy by Papabubble

If you need to get your unique hand-made gifts on the run there are tent cities set up at a few major crossroads. The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park contain all manner of goodies, though they tend towards the pricier end of things. The Grand Central Holiday Fair is a madhouse but holds some hidden gems. The Columbus Circle Holiday Market offers the added bonus of an information booth with a helpful concierge to guide your shopping, plus since it’s located right on Central Park you can stroll through our very own Winter Wonderland post-shopping. Finally the Union Sq. Holiday Market offers a range of goodies, from Belgian liege waffles to bath products shaped like cupcakes!

If you’re truly at a loss for what to give, this weekend at 303 Grand you can have a psychic chose a wrapped mystery gift for you. I kid you not, this is New York kids.

Finally, mark your calendars- next weekend is the Brooklyn Lyceum Craft Market. If you go be sure to check out the jewelry by Kimlast, whoever you buy it for will appreciate its extra special flare.

Golden Reef Handcarved Pendant by Kimlast

Golden Reef Handcarved Pendant by Kimlast

Happy shopping! Stay tuned for news of upcoming events and follow me on twitter for the very latest!

Valentine's Day

St. Hallmark day is fast approaching and I have yet to come up with a game plan. Even on the (admittedly rare) occasions that I have been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day I’ve found this a difficult challenge. I don’t really go in for $150 “Romantic Tasting Menus” or jewelry in poor taste (for goodness sakes gentlemen- what were you thinking?). The truly romantic gestures (moonlight, rose petals, home cooked meals, a signed copy of ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’) seem forced when they’re being performed on such a commercialized occasion. I am simply too cynical to suspend my disbelief, even when I am in love.

This year I am not in love, which means my options break down into the following four categories:

The Angry Event

These are events somehow based around a cynical dislike of romance, love, couples, the jewelry industry, the flower industry, the chocolate industry and especially Hallmark. In general these become anti-consumerist more than anything else. Beware of people drinking themselves into a stupor and/or trying to bitch about their ex’s to anyone within shouting range. Here are a few to consider:

The Singles Event

This is often some form of speed dating designed to help you find someone to be “romantic” with by the end of the night. Most of the people present are desperate, lonely and horny so attendance is really only advisable if you are also all three of those things. If you’re lucky there will be that one person who is attractive and dorky in the right way and miraculously feels the same way about you, in which case all you have to worry about is how to tell your friends you met at a singles event without sounding lame. In general however you’re more likely to end up in a room full of unattractive women trying not to look desperate and skeevy men trying to look classy. However, if you are feeling optimistic, check these out:

  • Valentine’s Day @ Dewey’s Flatiron- you receive half a playing card at the door and if you can find the person with the other half you both get a free drink.
  • Pull on some “formal attire” and head over to the posh Hudson Terrace for a Single’s Ball.

Solidarity

A bunch of friends hitting the town and trying to pretend it’s not Valentine’s Day! This can go splendidly, just as any night on the town can go splendidly. It can also devolve into a group therapy session in which you all cry about being alone and how hard it is to meet people and how you’re afraid you’ll never manage to sustain a relationship (do you really want to?). Judge your group carefully to determine if your outcome is likely to be positive and be careful not to end up at a bar that’s having some kind of “romantic special”. Some safe spots to get down with your girls:

Home Alone

Stay home, eat grilled cheese, watch an action movie and don’t feel sorry for yourself. Ok, try not to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t think about your ex’s (or who they’re with now) and please please don’t think about that guy you’re sort of seeing (and don’t call him). To make this option a bit more positive try turning it into a romantic solo evening- think a long hot bath with marvelous bath products from Lee-lai (available at Sustainable NYC and Greenhouse Essentials and on their website) and some exquisite chocolate from Vosges.

Please try your best to enjoy St. Hallmark day! Let me know what you end up doing and be sure to add any events you hear about in advance!

P.S. If you’re free tonight check out my friends Excess Energy @ Hugs!