I hope you are well and are gearing up for the Holidaze. One month into my new city and I’ve had the privilege of being within a short distance from really cool and inspiring neighborhoods and markets! One thing that I realized I missed so much that carried over from my days in Brooklyn was the energy and feeling I would get from local shop owners.
The vibe from local businesses is much different than the large retailers we all know and love because they’ve got something that not every larger brand staff has - which is the fire in their belly and passion in their hearts that helps drives them. Sure they believe in their product but they are their business and their relationship with their customers and said business go hand in hand.
I have found in both amazing cities that it’s simply not the product that sells, but the heart and soul of the owners that I connect with.
Hands down these are the people that I would vouch for as they show up everyday with a smile and pour love into their work and environment when a lot of people can not do this. They are savvy offline as well as beginning to expand online and are pioneers and market leaders.
Grace & Favor - 168 N 1st St. Near Hope
Andrea Brooke is one of my favorite people because she is so real and has a no nonsense British attitude. Most of all she has impeccable taste, brilliant playlists and we can go on for hours about wallpaper, funny cards, healing, markets, trends and she always gives me hugs and even has let me re-shift some of the store merchandising around because who doesn’t love a little Feng Shui - re”shushing” and making the beauty all come together. If you see Andrea please please please give her a hug, high five and dedicate some songs to me. She is also available online and I’m encouraging her to open up shop on the West Coast!! Online at http://www.gracefavor.com/
1926 NYC - Artists & Fleas Market - Every Saturday & Sunday - 70 N. 7th St. - Also now in South Norwalk, CT at the SONO Holiday Bazaar - 1 North Water Street Thursdays - Sunday
What can I say about the man with the charm, style and quirky mustache. From the moment I met John Fondrisi we have shared stories about the Hamptons, getting rid of evil spirits and rightfully so- how to do it while looking good! It’s no surprise we have a mutual friend in common (his from High School would also be my Soul Sister from College ~ See Miss V from Ethel & Row below!) and found our meeting to be kismet. I rock his shirts proudly because they are sleek, sassy and most importantly feature his late Grandfather’s fashion drawings from you guessed it - 1926. Please give him a bear hug, ask him about the house in CT and tell him I can’t wait to see him when I visit New York next. Online at http://www.fondrisi.com/
Dara Waxman / Beyond Metal Gallery - N 5 & Berry
I don't quite exactly remember which day I met Dara this year but I believe it was the Spring and I was wandering down Berry on a Saturday and caught a glimpse of her stunning jewelry. Upon entering Beyond Metal Gallery I also met beloved Mable who is probably one of the world's cutest and coolest dogs ever. Dara and I have talked so much about NY, LA, near death experiences and she has given me so many recommendations for restaurants here in LA and she is someone I can chat to for hours about anything as she has a keen eye, precision for her work and is an all around badass female. I can't wait to see her in LA soon when she makes her way back west. Til then please check her site out! Online at http://www.darawaxmanjewelry.com
Insiders1 - Formerly Grand Street to Grand Central Market / Graybar Passage near Lexington
I met Sigal De Mayo earlier this year when I stumbled upon her Grand St Brooklyn location and we immediately hit it off. She shared with me the inside look on her custom collages and the hand craftsmanship of the leather goods and gorgeous silk scarves (amongst so many other breathtaking products)! She always invites me to her gatherings and even though I can’t always make them, I know where to go when I need custom New York gifts and also more warm hugs, wallets, gloves or NYC themed gifts. Please visit Sigal or her husband Fabio (who I haven’t met in person but heard he is amazing) at Grand Central in the Graybar passage or also online at insiders1.com. Tell her “The Angel” sent you : ) Online at http://insiders1.com/
Eclectic Collectibles and Antiques - 285 Metropolitan Avenue
I met Saint Anthony about eight months ago when I needed to purchase a vintage rotary phone and also needed some really interesting inspiring relics to serve as creative muses for my writing and Spiritual work. I am proud to say that many conversations and unique prints later - I can’t wait to find my new home in LA so I can retrieve them out of storage to adore them once again. Please visit Anthony and his wife Cookie at the store and have a lot of fun getting lost in the treasures that await you. Online at https://www.facebook.com/EclecticCollectiblesAntiques/
Dahlia 225 Grand Street + ladidadee 160 Havemeyer
It was a cold but beautiful snowy Valentine’s Day 2015 and I wandered into ladidadee to look for something cute to wear as you never know who you could meet on a Saturday night in the city and immediately Stefanie Rosendo and I connected on many levels discussing the length of skirts, where the romance has gone and our love of spiritual healing crystals. I have received so many compliments on dresses, skirts and funky tops from both shops. That’s right - this diva manages two. Her staff Zaida and Tim are also sweethearts and have amazing style and personality that they share with the world. Please visit them all and fall in love. Online at http://www.shoptiques.com/boutiques/la-di-da-dee & http://www.facebook.com/shopdahlia
Heart & Soul - 500 Main Street (Beacon, NY)
I met Leah this summer when I was in Beacon for the day during a weekend adventure trip with one of my best friends to go to Daryl's Club House (YES- Daryl Hall from Hall & Oates' restaurant & music venue). We were meandering on Main Street and I felt a need to go into this store as I wanted to find a new set of Tarot Cards to add to my collection and Spiritual Arts practice. We locked eyes and began chatting when I saw the Angel Cards at the register and in that destined moment we both did readings for each other and felt the spirit and connection that was among us. I was also considering Beacon as an option in my quest for a new home and Leah and her store were top of the list of reasons why Beacon would be a go! You HAVE to visit her, buy a deck or two and make magic happen. Online at http://nyheartnsoul.com/
PS If you want a wild ride, call Jollyman at 718.682.3195 (Cab service if you are staying in the Fishkill area and don’t have a car). And yes you have to also go to Daryl’s House Club. Online at http://www.darylshouseclub.com/
Newbie on the Scene: Vanessa Hamer of Ethel + Row
My darling Vanessa whom I met in college but mostly had the pleasure of spending time with post college in Manhattan, Brooklyn and this summer in her East Hampton home - recently launched her Kids Apparel site Ethel + Row which features an assortment of the cutest couture creations that you could ever find for the model little citizens of your life. She is a rockstar, dreamer and incredible selector of styles for stylish children. Her matter of fact inquisitive son Aiden is also featured in some of the photography. He is an excellent beach football tosser, super smart man and I’m so proud of both of them! Visit V’s newly launched website. PS she also likes the band Sublime. LOVE HER! Online at EthelAndRow.com
Venice Beach / Los Angeles
Egyptian Museum on the Venice Beach Boardwalk: Gingerbread Court
If you want to Walk Like an Egyptian, head to the Gingerbread Court section of the Boardwalk, peek your head in and ask for Hamat. He will tickle your pulse points with oils and you can talk about Egyptians, Scarabs, Pyramids and view the Mystical two toned paintings. You won’t leave empty handed and your third eye might be opened a little bit wider. Ask him to translate the meaning of the spelling of your name and then tell me if it doesn’t describe you to a tee. He has cold hands but they’re healing so give it a go. I hope you’re singing the Bangles now too. Online at http://facebook.com/egyptianmuseumstore
Odyssey on the Venice Beach Boardwalk - 517 Ocean Park Way & Hollywood - 6801 Hollywood Blvd
Olivier and I met last week when I was drawn to his shop and felt the urge to get my first California tee because I am now a Cali gal. Originally from France we talked about life on Venice Beach and his other location in Hollywood. We joked about Cash Cats on Instagram and the cute cats on tank tops that he sells among other things in both locations. He is a delight and I can’t wait to check out the Hollywood location once my car is ready (a few more days)! You can also visit Olivier online too. You will want to Merci Beaucoup Thank Me. Online at http://odysseyla.net/
Late Sunday Afternoon 1920 South Lincoln Blvd
On an early Sunday afternoon I spotted Late Sunday Afternoon across the street. It's the benefit of loving to walk and not yet having a car in Los Angeles. The store was beautiful with silken yarns decorating the front left panel of the store. Even the bathroom had really cool photos on the wall and the cutouts and craftsmanship that went into the store design and products blew me away. Jeffrey and I chatted for a while about the location, the product and how I HAVE TO get a custom broom complete with a wizard's face engraved on the top as soon as I'm in my new home. I was definitely swept off my feet and the nooks and crannies in this store alone will have me returning. There are even embroidered patches sewn into the products which say Knotted & Blessed - Love / Happiness / Adventure / Mystery. Those are key virtues and tenets of my life! I can't wait to go back on any day or time. Online at http://latesundayafternoon.com/
Nightcap 1225 Abbott Kinney
Francesca was amazing at this shop who answered all my questions about the hottest catsuit I’ve ever seen in the window while I was multitasking with my best friend on the phone. She was so helpful in a few short moments and inquired how I knew her name as I thanked her. I didn’t reply that I’m intuitive but simply - oh it’s on your coffee cup : ) I can’t wait to go back for a Nightcap or two and get my hands on that green hot catsuit and a few other must have pieces. Online at http://nightcapclothing.com/
Newbie on the Scene: Carol Parnell of Starry Crown
Last Friday, I went to a location adjacent to the Venice Beach Ale House and there was a special “Black Friday” market which I dubbed “Rose Friday” as I found my way browsing up and down Rose Avenue. The selection of retailers was in the ranks of a small Artists & Fleas (3rd weekend here in DTLA) which featured local artisans and immediately I sensed and felt the energy of Carol’s vintage and new hand crafted necklaces. We chatted about how you need to love your product and how she gets so excited when she makes her pieces. I know why - because they’re gorgeous!! Of course we talked bout the catsuit and laughed as some of the clothing from Nightcap is in her new marketing for Spring. Also a recent transplant to LA via Florida, I can’t wait to see where the city takes us both. Welcome to the Neighborhood! Online at http://www.starry-crown.com
With anything - you won’t know the pulse of a city until you know its people. I’m very thrilled to have met and connected with these fascinating people on both coasts and I can’t wait to continue being a patron of their shops and services.
Of course there are many more shops that I covered on the East Side and Downtown that I will include in the next edition - as well as all of the amazing food and drink that I’ve been lucky enough to sample. Stay tuned also for a larger piece on my favorite astrologers and healers that I’ve met and worked with in person in both NY & LA. Oh yeah and there is the coffee, street art, beaches and so much that I have yet to mention & discover! My instagram feed shows the live action shots as they happen when I'm on the street. Also, for further treks, the uber driver experience alone has allowed me to meet so many amazing people with amazing stories. Thank you for listening to a snippet of mine.
I hope you found this helpful and enjoy the markets. I know where I'm getting my gifts this year. Happy Shopping and Holiday Time!
The Muse Crypt