Friday, February 13, 2009

Last day in the Big Apple.

Well this is the end of 2 weeks of my New York snapshots - I can hear the collective sigh of relief! Here are the last few photographs from our trip and next week we are back to our normal schedule(unless of course I find some fun things to show you when I go to the Okanagan this weekend)

Pearl River Mart
You need to have a full hour to go through Pearl River Mart in Soho and see even just a fraction of what they have to offer. Its an enormous and curious collection of Chinese imported goods that stretches the full width of the block - you can come in the front door and exit out the back - and of course there's a  full basement too. Everything from tea pots to kimonos to chop sticks to pink flocked busts of  Mau Tse-Tung. There's a great selection of inexpensive, traditional decorative items like origami paper, lanterns, streamers and parasols and some less traditional and extremely beautiful embroidered silk quilted garments. This is a wonderful place to buy chinoiserie silk by the yard and tassels and trim by the bucketful. Pearl River is loud, fun and colourful and, as far as Soho stores go, it's the most affordable hour you'll spend south of Houston Street! 

NYC Fishs Eddy
Fishs Eddy had done a bit of a tidy up when we went this time and they had lots of new old stock in. Same great hotel and diner ware and lots of new designs from their own collections. I am quite fascinated by all the funny old oil portraits on the walls, I wonder if they are for sale. If I lived in New York(which is probably never going to happen) I would buy all my kitchen and dining stuff here - I would have a wonderful collection of mismatched crockery and cutlery. . . . hmmmmmm, maybe not! The organized chaos in this store is great for a few minutes but I don't know if I could live like that!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New York Gift Fair | The Ross Art Group
On a first glance at these pictures you might think - oh yeh, I've seen posters like those before! That's what I thought. Until I realized that these are the real thing. These are not reproductions these are ORIGINALS. We loved this booth at the Gift Fair. We spent ages looking through all the amazing art. The Ross Art Group is a Manhattan Gallery that specializes in vintage posters. Most of these are lithographs from the 30s and 40s(some older, some newer). It was great to chat to the owners who take so much pride in their collection of vintage treasures. Most designers at some point in their careers have had a mild to strong obsession with vintage posters and will appreciate the commitment that these people have taken to rescue and preserve these wonderful works of art.

You have probably seen this Leonetto Cappiello poster(above) as a reproduction in many cafe and bistros around the country. Well this is an original and the price tag on it is $25,000. It's worth every penny if you ask me!

This was Dougs favourite booth at the show. It just made his day to see original posters like these. Hope you enjoyed the pictures too.
Merchandizing - that undefinable something . . . . .
If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I am a big fan of eclectic shops with quirky personality and bundles of style. The kind of shop that offers a selection of old and new and imported and handmade and displays all those treasures in fabulously vintage cupboards or hanging from old tin ceilings and piled on top of perfectly scruffy old tables. You know what I mean - I know you do. There is a fine line that some stores seem to understand - kind of chic but not shabby chic, slightly bohemian, not too antiquarian, not too much imported stuff but definitely edgy and ethnic, not too many reproduction tchochkes and definitely, no definitely not twee. Why are there so few stores like this now? What has happened to them all? Why is it that Anthropologie is the only large chain store that seems to have figured it out that the average gal wants something special when they go shopping? Why is it that we really are drawn to this undefinable, abstract style of merchandizing?

So far in my travels there are only a handful of stores that fall into this category for me - here are a few(but not all) - Fan Tan Gallery, Victoria BC. Any Anthropologie anywhere. The Rubaiyat, Calgary. Salamagundi, Vancouver BC. Cabin Fever, Sandpoint Idaho, ABC Carpet and Home, NYC. Fish's Eddy, NYC. The Cross, Yaletown Vancouver. Watson Kennedy, Seattle. Most of which I featured here over the last few months.

Now it's your turn - I want to know what stores you have found in your neck of the woods and beyond that just have that undefinable something that sets them apart. Let's make a list . . . . . .

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Met Floor
This is a detail of the floor at the Metropolitan Museum. I thought all you pattern junkies would appreciate it!

Rockafeller Centre | Anthropologie
I was all set to do this post today and, as I was uploading the images to Blogger, I got a fax. I couldn't believe my eyes - the fax was from Anthropologie - an order for our Cartolina recycled notebooks! So, I am very excited to announce today that our new notebooks will be available at Anthropologie this spring - judging by the date on the PO, I expect they will be in the stores in March. Absolutely brilliant - very excited.

I love the store at Rockafeller Centre. I think it is an old movie theatre judging by the marquee out front. It is a 2 story store with most of the clothing downstairs and housewares upstairs. The back of the store is really nicely merchandized with a great collection of new and vintage objet d'art. The lamps hanging from the ceiling look like they are from the 20s I think, don't you? Did you know that at Anthropologie everything is for sale - even all the displays, tables, cupboards and fixtures. If you look closely everything has a price tag!

I loved this display(above) Can you see all the framed butterflies and the small curiosity cabinet with the drawers?

This is a vintage phone booth full of lamp shades!

This bed was covered in gauze rags - very je ne sais quoi! Very Anthropologie!

So the closest Anthro is a long way from my neck of the woods. I would love it if in a couple of months one of my readers could pop into one of the stores and take a picture of my notebooks - I'm so excited - did I say that all ready?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The West Village | Greenwich Letterpress
Amy and Beth from Greenwich Letterpress grew up in a family of printers and you can see and feel their passion for paper the minute you step into their absolutely brilliant shop in Greenwich Village. Doug and I had a lot of fun meeting Beth and Amy on Wednesday evening. Doug went mad taking pictures so I have lots to show you. 

Along with their own beautiful letterpressed products Beth and Amy also stock the wares of many indie stationery companies including ours. I love their own line of cards and notcards especially these animal cards. It was really fun to walk around the store and see all the wonderful cards from designers that I have admired daily on the blogs and in magazines. Their store is chock a block full of great stuff and fun ways to display stationery and books and great little gift items. I really admire their generous commitment to produce beautiful stationery themselves and also to support so many other indie lines. This is the kind of store we all dream about finding as we wander around the pretty streets of the village - its a wonderful hidden treasure on Christopher St between Waverly Place and 7th Ave. You must go. You will walk away wanting to have your very own stationery store - I guarantee it!

No stationery store is complete without an army of bobble headed bunnies and German shepherds to take care of things!
Greenwich Letterpress also have a fun blog. You can keep track of what they are up to - new designs in the shop and upcoming events - I've just added it to my blog roll. They also have an Etsy shop - right here.

Greenwich Letterpress
That last post got a bit long so I thought I would add these below. These are their Hudson Valley animal cards that I really like. So fun! I wish I had bought some at the store, I was just so busy chatting and looking around(plus we were almost late for our reservations at Babbo) so I think I will order them online at the Greenwich Letterpress Etsy store.

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