We first met the women of Sometimes Shop at their first ever pop-up this summer in Greenpoint. We were lured in by Alpaca shaped plant holders, melancholy figurines of ladies lounging in stripes, florals and two pieces, and colorful illustrations that adorned the interior of the space. Self - proclaimed knitting prodigy Gina Rockenwagner’s cozy, color infused quilts were a perfect touch of textile alongside fauna hanging in her hand made macrame plant holders. Kaye Blegvad had us swooning over her little lady (and cat!) head planters. Everyone home needs one.
Skillful of illustrations and surface patterns, Leah Goren, wove these ladies talents together to help produce one big happy shop for all. We love that the pieces in the store are feminine and strong without being overly girly. There is always a compelling aspect of the unexpected in their works. We were lead to these ladies creations through Leah’s illustrations by means of Instagram and internet admiration. When we heard about the pop-up shop, were so happy to actually visit with the girls and see their projects in person.
Meeting serendipitously at Parson’s, Leah and Monica Ramos (lady behind the band of Alpacas and beautiful editorial illustrations) decided to get a studio together after graduation. Gina and fellow artists/makers Rachel Levitt (twin figurines and face wall hangings) and Masuko Jo (illustrator) also contributes work to the space part time. Most of the artists current work seems to have slowly developed from a process of trial and error, and largely in part to their interest in drawing. At Parson’s, Kaye was enrolled in a ceramics class and both Leah and Monica also found a curiosity in the craft. Not limited to ceramics, the girls find the 3 dimensional art form as an extension of their illustrations. Emphasizing their purpose in design, the sculptures and figurative objects that evolve from their work are different than many traditional ceramists we see these days. We enjoy the whimsical, decorative and design aspect of this groups work. You can find Leah’s surface patterns in Gina’s new patchwork quilts and pillows and love that the girls collaborate on Sad Girls, a zine about girls who make things and have a lot of feelings.
It’s really amazing to see friends being able to work together to produce creative projects that we can all enjoy. Make sure to visit all their individual sites for each artists work, also look out for what’s sure to be an amazing fall & holiday pop-up from the Sometimes girls later this year.
xxJenna and Nicole
Searching for the ultimate Father’s Day gift can be challenging. If your dad is like ours, he thinks a thoughtful card is just fine but we know you want to get him something special. That’s why we love Men In Cities, thought and care goes into every detail of the affordable and accessible accessories line for men. Just browsing through the pieces we found something for all the men in our lives (not to mention some things we would keep for ourselves!).
Built on a passion for detail and designed in New York City, Men In Cities releases a new collection every month of specially curated products that fit into a modern man’s life. Founder and designer, Yuvi Alpert, started the line with idea of allowing men to shop easily without distractions. Living in Soho, he found it difficult to sift through stores to find well designed men’s accessories, especially at an accessible price point. Men In Cities was created to simplify the shopping experience for men. The site allows todays man to easily browse carefully selected, interesting and creative accessories that are redesigned and updated each month. The evolving collection is a great way for men to differentiate themselves and create a style that stands out. The items ship for free, which is an effortless way to sample the collections in the comfort of your home and keep what you like. Yuvi emphasises, the focus is in making the product itself and the discovery of finding cool men’s accessories. His biggest source of inspiration for the brand is travel and the need to explore.
Some of our favorite pieces and our picks for dad (hint, hint) are from the current Paradox collection. We love the Nomad travel bag in army green for summer weekend getaways. It’s lightweight, portable and fits all your essentials. The Global Nomad Passport Holder is also a no-brainer for your globe trotting pops. Only $30, the holders came in a series of beautiful soft leathers in shades of brown, blue and greys that look perfectly worn to match your passport. We also love the little details on men’s socks inspired by Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan music moments.
Some personal touches from Yuvi himself that we are loving are his Orca whale socks, beautiful Italian yarn eyeglass holder and his go–to Men In Cities jump rope. For Father’s Day this Sunday, your man’s birthday or just too add a little inspiring detail to the important men in your life, make sure to keep up with Men In Cities monthly inventory.
Men In Cities are holding open studios Fridays this summer, 180 Lafayette Street, 7th Floor.
Strolling down a residential street in Cobble Hill you might run into the sweetest storefront that is home to Poppy’s Catering. We were greeted by Poppy’s founder and owner, Jamie Schmones, who was kind enough to share her inspiration and story behind her exceptional catering service.
The road to catering and private events seemed like a sincerely natural progression for Jamie. Always working in restaurants as either a hostess then moving into marketing and private events she has cultivated a profound knowledge of the food and hospitality industry. She was fortunate enough to hold positions where she was able to gain experience in entrepreneurial settings where she often found herself accepting challenges to learn and grow from within. Not one to miss an opportunity, Jamie found herself in a position to open her own business within walking distance of her home. “The space choose me,” Jamie mentioned. She had been eyeing the spot for some time, with retails business quickly coming and going. When she heard it was available once again she claimed the space as her own and Poppy’s was brought to the neighborhood.
With such a charming location, presence and product - Poppy’s has quickly developed into a premiere catering choice for photo shoots, corporate & small events, baby showers and everything in between, working with clients such as J.Crew, Gilt and Coach. We absolutely love the menu options as their executive chef, Sharone Yaron is heavy influenced by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors (We could live on this palette!). The dishes extraordinary presentation will leave your guests, crew and staff wanting more and snapping Insta pics of everything. The menu changes daily and seasonally. The Poppy’s crew is very sensitive to dietary restrictions and food allergies. They are small enough to be able to give each event individual attention and create a menu that is sure to impress. Our favorite thing about visiting Poppy’s and meeting with Jamie is getting to see how sweet, talented and hard-working of an operation she is conducting. We cannot recommend them enough but please check them out for yourself, you will surely leave a mark with your next catered event!
Poppy’s Catering is located at 243 Degraw Street in the neighborhood of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Everyone has a different path into nail art. For Eda Levenson of Lady Fancy Nails, she was first brushed with the skill working as a youth counselor in Berkeley, California. She noticed a student of hers was practicing the art during school hours. She was drawn to the designs and learned from the girls firsthand. From there Eda traveled to Boston for graduate school where she received her Master’s in Education while running a quick nail stop from her dorm room to help finance her through school.
After moving to New York, friends playfully referred to Eda as Lady Fancy and the name kind of stuck. What makes Lady Fancy Nails stand out to us is her intricate attention to detail. As an artist, she pulls inspiration from her surroundings, living in the city - a pattern in the sidewalk, a window pane, textiles, prints & patterns, runway look or some seasonally pulled fruit in our case ;). Her aesthetic is strong, bold and not afraid to catch someone’s eye. We love that Eda does nails for women; she emphasizes the empowerment and happiness women feel after getting their nails painted. It’s true, it’s something we 100% agree with. Somehow having your nails done makes you feel polished (no pun intended), sophisticated and pulled together. With her background in counseling, the intimate conversation that happens when getting a manicure is one of Lady Fancy’s favorite parts of the job. She is able to create a safe atmosphere, where she develops relationships with her clients and they leave with a positive message through their nail art.
Eda was gracious enough to do a little art inspired by seasonal fruit we hand-picked for our shoot. She was quickly drawn to the texture, color and shape of the mango and our friend Alix (who has the most incredible ring collection) was the most lovely hand model for the day. Are you looking for some nail art in your life? Your answer should be yes and we have great news for you, Lady Fancy Nails will be at our spring pop-up this Saturday from 1-6pm. It’s by appointment only so please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot. Jenna and I are so excited to see all the gorgeous designs that are created, #LCPopup if you participate! Hope to see you all Saturday!!
Jenna and Nicole
One of our favorite things about doing a blog, is collaborating with all the super talented creatives in our community. Last Wednesday, Jenna and I had the pleasure of producing a special dinner experience with husband wife team, Peter and Morgan, of Calva dinner series. Calva is an underground dining experience that offers guests the most pleasant hybrid between having a meal at old friend’s home and making the trip to that new restaurant you’ve been dying to try. Six courses are served throughout the dinner starting with a beet tartare garnished with radish, parsley and caperberries, moving through main dishes such as a rich duck confit salad, with fresh cucumber, and parmesan crisp. A flavorful seabass soubise with duck fat chips, tender filet mignon and not one but two satisfying sweet options for dessert. A sakura green tea mousse, with basil, blackberry and almond cookie and chocolate cake in rosewater topped with pink peppercorn.
The most magical parts for us, was seeing everyone come together and share the experience at the extended, gorgeous table setting. We invited Anthony D’Argenzio of Zio and Sons, a prop stylist and consultant, to help set the tone for the night. He sourced beautiful blue dishware, flower vessels by Frances Palmer and final touches that brought the entire evening together. We had the great pleasure of working with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers, for the amazing centerpiece and floral additions that our guests admired throughout their meal. The unique overgrowth, romantic feel of Lisa’s arrangements stand out from a crowd, we love her use of texture, layering and space - there is always something that feelsl romantically tragic and we can’t get enough. Most importantly, we couldn’t have asked for a better turnout, our guests were truly wonderful and we hope they had as much fun as we did hosting.
If interested in enjoying the Calva experience for yourself, Peter and Morgan will be hosting dinner’s in their Williamsburg storefront home most Mondays and Fridays this spring. If you have a moment (or are in need of styling advice or flowers pronto) make sure to spend a moment on Zio and Sons and James’s Daughter Flowers sites as well. These are some truly talented people living around us, we are so happy to have the opportunity to put these kind of things together. Looking forward to sharing our next venture with you all!
Jenna and Nicole
As Jenna and I entered the Brooklyn home of tapestry weaver Maryanne Moodie, we soon realized we would be in for a treat . Wall hangings from herself and gifts from friends in her circle of weavers adorn her spacious, mid-century inspired home. Sun floods into each room of her beautiful apartment, setting the bright and lively tone of the day’s conversation.
Maryanne began her interest in making as an art teacher in Australia. Wanting her own creative outlet, Maryanne knew that she wanted to craft beautiful hand-built gifts to share with people similar to the cherished creations she has received. She attempted ceramics, knitting, crochet, even took up basket weaving - foraging from sections of the bush for twigs & sticks to use. Nothing seemed to stick. While perusing Pinterest, as we all do, she began noticing some “knitty arty type things” but couldn’t find much further information on them. After pinning a few onto her boards, she was asked to clean out her school’s art closet in preparations for a move to a new building. A small box stuffed at the back of the closet called to her; inside was a tiny little loom and simple instructions. She quietly threw the loom into her car and the rest is history! (Well, maybe there was a little bit more to the story). With a newly acquired loom and focus to learn a craft, Maryanne began weaving small pieces that would eventually grow into the tapestries we love today. And with works inspired by textile artist Nick Cave, found objects, house doilies, bright colors and sequins, it’s hard not to want a piece for every room of your apartment.
We found Maryanne through her Instagram account where she carefully styles and arranges her lovely creations through her home; appropriately, this is also where she found a community of women with similar interests who helped guide her through the weaving process. Her kind spirit and willingness to help people learn is what we love about Maryanne and her work. She is all about giving back through her craft as well as creating wonderfully intricate and detailed pieces. To avoid the learning hiccups that she went through, she thoughtfully has sourced the perfect size, sustainable starter loom from a couple in Australia and put together a simple kit complete with thread, yarn and needle to give beginners a better start at producing their own works. Maryanne also has upcoming classes in May, as information for beginning weavers can be difficult to gather. For more information on Maryanne and her tapestries, visit her website. All of her current pieces are commissioned but she is beginning to sell small collections in a few stores across the U.S including Forage in Minnesota and online store Straw & Gold in Brooklyn.
On the hunt for vintage furniture and can’t seem to nail down the right price, detail and design? Jenna and I might have stumbled onto the place for you. The shop is Adaptations, an unconventional vintage furniture boutique specializing in Mid Century, Industrial and Farmhouse Decor. Owners Kyla and her husband Craig, invited us to learn more about their hidden treasures in their 67 West space.
Kyla, originally from Texas, has collecting unique, one of a kind pieces in her genes. Her grandmother owned a vintage shop in a Southern antique mall and insisted Kyla join her on her trips to seek out new finds. It was only natural Kyla became interested in crafting and collecting furniture, home goods and finding affordable ways to renovate her home. Initially Kyla began furnishing her finds in her own home, but with the encouragement of friends and her husband who saw she clearly had an eye for vintage furniture and decor, began selling on Craigslist. So she sold everything, emptied her apartment, and began her business about 2 years ago. They have currently called their Greenpoint space home for the past year.
Of course, we wanted to know all of her secrets and where she finds such quality vintage in great condition. Kyla and her husband both agreed that is always small towns, hidden houses, places that you would never expect you are going to fall in love. Lighting and drinking glasses of all sorts, are always on Kyla’s radar during buying trips, she enjoys collecting pretty accents for your home and loves when a good story comes along with a new piece. Apparently the mirrored ice bucket I bought belonged to an ex-MOB wife from New Jersey who was very into fur coats, mirrored walls, mirrored furniture and expansive white shiny floors! From the exterior, it was only a small, traditional ranch style home and would have never known about the treasures inside.
It’s really exciting investing in pieces that have a story we can share. There is much more for you to discover at Adaptations and you can bring home a piece of the store with you. Kyla and Craig are so knowledgeable on interiors, design and their inventory, and are so helpful in any answering questions you may have. Best part of all, they will make Greenpoint deliveries for FREE!! Yes, they bring the amazing piece of furniture you bought home for you. Yes, all the way up the stairs and into your apartment. We are telling you, they are the sweetest!
Visit Adaptations, Saturday from 2-5pm and they do take requests for private appointments. Adaptations is located at 67 West Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
xo Jenna and Nicole
With a name like Nights & Weekends, you ought to know they are open for brunch too.
Your favorite neighborhood hangout now welcomes you to brunch and dinner service 7 days a week with a revamped menu by chef Nick Korbee, formerly of Smith & Mills in Tribeca. Nick and GM, Diana Donohue, were nice enough to share some new plates with us while we learned about the inspiration behind the dishes.
Pulling from ideas of travel to the Caribbean, Nick was eager to learn about traditional plates from Trinidad, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Rather than flipping through endless cookbooks he turned to travel writing and old National Geographics to really get a sense of the culture and food from these faraway places. Incorporating those concepts into the tropical straight off the beach feel of Nights & Weekends was easy, with their breezy open space, huge windows and perfect location at the meeting point of Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
At the end of last November while gearing up for the transition into being open a full 7 days, it was decided the menu needed a refresher. Nick decided to slim down the offerings, making them more approachable and simply remove what wasn’t working. Nick explained he wanted the food to be authentic but not in the sense that it would be exactly what you would find on these caribbean islands. He sought out traditional, unique dishes served in Caribbean countries and gave them a modern update, with the idea in mind to forget you are in Brooklyn after taking a bite.
We love the specifically themed menu and were excited to dig into our dishes. We ordered the Cast Iron Baked Eggs, a mixture of stewed black beans, caramelized plantain, sliced piquillo peppers, and two eggs. The dish is garnished with pickled red onion, crema, queso fresco, and the addition of either roasted pork or skirt steak rounds the dish out for a hearty brunch. The Cuban Sandwich, a staple, came on a pressed Portuguese roll spread with mojo aioli, and Dijon mustard. The sandwich consists of pork shoulder (cooked for 10 hours!) thinly sliced honey glazed ham, melted swiss cheese and house made spicy pickled cucumbers. If that wasn’t enough food yet, we decided to share the Avocado Toast on multigrain bread made by Pain d’Avignon, topped with mashed avocado and garnished with citrus salt, chili pepper, and drizzled with olive oil. Of course we couldn’t leave without trying something sweet so we finished off our meal with the French Toast on special, rich with guava butter and covered with kumquats.
Nights and Weekends lovely lady bartender on duty, Tracey kept the drinks flowing with classic frozen margaritas, Bloody Maria’s and two new specials off the brunch cocktail list, the Beach Dad (conveniently named after a particular staff member who loves savoring his summer days at the shore) and the Federali, made with fresh daily coffee infused tequila.
After reading this and you decide you need to have brunch at Nights & Weekends this week, don’t forget to cover your food in their homemade hot sauce (liquid death) and have some small batch locally brewed Parlor Coffee. If that isn’t motivation enough then we have a $50 gift certificate to give away to a lucky neighborhood brunch goer! Just go to our facebook page to share our Nights & Weekends post and tell us what you love most about brunch. One lucky person who shares will win!! We can’t wait to read your notes!
Nights and Weekends is located at 1 Bedford Avenue, in the neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
xo Nicole and Jenna
It’s Valentine’s Day, let’s hope your sweetheart remembered all the little things this year. If not, it’s okay because there are plenty of other days in the year to show someone how much you care, but sometimes its fun to indulge in the Valentine’s Day fun. WIth all the sweet pop-up markets, local florists, chocolatiers and wine shops in our neighborhood make sure to support local business and treat you and your honey to a lovely day.
xo Jenna and Nicole