Sunday, November 30, 2008

luxurious weekend

For us it started on Wednesday, when b and I took the ferry to Ellis Island. The boats leave from Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan, and stop at both Liberty and Ellis Islands. We didn't leave early enough in the day to get off at both, but enjoyed the visit nonetheless. Ellis Esland closed operation as an immigration center in the mid 50's and laid vacant for thirty years. Since its restoration in the mid 80's the main building has been turned into a museum. Most people probably think of looking up their ancestors while visiting, but the same service is offered online. We used our time to see the various rooms and exhibits that have been set up, as the site is run by the National Park Service. On the main floor is a set of large 3-d displays, including graphical representations of immigration data, a tree which gives the ethnic origin of many common American expressions, ("jazz" and "tote" are African, while "gungo ho" is Chinese) and a large American flag which changes into a grid of portraits of Americans of various ethnicities as you walk by it.

On the second floor is the huge registration room, commonly seen in photographs showing large numbers of immigrants waiting to be processed. Off the main room are several large galleries containing things such as possessions people brought with them from their home countries, scale models and maps of the island throughout the years, and displays on the immigrants' experience as they spread out and set up homes and business in various parts of the country.

Probably the most interesting part of the museum is the third floor, contained in rooms off a balcony that overlooks the second floor, running the perimeter of the room below. On it are the various offices the immigrants had to visit, such as rooms where they were tested for physical and mental health, a court where hearings occurred, a food concession, and a money exchange.

Hungry and cold after spending several hours outside and on the boat (but nothing compared to those who traveled from Europe around the turn of the century!) we headed up to Chinatown for Korean food. We've come to love Li Hua, whose food is as good as (if not better than) our former favorite Kun Jip on 32nd street. I've been eating at Kun Jip for almost five years, and I'm afraid the place is becoming a victim of its own success. Meaning that it's so crowded most of the time, it's hard to relax and enjoy your food. Li Hua is light and airy, plays mellow dance-mix music, and is seldom crowded. After comparing bills I also realized that Li Hua is less expensive. And they serve the best green tea ice cream, which is extremely dark and dense.

We woke up early Thursday and went to the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. Not something I'd think of doing, but b thought it might be fun. And it was. But again, the getting up early thing. You won't get a sidewalk view unless you're there at maybe 5:30 am. So we watched from atop playground equipment in Central Park. b really wanted to see giant balloon Underdog, but all we got was Hello Kitty and Shrek. The marching bands were fantastic, and some of the floats pretty cool. A sidewalk view would have been way better. After standing in the same place for over two hours, we got pretty cold and headed to midtown- to Kun Jip! We were seated before 11:30 am, and a line formed as we were eating. After lunch we went home and crashed, showered, then headed back! to Columbus Circle to have Thanksgiving dinner at the home of my friend Bobbi's sister. Six of us had a cozy dinner in their tiny one-bedroom apartment. They are moving soon, and I tried my best Brooklyn sell. Their four brokers be damned! They've only been in nyc a year, and think that Manhattan is IT. So not it, unless you're a gajillionaire.

Finally hitting the sack at 4:00 am, we slept late on Friday. b had mentioned checking out the Black Friday scene, to get an idea of how people are shopping or not. Upon t's (bobbi's brother in law) suggestion, we had lunch at Shake Shack on an "off" day. Located in Madison Square Park, the place is known for its two hour-long lines. No lines for us, although a little bit chilly eating in the park. The place lived up to its reputation for yummy gourmet fast food. I had the "shroom burger," which was a deep-fried mass of oozing cheeses with a portobello mushroom in there somewhere. Their crinkle cut fries are nice and crispy and the thick ice cream shake thingy b got (a "concrete") was super yum. Then I had the song "Love Shack" in my head the rest of the day.

We walked over to Kiehls to pick up some moisturizer and shampoo, then took the train to 59th (again!) to hang out in the warmth of the upscale mall inside the Time Warner towers. Sufficiently warm and having our fill of "crap you don't need stores," we walked east on 57th Street. We found Lee's Art Supply, and I was able to pick up some of the magnets I've been looking for. Then over to Bergdorf Goodman, (it's all research) exploring all seven floors of designer goodness. Finally, we made out way to FAO Schwartz. I wanted to buy a Rubik's Cube, but b explained that there's something cooler out on the market. as if! Okay, so I held off on getting one. They were playing on the giant piano, but it was too crowded to see. this why I usually avoid the typical tourist destinations?

Yesterday was my assistant f's wedding reception, an afternoon event at Antarctica in the West Village. What a great party. Great food, great jazz band, and I got to see all my peeps. f and I used to work together at a dance center, and she's a lot more social than I am, so I got to catch up with a lot of old friends. Come to think of it I caught them up on her a bit too!

So that's it, our long, leisurely weekend. Today we stayed in and I got to play with magnets. It's going to be a busy few weeks ahead!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

black friday sale

woo hoo- come on over to this friday for one-day only deals!

Friday, November 21, 2008


I'm so happy to announce subtErraneAn, a holiday gift bazaar that I'm organizing with melanie of ai ai gasa fame. we've got a great lineup of local clothing and jewelry designers, the event is free, and snackies will be provided. come join us in cobble hill!
oh, and click on the image for a larger view.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

upcycled packaging

I came across these photos I had shot over the summer. I made these paper bags for my jewelry out of magazine pages. I shot the pics before the finishing touch- they have on them, imprinted with my mom's manual typewriter. I've started including them with my wholesale orders.

eco friendly find at modish

ooh, what a nice post about my work, over at modish today.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

night rider

when b gets in work/ideas/programming mode, he tends to get up in the middle of the night, sometimes a few times a night. or stay up late, go to sleep a few hours later, then wake up again and do some more work. last night I fell asleep at 1am, with the lights still on. b was up working in bed. at around 2:30 a.m. I was dreaming something that made me laugh out loud, and I woke myself up. it was sort of a dorky, beavis and butthead type of laugh. b leaned over and asked me what was so funny. it startled me, and i asked him if I was laughing out loud. I got embarassed, then got up and headed to the bathroom. then I fell right back to sleep. today I asked him why he leaned all the way in to my face. he said he hadn't- that he leaned forward a little bit. the whole thing was so distorted. I then told him that the thing that I was laughing about was Night Rider. he said oh, that would make anyone laugh.

I just watched a "garfield and friends" episode where garfield steals a whole pizza from john, and then he has a nightmare where he eats and eats and grows so big that he climbs a skyscraper like king kong and eats an airplane, later to be abducted by a spaceship that wants to feed its whole planet on garfield. that's how I feel right now. I fell asleep with a slight headache, and overnight it turned into a dull sinus headache, and I kept tossing and turning. I slept late, then finally made a cup of coffee. deciding that I needed to eat healthier, I juiced a whole bunch of farmer's market carrots, two apples, two tangerines, and a slab of ginger. I divided it into two glasses, but b hardly drank any. so I drank most of his. now I was hungry, so I heated up some leftover chinese food. that really didn't satisfy me, so I cooked a frozen quiche in the oven. yeah, now I feel sick.

p.s. I almost left out the part about the bufferin.

Friday, November 14, 2008

go see

•william eggleston at the whitney.
•calder- the paris years, also at the whitney.
• liza lou at L&M arts.

Monday, November 10, 2008

star struck

this morning I dreamt that Matt Dillon owned a bed & breakfast next door to our apartment, and he was our friend. we went outside and got caught in the rain. I made myself a poncho out of newspaper, but I needed a rain hat. we went into Matt's b&b and went to sleep. when we woke up, we were in a big, puffy bed and Matt Dillon was meticulously arranging things. we were in his home, and it was all decked out in Western Americana. I started picking things up and looking at them. I had two of his belts fastened together and I was going to wear it. only I couldn't figure out how to put it on, and I thought I might be getting on Matt's nerves. Little beads were falling off the belts. I started putting them into plastic bags. when he looked over, I explained that I am a jewelry maker, and I would take his belts home and fix them. only more and more beads were falling off and b and I were all over the carpet, looking for them. then i started picking things up off the floor that weren't beads- they were part of small arrangements that belonged there. so I put them back. we were feeling increasingly uncomfortable.

this afternoon we went for a walk through red hook, then up through cobble hill until we got to court st. we had dinner at a thai restaurant, then picked up some groceries at trader joe's. walking up court towards our bus, we noticed a crowd of people gathered and seated in chairs inside the barnes and noble. "oh, who's reading?" I said. as we approached the end of the store, where a table was set up and the seats were facing, we saw a tiny woman standing on two boxes, so she could be seen by the crowd. it was DOCTOR RUTH!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

it's alive

the new site is up and running!

lots of new items, new design, and wholesale ordering for retailers. whoo, it's been many months in the works. hope you like it!

ooh ooh

we're updating the website RIGHT NOW. please bear with us.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

feeling all activist-ey

•If you live in the 10th Congressional District in NY as I do, you can still write in Kevin Powell for Congress. He might not have won the Democratic primary, but there's no reason not to support him. The way I look at it, Kevin Powell is like the Barack Obama of Brooklyn. He's fresh, young, smart, upbeat, and has a whole lot of common sense. Incumbent Edolphus Townes has been in office far too long, taking advantage of his status as democrat to guarantee votes. Read here to find out about Kevin Powell's platform.

•Why I love my phone company: You might remember Working Assets from the 1980's- the socially, politically, and environmentally conscious phone company. They're now called Credo and they offer both long distance and mobile service. As a member, Credo donates 1% of your bill to a group of progressive non-profits that the members vote on each year. Each month's bill is sort of like a newsletter, and includes information on important Congressional votes, giving contact information for your particular Senator or Rep. There is also a reading list, and books can be ordered for 10% off retail. This morning I received a text alert from Credo, encouraging members to spread the word to vote, and that all domestic calls are on them today.

•As I said in the post below, I always feel guilty having to throw away non-recyclable plastic packaging. So I was psyched to find eco-dent dental floss at whole foods, which uses paper packaging.

•While shopping at Target, I picked up a couple of burt's bees products. I have to say that I dismissed this brand for a while, thinking it was too "hippie." honestly, I don't know what I was thinking, being a die-hard dr. bronner's fan. I purchased the citrus facial scrub and the pomegranate and soy conditioner, and I am very pleased. The scrub is nice and scrubby, while also being moisturizing. And it comes in a resuable/recyclable glass container with a metal lid. also, Target sells Burt's Bee's products at a slight discount.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


a few months back, we splurged on a bisley cabinet for my jewelry supplies. this was a real treat, since I had always furnished my apartment with a combination of cheap ikea items and things I found on the sidewalk. but when it came time to divide up the drawers, I realized that buying the bisley dividers was going to cost as much as the cabinet itself. so I filled it with as many containers as I already had, and then set out to find some more.

I had always felt guilty about throwing away tofu containers. the city of new york only takes narrow-necked #1 and #2 plastic for recycling. soon, the tofu containers started looking attractive. I simply cut the tops off of them with scizzors, and they fit perfectly into the cabinet. the one in the bottom right is a hershey's cocoa container that I also lopped the top off of. know the red idea cabinet I posted about? kate saw my post and realized that her friend was getting rid of one like it. she offered it to me for less than half price, and it looks great alongside the bisley.