Category Archives: Store

8 ’till late: Grocery Store Art Installation

You walk into your local corner store with all your favorite products on the shelves.  But when you reach for that box of Ritz crackers, it’s soft to the touch…and made of felt.  This is what British felt artist Lucy Sparrow’s debut US exhibition 8 ’till late:  A Felt Convenience Store is like.

Situated in a storefront on Little West 12th Street behind the Biergarten at the Standard Hotel near the High Line, it looks like your neighborhood bodega with everything you could possibly need from fruits and veggies

to frozen pies and ice cream.

But here, it’s all recreated in felt.

You can even get a felt Coca-Cola from a felt Coke machine.

Mmm…pupusas…my new favorite food…

In the back room, the felt pieces are displayed as art, with an Andy Warhol-like depiction of Campell’s Soup.

The items may not be edible but you can purchase them.  Prices are a bit steep, but I couldn’t resist taking home this package of one of my favorite childhood candies, Skittles.

This exhibition has been here since June 5 and will be ending next Friday, June 30, so get there while you can.  There may be a line but it went quickly when we visited.  The exhibit is free to attend, but the felt pieces are for purchase and prices vary.

 

Neighborhood Watch: Arthur Avenue in the Bronx

2013-07-12_14-00-53_343

Arthur Avenue, the Little Italy of the Bronx, is the only real Italian neighborhood left in NYC.  If you’re looking for an authentic Italian American experience, this is the place to be.  However, it’s not so easy to get to.  It’s a long, hilly walk from the subway.  Or if you take a cab, the cab driver will not know where it is.  I know cab drivers are supposed to know where to go in the boroughs, but they don’t, especially in the Bronx and Queens and sometimes, Brooklyn.  I suggest you have directions or your phone GPS on hand to assist the driver.

2013-07-12_13-39-25_839

The main strip is Arthur Avenue from East 184th Street to East 187th Street.  On East 187th Street, there’s Artuso’s Pastry, the home of the famous Pope cookies.  In case you are looking for them, the Pope cookies were made for Pope Benedict’s visit to New York and his recent resignation, but they do not have Pope cookies now.

Visit Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

2013-07-12_14-11-11_90

Walk west to Egidio Pastry and admire the case full of beautiful pastries.

2013-07-12_12-20-57_24

The history of the building is evident with its tin ceiling.

2013-07-12_12-25-38_856
Here, we tried a mini cannoli and a mini sfogliatelle. They were both very good, but the sfogliatelle was particularly well crafted with flaky layers.

2013-07-12_12-23-50_604
DeLillo Pastry has outdoor seating and a mighty fine cannoli with creamy ricotta filling.

2013-07-12_12-30-39_73
There are a lot of bakeries on this small strip, so if you are doing a tasting, be prepared to eat a lot or to take some home. I brought my rolling backpack so that I could easily bring things home with me.

In addition to bakeries, there are ravioli/pasta shops, seafood markets, meat markets, cheese shops, pizzerias, Italian restaurants and kitchen stores. At Marie’s, you can get dinnerware and housewares, as well as coffee, from Italy.
2013-07-12_12-37-54_57
OK, vegetarians in the crowd will not want to look at the next photo–the body of a sheep hanging in the window of a meat market.

2013-07-12_12-41-14_827

Teitel Brothers is an Italian grocery store owned by a Jewish family that has been in the neighborhood since 1915.

2013-07-12_12-43-27_501

Now this is something you don’t see anymore–a bread bakery.  Zito’s and Vesuvio’s in the city closed awhile ago.  Thank goodness Addeo’s is still here in the Bronx.

2013-07-12_12-47-40_13

Look at that bread.

2013-07-12_12-47-30_977

At Biancardi’s meat market, you can still get capuzelle, or sheep’s head.

2013-07-12_12-48-28_243

Madonia Bakery has beautiful bread and also fills cannoli to order.

2013-07-12_12-52-52_867

I got some yummy cookies for the road.

2013-07-12_16-00-37_996

In the middle of the block, there’s an indoor market, the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, with a butcher, fish and produce market as well as products from Italy and Arthur Avenue T-shirts and souvenirs.

2013-07-12_12-53-56_194

The butcher here had beef feet.  I’ve never seen these before and am not sure how Italians use them.

2013-07-12_12-54-55_40

If you’re into offal, this is the place to be.  Here’s cotenne, the pig skin I’ve written about, in the rear of this photo.

2013-07-12_12-55-01_94

Brains, anyone?

2013-07-12_12-55-04_518

OK, I definitely share the sentiment with these T-shirts.

2013-07-12_13-06-38_654

Check out Cerini Coffee, a fun store with housewares from Italy.

2013-07-12_13-11-09_418

At Morrone Pastry Shop & Café, I got a rainbow cookie cake slice and a tortoni.  Both were delicious.  (I also bought a rainbow cookie cake for my aunt’s birthday.  I froze it the day I bought it and thawed it a week later.  It was fresh, moist and delicious.)

2013-07-12_13-44-47_215

In case you thought I just had sweets, I did stop for a slice of pizza at Catania’s.

2013-07-12_13-24-58_122

What to Eat:  pastries and bread from Artuso’s, Egidio’s, DeLillo’s, Madonia’s, Addeo’s or Morrone’s; pizza from Catania’s.

Where to Shop:  Marie’s and Cerini’s for kitchen wares; the Arthur Avenue Retail Market for souvenirs, produce and Italian goods; Borgatti’s for ravioli; Randazzo’s for seafood.

What to See:  Columbus statue at East 183rd Street and Arthur Avenue, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on East 187th Street.

Delish is Delish

With all the buzz surrounding the Celebrity Apprentice ice cream created by Trace Adkins and Penn Jillette for the Good & Delish brand at Walgreens, magic swirtle and maple macadamia mash-up, I thought I’d try some other Good & Delish products.  I got them at Duane Reade in Manhattan, but you can find them at Walgreens too.  (If you are looking for the Celebrity Apprentice ice ceams, I saw them this week at Duane Reade.)  Good & Delish products are not your average store brand products.  They are creative treats like these milk chocolate cornflake clusters and this tropical fruit white chocolate bar.

Delish products3
These were delish. The cornflake clusters are kind of like chocolate with crispy rice in it, only the cornflakes are a bit crunchier and almost burst a little like Pop Rocks. I really liked these. The white chocolate had a nice burst of fruit.

I also tried these caramel apple caramels, sea salt caramel granola chips, cinnamon apple chips and dark chocolate with crispy rice puffs.  Guess what? Delish!  My favorite is the sea salt caramel granola chips.  They are addictive.  I also like the dark chocolate with crispy rice.  I’m thinking they would go well on top of vanilla ice cream.

Delish products
My exploration of Good & Delish didn’t stop there. I tried these red velvet caramels and milk chocolate and marshmallow smores. Have to admit, red velvets were not favorites of mine and the smores were just OK.

Delish products1

These blackberry sorbet chocolate bars more than made up for the lackluster former two treats. OMG, these are more than delish.

chocolate sorbet bars

Finally, if you were a fan of raspberry cream Peek Freans, then you’ll like Good & Delish raspberry cream cookies.  I also love the cinnamon granola chips.

Delish products4

So I definitely recommend the Good & Delish products, especially the milk chocolate cornflake clusters, sea salt caramel and cinnamon granola chips, blackberry sorbet bars dipped in chocolate, tropical white chocolate bar and dark Belgian chocolate thins with crispy rice.  Yum!  I mean, delish!

Two for Tuesday: Appliance and Dinnerware Stores

If you are looking for the best in kitchen appliances, Krup’s Kitchen & Bath in Chelsea is the place to go.  If you want something with a retro feel or in a unique color, Krup’s has it.  Look at this adorable 1950s-style refrigerator from Smeg in pink:

refrigerator

How about this adorable oven range from BlueStar in purple:

oven

Fishs Eddy is the quintessential store for dinnerware with its interesting and kitschy designs.  If you’re a NYC fan, there are many local patterns like the New York skyline, the tunnels, the Brooklyn bridge, dog walkers, Brooklyn and more.  I got the Brooklynese set for my mom.

Fishs eddy storefront

They have other designs too like Alice in Wonderland, the New York Times crossword puzzle and this pretty pattern from Lotta Jansdotter that I wrote about before.

creamer and coffee mug

creamer and coffee mug

Fishs Eddy also has a cool collection of vintage dishes dating back to 1903.

vintage fishs eddy

I also like these small trays. I got one that’s a recipe card, but there are others like a parking ticket, a lotto ticket, a restaurant check, a prescription and more.

recipe card

7 Etsy Foodie Shops

I compiled this list of 7 cool shops on Etsy that have food-related goods.

1.  Cutting boards in the shape of your favorite state from AHeirloom.  Yeah, that’s mine.

New York-shaped cutting board from AHeirlooms.  Photo used with permission.

New York-shaped cutting board from AHeirlooms–photo used with permission

2.  AJ Sweetsoaps, my favorite Etsy shop, with soaps that look real enough to eat! Look just as good and a lot less calories!

Banana cream pie soap from AJ Sweetsoaps.  Photo used with permission.

Banana cream pie soap from AJ Sweetsoaps–photo used with permission

3.  Get your grandma’s recipe in her handwriting on a kitchen towel at Small Home Design.

photo used with permission

Grandma’s recipe on a tea towel from SmallHomeDesign–photo used with permission

4.  Custom kitchen canister labels from Kreative Corner.

Custom canister labels from Kreative Corner.  Photo used with permission.

Custom canister labels from Kreative Corner–photo used with permission

5.  Funny pin-up recipe cards from Istria Design.

Pin-up recipe card from Istria Design.  Photo used with permission.

Pin-up recipe card from Istria Design–photo used with permission

6.  Personalized recipe on a bamboo cutting board from Marcellas Engravables.

Custom engraved cutting board from Marcells Engraveables.  Photo used with permission.

Custom engraved cutting board from Marcellas Engravables–photo used with permission

7.  Heidi Schweigert’s illustrations at the redcruiser shop on Etsy–These cards, calendars, prints, tea towels and journals give you an easy way to get your veggies.

Greeting card from redcruiser.  Photo used with permission.

Greeting card from redcruiser–photo used with permission

Review & Giveaway of New York Sweets: A Sugarhound’s Guide to the Best Bakeries, Ice Cream Parlors, Candy Shops, and Other Emporia of Delicious Delights

NewYorkSweets_cover

New York Sweets: A Sugarhound’s Guide to the Best Bakeries, Ice Cream Parlors, Candy Shops, and Other Emporia of Delicious Delights by Susan Meisel, published by Rizzoli on April 2, 2013, is a comprehensive listing of all the places to get your sugar fix in NYC.  Whether you are an ice cream person, a bakery person or a candy person, there is something in this book for you.  Personally, I tend to lean toward ice cream and bakeries.  The book includes some of my faves:  Doughnut Plant, Jacques Torres, Payard, Villabate, L’arte Del Gelato, Sockerbit, Tea & Sympathy, Vosges, Ferrara and Van Leeuwen. This is one of those books I wish I had written!  The book is divided into neighborhoods, so you can do a sweets tour in each NYC ‘hood!  I want to try Puddin’ on St. Mark’s Place–a shop with puddings and toppings.  There’s plenty of eye candy in the hardcover book with color photos of goodies from all the shops listed and recipes for you to try at home.

If you are in New York and have never been, the Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th Street is worth a trip.  I love this store.  Rizzoli has wonderful art and photography books and a great international magazine section.

You can win a copy of this fun book by entering the giveaway.  If you win, Rizzoli will ship you a free copy of New York Sweets: A Sugarhound’s Guide to the Best Bakeries, Ice Cream Parlors, Candy Shops, and Other Emporia of Delicious Delights by Susan Meisel.

To enter the giveaway:

Leave a comment below, answering this question:

What is your favorite sweet shop or bakery?  (It doesn’t have to be in New York).

For additional entries, become a fan on Facebook or sign up for my Tweets on Twitter and let me know you signed up in a separate comment.  One winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, April 12.  Contest closes on Thursday, April 11 at 12 PM EST.  (Rizzoli will ship the book to the winner.  U.S. residents only.)  Winner will be contacted via email, so please be sure to include your email address in the field when you leave your comment (it will not be visible to the public).  Good luck!

Contest is closed.

Union Square Wines & Spirits

Union Square Wines & Spirits recently hosted a wine tasting of NYU alums.  There were some trays of Murray’s cheese (standard at a NYC party) and Italian meats, pates and other finger foods.  The event was for the NYU Women’s Initiative and the wines of the evening were all produced by female-owned wineries.  We were given some info on the wines and the women who make them.  Then the sampling began, from white to red:  Lini 910 NV Labrusca Lambrusco Bianco (Emilia-Romagna, Italy); Shinn Estate Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay (North Fork of Long Island); Heidi Schroeck 2009 Ried Vogelsang (Burgenland, Austria); DeMorgenzon 2011 Garden Vineyards Rose (Stellenbosch, South Africa); Foradori 2009 Teroldego Vignetti delle Dolomiti (Trentino, Italy); Herdade do Esporao 2010 Quatro Castas (Alentejano, Portugal); and Dominio de Atauta 2009 Parada de Atauta (Ribera del Duero, Spain).

My favorite of the evening was the Austrian wine.  It had a crisp, clean taste that appealed to me.  I enjoyed learning about wineries run by women.  This was a perfectly planned event for a women’s group.

In addition to hosting private events, Union Square Wines & Spirits also hosts its own tastings.  Some upcoming ones include vodka, gin and a tapas party.