Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

“you’re just a regular imelda marcos,” they’d say, referring to my burgeoning love of footwear. i still remember my first pair of high heels, a fantastically ugly pair of pink mary janes with platforms that contained what looked like pastel pink marshmallows that i wore to my older sister’s bat mitzvah.

so uh some shoes i am currently considering are the ever-prevalent toms, a company that, for every pair of shoes you buy, donates a pair to a child in need.

these are the toms i want the most


the cheapest shoes are $44, cheap if you consider the fact that you’re really buying two pairs. the cordones pictured above are $69, and there are a couple styles even pricier. then again, the whole world is not as stingy as i, and nothing is too expensive if it’s for a good cause and barefoot children and stuff.


even more out of my recent-unemployed-graduate price range are these fabulous boots from irregular choice. i wholeheartedly encourage you to buy them for me, size 7.


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shop shop shop, friends, and then shop some more.


[ stefanie ]

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If you are over 21 & have had your first home away from home, you’ve spent entirely too much time (but arguably not that much money) in the maze-like monstrosity that is Ikea.  Now that it’s 2010, I invite you to try their Japanese fraternal twin: MUJI.

I had never even heard of MUJI until it came up at work as a place to buy cheap, anonymous (read: customizable) yet design-conscious office supplies.  My Italian mind thought it was spelled Muggi. Dumb.

You can get all sorts of weird random things in a really small space;  in other words, it doesn’t take 1 hour to get in & 1 hour to get out.  Seat cushions, build-your-own-pens (really awesome actually), underwear, wooden city skyline block sets, furniture, and picture frames all manage to coexist very peacefully.

case in point: harmonious coexistance

On their website, shopping is called “Playing” and each product shot, if you hover/sit with it for a while (stop scrolling!) starts to animate itself like that painting in the Witches with the girl feeding the ducks.* Or I suppose for you Harry Potterheads, like the portraits.

Unfortunately a quick scan of the clothing section did not turn up their fabulous bat-sleeve (I admit, I am obsessed with the silhouette) simple cotton shirts, perfect for spring in robin’s-egg heathery blue.

Here is their manifesto (yes, manifesto– in the 21st century, only brands have manifestos, and yes, Virginia, MUJI is in fact a brand),  entitled “The Future of Muji”:

MUJI is not a brand. MUJI does not make products of individuality or fashion, nor does MUJI reflect the popularity of its name in its prices.  MUJI creates products with a view toward global consumption of the future.  This means that we do not create products that lure customers into believing that “this is best” or “I must have this.” We would like our customers to feel the rational sense of satisfaction that comes not with “this is best,” but with “this is enough.”  “Best” becomes “enough.”

Wait, what?!  MUJI is telling us to settle for mediocrity?  Keep reading.

“There are degrees of ‘enough,’ however.  MUJI aims to raise the standard of ‘enough’ to the greatest extent possible.  ‘Best’ contains a faint amount of egoism and disharmony, but in ‘enough’ we sense restraint and compromise.  On the other hand, ‘enough’ might contain a sense of resignation and a slight amount of dissatisfaction.  So by raising the bar of what denotes ‘enough,’ we cast away that resignation and slight dissatisfaction; we create a new dimension of ‘enough’ to attain a clear and heart-felt ‘This is enough.’  That is MUJI’s vision.  To that end, MUJI continually revamps as many as 7,500 items as we deliver new MUJI quality.”

OK, whoever wrote this was clearly in some sweet spot that I have never been.  I want to like manifestos, it’s in my nature, but I’d give this manifesto a gold brown star (b.s.)  The photography on their page is pretty stunning, so the b.s.  could be upgraded to one of those red shiny ones.

So, MUJI… 10 points for small space with huge range of products, 15 points for breezy, adaptable minimalist design,  -15 for brand manifesto that claims MUJI is not a brand, 5 of those redeemed because at least they didn’t claim it was “a lifestyle”

Any of you frequent MUJI?  What do you buy there?


*If you got that reference, big gold star for you!

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Good morning, New Yorkers! It’s a beautiful day.

cloudy with a chance of meatballs
sunny with highs in the 60s!

Why not take advantage of the suggestively springlike breezes to go outside and do some grocery shopping?

if you don’t look, you might miss it

May I recommend Tedone Latticini at 597 Metropolitan Ave in historic Williamsburg (…Brooklyn)?  I had first seen this store window back in May while watching One in 8 Million, nytimes’ audio-visual series on random New Yorkers (e.g. “The Urban Taxidermist”).  “The Mozzarella Maker” is Georgiana DePalma, a 90-something-year-old who still makes mozzarella, manning the counter at Tedone on Saturdays:

If I didn’t have my own independence, that would be putting me in a coffin.

One afternoon this January I almost walked right on by that storefront, until a vision of the stunning photograph of Georgiana sitting behind the counter said to me:  Hold on.  This is Georgia’s place.  Without searching for it, I found it, and there was Georgia right in front of me, greeting the steady flow of  neighborhood patrons.  Everyone calls her Georgie– Jawrrr-jeeee— pronounced like the cleaning lady George was screwing in The Red Dot/cashmere episode.

Before heading out for your own mozzarella balls (or a fine eggplant/mozzarella/prosciutto sandwich), watch “The Mozzarella Maker” for its stunning black and white photographs and to hear DePalma’s transporting voice.  Afterwards, there’s no way you can miss Tedone and its very special lady behind the counter.


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at diane’s behest, i am back. hi

here are some things that have been going on lately:

i decided to be a vegan, sort of, and yesterday made the most delicious quinoa with chick peas and zucchini, oh boy it was yummy and easy and the whole house smelled like cumin and turmeric afterward, which was even better. very highly recommended.

i bought a romper yesterday. my dreams are finally realized. this one is strapless and not at all hard to pee in, which has always been a onesie issue for me in the past. currently i am in the process of searching target.com for a link to their onesie department. i got mine in the store but there were like five or six other styles, and although some of them fit super shitty i’m sure you’ll find one to suit your unique onesie needs.

now i’m lost in the baby department. these onesies are too small, although lady gaga would obviously look great in one. down with pants, etc etc.

one of the onesies says “gulp” on it, i’m not sure why, but it looks like a gas station logo, which if you ask me is incorrigible. babies should not be taught dependence on nonrenewable resources at such an early age. even worse are the “similar categories” on the left, which include “attitude tees” and “trendy baby boy”. vom.

Product Image

the problem is, a onesie doesn’t fit into the women’s clothing section’s labels. no one puts onesies in a corner. is it a top? bottom? shorts? weekend wear? dammit.

wait, i think i’ve found it. yes. yes i have. rompers rule, because they can be dressed up (tights + blazer) or down (romper + ballet flats). i like my onesies as shorts, but marc by marc jacobs likes his long:

Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

a long lost friend of mine called me a while ago. if i understood his voicemail correctly, he was walking home with a pizza one day when he looked in a window and saw marc jacobs and so he went inside and gave marc jacobs his pizza. i must make an effort to refriend this friend. he’s the best, and very generous with pizzas.

now i’m trying to find the new animal collective ep, somewhere. i never know how to find music online. the whole process is endlessly frustrating. instead i will go upstairs and put jefferson airplane’s surrealistic pillow on the record player, because ever since i saw a serious man “somebody to love” has been seriously stuck in my head. also, grace slick is the best, always. i wanna be her almost as much as i wanna be karen o, or maybe a little bit more.

i’ll leave you with a link to the selvedge yard, a super rad blog that published old photos and stuff. here is the governor of california in a banana hammock:

Arnold Schwarzenegger with female friend in his prime, 1970s.


[ stefanie ]

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At some point I’ll publish a guide to the best Brooklyn (Ok, probably just Williamsburg) boutiques, but until then, I NEED you to see what I spy from my kitchen window every night (and for which I have developed a platonic love):

Ok, this bag is actually part of a much more fabulous display at the tiny, almost-never-open-for-business Shana Tabor’s In God We Trust boutique on Wythe Ave, near Bedford Ave. (I understand they have other locations that are more accessible.)  The imaginative blurb on the inspiration for the boutique reads: “the spirit of the boy who refused to grow up pervades the warmly lit, inviting space. Here, both men and women can find clothing and accessories that suggest wistful whimsy and Tabor’s belief in ‘uniting the adventure, play, and fantasy of youth with grown-up ensembles that can be taken seriously.'”

Pair that tote with this mini-duffel…

…combine with Standard Finery looks (see previous post) and you are all set for a dandy spring getaway weekend, whether you’re traveling to Nantucket or Never Never Land.  Hurray! Shop here.


Update: I purchased the weekender for my globetrotting brother after weeks of pining.  I hear that they’re made in Portland, Oregon, by a company that specializes in heavy duty canvas wear & tents: indestructible and irrestible!   On my visit, I noticed that if you want the whole set, there are two other smaller bags, including a shaving case + toiletry bag, perfect inserts for the larger carry-alls.

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On a lazy Sunday afternoon, on a mission to find obscure superfoods/raw milk (damn your wimpy dairy section, Urban Rustic!), I wandered into an apothecary at the fabulous Woodley & Bunny salon-cum-beauty-center off the Bedford stop in trendy-to-death Williamsburg.

I proceeded to sniff my way around its exquisite paaarrfum selection and ended up gravitating to a display of overturned glass funnels.

Upon lifting and inhaling, I was taken to another dimension (not THAT dimension).  Or, to say it better, transported to 1828, to Jules Verne’s lapel (bear with me).  At the  time, though, it smelled of the aristocratic Italian waifs I had just partied with the night before in a sprawling Soho loft: smoky, musky, totally luxe, masculine, yet on a woman, irresistibly feminine.  Please, feast your eyes (with a saint’s aureola beaming from it & an otherworldly ‘awe’/’behold’ sound dancing in your ears) on the beyond-Hermes, super luxury, I-didn’t-know-what-perfume-was-until-I-met-you 1828:

I will let the website (soooo J. Peterman!) explain the inspiration for this divine parfum:

“He was born in Nantes, at the beginning of this century of discoveries. The close ocean would take him far away, inspiring him extraordinary adventure novels. Inspired by Jules Verne, the father of litterary science fiction, this eau de parfum for modern globe-trotters, breathes its aromatic Hesperides-like scents, just as a marine breeze over a wild heath. A freshness tinted with sophistication. ”

Where do these insane product manifestoes come from? Why the creatore of the parfums, Gérald Ghislain, the creator, of course, of the entire line, called the Bibliotheque, or library.  Please, read his biography:

“GG wrote his own story with the frantic rhythm of a passionate jack of all trades.  An epicurean, he tastes all of life’s savors, sprinkling his daily life with refined luxury. In love, he gives his all to his projects. Insatiable wonderer, he listens, reads and discovers, drawing inspiration from his trips and encounters. His adventures began in front of an oven. He is still the happy owner of a restaurant and a bar in Paris. Enlightened lover of live arts, he produced Sentires in 2004 , a Flamenco show  touring x the world.  Perfumery is an old dream of his. Following a solid training at ISIPCA, Gérald founded Histoires de Parfums in 1999 and created a collection of twelve rare and delicate perfumes. Fulfilled, he has the firm intention of pursuing the adventure and telling many more Histoires de Parfums.”

Can I meet you?! Can I smell you?!

Oh, and, the Marquis de Sade’s neck smelled of…? “The libertine writer would undoubtedly have enjoyed the audacity of this spiced wooded scent, an invitation to pleasure with its bergamot and Davana Sensualis hints, rounded with patchouli and everlasting flower.”  No wonder he got so many people to do so many, um, amorous activities. I might be tempted too, if he were wearing 1740.


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HOWEVER a fixie that can be converted to a single speed with a simple flip of the back wheel is a wonderful idea. republic bike is a wonderfully colorful company that custom makes bicycles fitting the prior description according to your very own chromatic preferences. they come in three sizes (although those of us under 5′ 5″ are sadly and wistfully out of luck) and are only $344, which really, is not too shabby. darewesay this might be one of the better uses of $344 dollars. buy buy buy.



[ stefanie ]

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