June 2013

Online shopping hits the streets

kate spade window shop

Who needs stores anymore? Kate Spade turns window shopping into actual shopping. The future is now.

So I’m walking down W 18th street and I see this guy standing in front of a bright yellow storefront rubbing the window like it was some kind of oversized iPad or something.

And when I got a bit closer, I realized that was exactly what he was doing. The entire window had been transformed into a giant display with a 5 foot tall framed area where you can swipe your way to a new wardrobe, pay for it, and have it delivered to your (Manhattan, I’m assuming) location in one hour.

Turns out Kate Spade has partnered up with eBay and put their new capsule collection (called Saturday) up for sale at 4 electronic kiosk/pop-up shops around the city. So from now through 7 July, you can drunkenly stumble down Orchard Street, impulse buy some flowered sunglasses you don’t need, and the $$ will be gone from your bank account in the time it takes to wipe your hand across a window.

Great and kind of big brother/horrible at the same time. The technology is really cool and very attractive, but there is something unsettling about the absolute lack of human contact here. Are stores going to be a thing of the past soon? Like the helpful people at ticket windows in the subway are quickly becoming?

Monday, Monday

Jean-Christian Bourcart weddings

Some pictures are worth considerably more than a thousand words. Photo courtesy Jean-Christian Bourcart via Slate.com.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s wedding season! Check out these brilliantly strange-yet-enchanting wedding photo outtakes on Slate.com.

Evidently, none of us are washing our hands correctly. Here’s how it should be done.

I made this cider braised pork shoulder with caramelized onions for Father’s Day dinner and IT. WAS. AWESOME.

And here’s a beautiful quote about the special kind of bravery it takes to be a father.

I know, I know, Daily Candy can be a little annoying, but this list of books for little kids is filled with gems and well worth checking out.

The iconic Kim France gets fashion inspiration from her 10 year old nephew. I shudder to think what might happen after a few days with my five year old…

I saw the new Superman movie this weekend. It didn’t suck. Slightly too long trailer below for your viewing pleasure.

Rock the body body

Kim Gordon breaks out the harmonica at last night's Body/Head show in Greenpoint.

Kim Gordon breaks out the harmonica at last night’s Body/Head show in Greenpoint.

Last night I actually went out (what???) to a small rock club in Greenpoint (after checking out Achilles Heel, a lovely new bar) and heard some amazing music by two bands fronted by two formidable women.

The original plan was to see Kim Gordon and Bill Nace’s new noise duo Body/Head rock the house. They did not disappoint, though my ears are still ringing. In a good way. It was a perfect storm of video, guitar noise and Gordon’s ethereal and slightly indistinguishable vocals, which blended into the rest of the music making them a dreamy part of the sonic wash.

The special bonus was seeing Kathleen Hanna’s current band The Julie Ruin bring the house down right beforehand. While I’ve been a fan of Hanna’s for years, I’d never seen her play with this line up and was more than happy to dance my way through their set (as much as a person can move in a tiny packed club.)

It was all part of the Northside Music/Film/etc FestivaL… Just more proof that Williamsburg is, in fact, the center of the cultural universe right about now. Or at least it’s a serious contender.

Music to do your taxes by

Yo La Tengo Fade

You can barely read the text on the cover of Yo La Tengo’s latest album… But then again, it is called Fade…

I just spent a college style late night/early morning adding up my receipts for my 2012 taxes. Lets not get into the fact that I am still reckoning with my 2012 taxes. I usually push it up to the extension deadline in October so I feel pretty good about myself here, thank you very much.

Let us instead be thankful for the lovely new album by Yo La Tengo that I won in a silent auction at my daughter’s school recently. Actually, I won quite a few records that I have only just started to listen to now. I promise to pass on all of the good ones. And this one, aptly entitled Fade (cause that’s what I wanted to do last night, I assure you) is another great one from the formidable indie-rock band that has been around forever, yet still sounds as fresh as the first time I heard them. Which was at some club in New Jersey in the early 90′s, where they were sharing a bill with The Lemonheads. But I digress.

Not going to go into great detail here…. just know that you are in for a sonic, mellow-yet-soaring treat if you are wise enough to get your hands on this music and listen for yourself. Check out the Rolling Stone review for a few more details. You can take a listen there as well.

And then when you have to stay up late doing something as horribly boring as adding up a years worth of taxi receipts, you’ll know what to listen to to make it all ok.

Monday, Monday

bikini kill poster

These truly punk Bikini Kill posters are on sale to help more girls learn to play music. Here’s to the next generation of riot grrls!

Kathleen Hanna (of Bikini Kill) has teamed up with VFiles to create a riot grrl mini collection (a dress, lip balm, poster… all the necessities) Proceeds go to help fund the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting empowerment by teaching girls to play music. Limited quantities, so run don’t walk.

Cool off by making this delicious watermelon mint smoothie from Well and Good.

Watch Brian Faherty (founder of the Portland, OR furniture design company Schoolhouse Electric) speak about rediscovering his analogue self in a digital world and figuring out how to have the two universes live in harmony.

Listen to President John F Kennedy’s profound speech on world peace and what it could actually mean. Today is the 50th anniversary of this address, by the way…

It’s never too early to foster your kids’ design sensibility. Check out these pint sized versions of beautifully designed chairs on Pangea.com.

Dude, it is now legal to grow pot in Colorado.

Just some hands, reaching up, forever. From the Ace Hotel’s wonderful blog.

Grown-up soda

brooklyn soda works

In an attempt to keep this delicious soda all to myself, I told my daughter it was “for grown ups” and that she probably wouldn’t like it.
No such luck.

This blue bottle of heaven from Brooklyn Soda Works arrived with our CSA bounty this past week. Who wouldn’t be excited about drinking Apple & Rosemary soda? To wit: the scene at the dinner table last night wasn’t pretty, with my husband and daughter almost coming to blows over the last few drops.

Which of course sent me, in a panic, to brooklynsodaworks.com, desperately searching for information on how I can get more of this stuff into our lives. Especially after I heard mention of flavors like hibiscus & mint, or grapefruit, jalapeno & honey.

Of course you can’t just get some at your nearest Whole Foods, but if you happen to be in Williamsburg on a weekend, stop by Smorgasburg or the Brooklyn Flea to fill up. Or order one with a meal at Parish Hall, Blue Hill or a number of other small tasty eating establishments around town.

In the meantime, I will now try to figure out how to become best friends with them, so they’ll deliver straight to my door. I’ll let you guys know how I make out…

So fresh and so green

netdoororganics csa bag

Here’s what was in our bag a couple of weeks ago… when things were still “lean.” Can’t wait to see what a “bountiful” bag looks like.

It is the glory days. The season of the CSA. For the past couple of years, we had the good fortune of belonging to a CSA (community supported agriculture… ie buying food directly from the farmer) that was run by an old friend who had decamped to western Massachusetts to run his family farm.

Well he’s since married and had a kid, and has very realistically decided that running a high end food delivery service for his pals in NYC wasn’t what he wanted to keep doing. So he shut down, much to my dismay. I actually thought it was all over, until I saw a sign for Nextdoorganics at Egg, one of my favorite local restaurants.

And now, for $25 – $50 a week, I get an abundance of delicious greens, veggies and fruit fresh from local farms. I can pick it up a few blocks from my place, or for an extra $5 they’ll deliver. Plus, I can add on extras like kombucha, garlic paste, eggs… soon meat and fish will also be options.

There’s also an active twitter feed where fellow CSA’ers share recipes, a newsletter where resident Chef Chrissy breaks down what’s in each weeks packages and gives her own tips for how to enjoy the bounty.

The best part? You pay by the week. So if you’re not going to be around for a week (or 4) you can let them know. They won’t pack a bag for you and you don’t have to pay. Oh yeah, and they operate year round (woo hoo!!)

If you live in Brooklyn, or the lower half of Manhattan, there is no reason not to check them out and join up.

You won’t be sorry.

Finally a NYC recycling upgrade

recycling sign

We all know what this sign means, right?

A good friend, who is very on top of all things green, just sent me this e mail about NYC’s expanded plastic recycling program. I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about it (besides an earlier e mail from a different friend) but hey, at least now we New Yorkers can recycle a lot more plastic with a lot more ease.

I’m just going to quote the entire email here, since it basically says everything:

New York City now recycles All Rigid Plastic Items. Regardless of number. They define Rigid Plastic Items as having a relatively inflexible shape and being made entirely of or predominantly of plastic.

Examples of rigid plastics included in the expansion are:

rigid plastic tubs – yogurt, deli, hummus, sour cream
rigid plastic caps & lids
rigid plastic jars – creams, cosmetics, salves
rigid plastic take-out containers – “clamshell” and snap together
rigid plastic food containers – cookie tray inserts, plastic egg cartons
rigid plastic packaging “blister-pak”, consumer packaging, acetate boxes
rigid plastic housewares – flower pots, mixing bowls, plastic appliances
bulk plastic – crates, buckets, pails, furniture, large toys, large appliances

Please Empty and Rinse Out All Food and Beverage Containers.
Place the rigid plastic items in the recycling bin with the plastic bottles and jugs, glass bottles and jars, juice boxes and aseptic packaging, beverage cartons and any metal items, same as before.
Remove All Batteries (return any rechargeable batteries to a retailer for recycling).

The items below are not recyclable by New York City’s vendor, and can create problems in processing the materials that are recyclable.

Do not put these items in your recycling:

plastic tubes – toothpaste, lotion, and cosmetics
plastic disposable razors or razor blades
plastic lighters – plastic, metal, or any material
plastic containers that held dangerous or corrosive chemicals
plastic pens & markers
plastic cassette or VHS tapes*
plastic bags, dry cleaning bags, produce bags, any kind of plastic “film”**
squeezable pouches – juice pouches, baby food, yogurt to go
styrofoam – cups, egg cartons, trays, packing peanuts and inserts
electronics – computers, TVs, and related devices, cords and cables***

* cassette or VHS tapes(+CD’s/DVD’s)can be recycled at Greendisk
**plastic bags should be returned to a local retailer for recycling
**electronics must be recycled check for E-waste events near you

Monday, Monday

climbing hydrangea

It’s a grey and rainy day, which isn’t so great for my mood, but look what it’s done for my hydrangea…

A friend forwarded this blog post to me. It sounded kind of lame (“Worst End Of School Year Mom Ever”) but for some reason, I started to read it. By the middle of the post, I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt. For all you parents-of-school-age-kids out there, this is a must read.

Check out Apartment Therapy’s Ultimate Used Furniture Cleaning Kit, just in time for flea market season…

With all the inter-racial families out there, you’d think the days of outrage over the depiction of one such family in a Cheerios ad would be over. You’d be wrong.

Are you a millennial female? Then The Everygirl is the site for you.

An interesting story about the man who made Coney Island.

I ripped my favorite shorts while rock climbing in Joshua Tree. Are these the perfect replacement?

Thank you, oh Yolanda Edwards of Momfilter (and Martha Stewart Living, but I digress) for telling us about Fox 8 the “short story/fable/e book” by George Saunders (who wrote 10th of December about which I will go on at length in a separate post really soon) I am about to actually buy a digital book for the first time ever.