Huge Stores in SoHo Fined

The city has started to crack down on Soho shops that are oversized and that have been operating for a long time, even though the zoning laws prohibit their size. Zara, Uniqlo, Hollister, Topshop and American Eagle were all given violations recently for exceeding the 10,000 square foot limit in the area. Residents have been complaining for ages that these mammoth stores have noisy deliveries late at night, bright lights and special events that draw large crowds.

City Councilwoman Margaret Chin said, “I am pleased to see that some of the most egregious violators of the ban on oversized retail in SoHo are being held accountable.” In order to have mammoth stores, retainers are supposed to have permits. Banana Republic, with its 67,440 square foot store on Broadway is one of the few that has actually been issued the permit.

Time will tell if these fines actually do anything – but at least something is starting to be done.

 

Artists & Fleas

We all know that New Yorkers do things better than everyone else. And this is true even for their flea markets. Located at 568 Broadway, the flea market Artists & Fleas is a place to see. They just opened in SoHo and this location is just as lovely as the two others that Amy Abrams and Ronen Glimer have in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Chelsea Market.

There are about 100 vendors here selling their wares including some incredible names. These include:  

The Strand Bookstore, Thriftwares, Rhea Kulcsar Jewelry, Cynthia Rybakoff, Pam Barsky, Ava Love, Ever & Ever, MoYou, Aliens of Brooklyn, Soap for Sinners, Brooklyn Bleu, Most Wanted, Curated Basic, NY Recycling Maps, Noda, Gypsy Nation Vintage, Eveliina Vintage, Verrier, Min and Mon, Rhea Kulcsar, Studio DuArte, R. Nichlos, Jewels by Atlantis, DinerWare, Jaima, Metrix Jewelry, Spooksvilla, Selah Vie Jewelry, Studio Duarte and Belle Bar Organics.

Come and have fun now!

Be Part of TEFAF New York Spring 2017

If you love art, this is the time to enjoy it. With the flowers blossoming and the weather warming, it’s a great time to walk the streets of New York and to soak up the ambiance of the art world. From May 4th to 8th, you can grab of glimpse of some of the world’s finest art with the TEFAF (European Fine Art Fair) Modern and Contemporary Art and Design Fair at the Park Avenue Armory.

This is the second showing in New York City since they debuted last October. The range of 93 exhibitors includes everything from Carpenters Workshop Gallery and Galerie Chenel to Phoenix Ancient Art, Peter Freeman, Inc. and Gana Art. Last fall TEFAF emphasized Old Masters and classical art; now the upcoming show will focus on art and design from the 20th century through today, but certainly antique dealers like Phoenix Ancient Art will be showing their stunning works.

Each object at the fair is actually individually vetted. As CEO Patrick van Maris said, “We are excited to introduce a second fair in New York. Modern and contemporary art have long enjoyed a presence at TEFAF Maastricht, and we are looking forward to celebrating this on a larger scale in the United States.”

Getting the Right Hat with Linda Pagan

If you’re ever looking for a fun experience in SoHo, and perhaps you’d like a new hat as well, you simply have to check out the Hat Shop on Thomspon Street. Owner Linda Pagan has decorated the shop with every hat you can imagine. She is often described as the milliner to the stars, as Sarah Jessica Parker and Rachel Weisz are counted on her client list. Yoko Ono apparently owns 50 hats from the shop.

Since opening in 1995, Ms. Pagan has brought in more and more unusual creations. She has hats that are made to order by New York artisans.

Ms. Pagan explains that wearing a hat is really about only one thing. As she explained to the New York Times, “People always say, ‘I’m too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, too old, too young, to wear a hat. But all that you need to wear a hat is confidence.”

Calligaris NYC Opens with Husband-Wife Team

Niki and Shaokao Cheng are the husband and wife owners of BoConcept New York. As of March 1, they opened their first Calligaris Brand Store in New York City. This is the first time they are moving into the furniture brand outside of BoConcept. As Niki said,

“We chose Calligaris for its award winning Italian modern design and great price points; and it wonderfully complements the offerings at our other stores.”

Their 4000 square foot store will carry many of the time-honored designs from Calligaris’ 90-year history, to their newest looks. As Niki Cheng said, “Its design is chic, modern, flexible and functional. The furniture works like Lego. Sofas can be combined with different seats, covers, and legs while chairs, tables and beds can be assembled in countless ways to add uniqueness to any design. They are all available in a range of beautiful finishes, styles and materials. Customers can create a customized high-end look and feel to their home at a price they will love.”

Check out Calligaris NYC at 55 Thompson Street.

Pinch Chinese Comes to SoHo

Run, don’t walk, to the Pinch Chinese that is just opening at 177 Prince St., near. Thompson St. The chain founded in Taiwan has a great reputation and has helped to open shops from Indonesia to Los Angeles. Now, first-time restaurateur Sean Tang has grabbed veteran chef Charlie Chen for the new site. There will be seven other chefs from China as well including a sous-chef in charge of wok dishes who has already run two Din Tai Fungs in Chengdu.

Of course, the restaurant’s focus will be on soup dumplings with three versions at the ready. They include the classic pork, the chicken and the seafood variations. On the menu will also be dan dan noodles, cumin ribs Cantonese-style cod, wind-sand chicken and more.

The general manager will be Miguel De Leon who has been at Chez Panisee, Per Se; the Momofuku group; Casa Mono and others. There are cocktails to enjoy as well and the space takes its inspiration from China’s outdoor dining culture.

Composting for a Better World

Sometimes, saving the environment feels like too much work. But it doesn’t have to be. There are many very simple ways that you can help to reduce the waste that is filling landfills like the West Lake landfill around the country.

Believe it or not, one great idea is composting. Take your plant and kitchen waste and turn it into amazing food for your garden or animals. When you peel a cucumber or a banana, when you crack an egg or when you have leftover food, put it together in a composting area. You’ll really be reducing what goes into the landfills and you’ll be helping your garden or animals to grow!

This may sound funny, but buying rechargeable batteries really can make a difference. You’ll be keeping all of those disposable batteries out of landfills and you’ll keep the chemicals in the batteries from leaking and causing problems. Rechargeable batteries make a huge difference.

Watch Out for Tanya Taylor’s Pop-Up Shop

New York-based designer Tanya Taylor will soon have a three-month pop-up shop in tandem with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and sponsored by Cadillac. Taylor is a designer worth watching and wearing.

Four years ago, she launched her own clothing line and her designs are anything but boring. As she said during a recent interview at Saks Fifth Avenue, “In different seasons I have to play with layering and texture and do colors in moment rather than in the summer where everything is fresh and colorful.”

When describing her collection, Taylor said there is a “laissez faire attitude in this collection, a lot of playful details that feel light hearted and energetic.”

Taylor has had a great customer in First Lady Michelle Obama who wore one of her fall ’16 dresses to the final White House holiday party last month. She was invited, as well, to the bash.

Interestingly, Taylor’s designs are inspired by her painting. For her most recent collection, she traveled to Capri and Cuba where she painted and was then inspired for her clothing line.

 

A Great Get-Away at Barton Hill Hotel

If you’re in the market for a vacation and a get-away from New York, it’s worth looking into the Barton Hill Hotel. Taken over in 2015 by Stabilis Capital in New York, the hotel is being operated by Scout Hotels with CEO Robin Kirk.

Scout Hotels is based in Nantucket, Massachusetts and operates six resorts on Cape Cod and Marth’s Vineyard. They also have one in Florida and one in New Hampshire.

The Barton Hill Hotel fits right into the portfolio of Scout Hotels, located on the Niagara River and boasting 70 rooms. As Kirk said, “Barton Hill is in an absolutely spectacular location. We like the structure very much indeed.”

For New Yorkers looking for a great get-away, the Barton Hill Hotel is a lovely location. A five minute walk from the Lewiston Museum and a 12 minute walk from the Artpark music venue, the hotel has beautifully decorated rooms with fireplaces, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi.

Animal Haven’s SoHo Adoption Center

SoHo isn’t just about great clothes, food and spas (although all of these things are wonderful). It’s also about helping others – and this even includes our canine friends. If you didn’t know it was there – you might miss the Animal Haven’s SoHo adoption center which is located on 200 Centre Street which offers a way for homeless animals to be matched with loving families. They are open seven days a week and have a selection of dogs and cats up for adoption. They also house a pet resource center so you can find information about dog training, grooming and more.

They have funding from the Mayor’s Alliance through the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Check them out. But be forewarned…you might just walk out with a new furry friend.