Hester Street Fair

Though the chill in the air is still lingering, spring has announced itself with the comeback of all my favorite fleas and street fairs. I’ve been a fan of antique shops and flea markets since I was a little girl, collecting antique keys and vintage postcards, but when I moved here, I realized the flea experience is also a major gastronomical event!

So when the Hester Street Fair gates opened this weekend for the spring through fall, I had to check out the retail and foodie goodness. Apparently, every Wayfarer wearing hipster on the Lower East Side also had the same idea. Packed to the brim, the lines for the pulled pork tacos and decadent lobster rolls were overwhelming and I couldn’t get a taste! The smells were intoxicating so I’m going to have to test my luck and go another week. I was able to scout some of the retail options, though, which included a great booth offering beautiful vintage frames, a stationery stand carrying cute and simple cards, and my favorite vintage costume jeweler. Every stand was so beautifully merchandised, with great vintage touches and cool signage, a feel that embodied the street fair as a whole. Less hodge podge and bric-a-brac, more vintage charm and specialized displays. I know I’ll be back…

The ideal sized mini pies for two people, I love that they have both sweet and savory.

Handmade cards are my weakness.

Such a fun idea to commemorate a sunny day with someone special!

This kid has an insane sense of style (future scene stealer).

Baggu Leather Pouches

I have a strange obsession with pretty boxes, decorative bowls and dishes, and little leather pouches. I love to have catchalls for the clusters of things that inevitably clutter my desk top and handbags, leading to a 5 minute search for a chap stick that seems to have fallen into the recesses of an oversized tote.

So I couldn’t express my contentment when I found this perfect Baggu pouch in this season’s “it” color: mint!  I had seen the leather Baggu line on their website, but wanted to see them in person. Lucky enough, while meeting my sister downtown for lunch, we took a stop at Purl Soho, and there beckoning from a glass shadowbox, was the whole collection of pretty little pouches!

The rounded shape is ideal for my essential beauty items including a powder compact, small pot of under eye concealer, a lip balm, and my favorite shade of lipstick at the moment. Great for transferring necessary items from bag to bag and at $20 and made in the US in super supple leather, it’s a sweet little indulgence. I want one in every color!

How cute are these felt elephants??!

Purl also deserves a notable mention as it’s a one stop shop for knitting and sewing aficionados, with every yarn and brightly colored fabric under the sun. If only I had something to upholster or knew how to knit…hmmm, could be my next hobby!

Artichoke Pizza

Now, I know that one of New York’s claims to fame is linked with the perfection of the large, cheesy, greasy thin crust pizza, sure to bring simple satisfaction to an empty stomach, but straying from the margherita classic, I think have found a new favorite.

For years, while visiting my sister, I would pass by Artichoke Pizza and see a line trailing from the tiny storefront, wondering what all the fuss was about. One day, I ventured in and tried the classic margherita pizza, standing at the cramped bar in the company of four firefighters while struggling to sop up all the tasty oil on my delicious, but standard, slice. Reaching over to hand me a napkin to assist me in my awkward one-handed maneuver, the firefighters mentioned that they had come all the way from Brooklyn to taste the famous Artichoke Pizza. Not one of them had a slice of margherita. Looking around at the rich, creamy slices of pizza layered with artichoke and spinach, I knew I had made a grave mistake.

A year later (and hopefully, wiser) Margaux and I strolled in and I proudly went to the counter to stake my claim on the humongous fresh slices coming from the oven. I have eaten many slices of pizza in my life, but I have NEVER seen a slice of pizza this large. With a crispy crust that caved to reveal a softer doughy center , the pizza certainly lived up to its hype. Having only tried spinach and artichoke dip in the last year (I know), the slice still tasted like something completely new and original, with an ideal combination of garlic, cheese and yummy veggies.

A couple days later, in the company of friends and fellow Artichoke admirers, the topic of calorie count came up. I gasped, then paused, remembered the creamy cheesy bliss, then told myself it contained vegetables. Problem solved;)

Strawberries and Chocolate

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Despite the delicious and enticing title of this post, as you can see, it’s more about my fave new shirt (kindly gifted to me by my sister in the spirit of spring cheer) and the Easter basket I’m still digging into. I know I’m behind on my Easter post, but the brunch at The Three Hens was too good not to share. Margaux and I ordered chocolate chip pancakes and a chorizo and manchego cheese omelette, respectively, and we shared the sweet and savory goodness. This place is great for brunch, with an industrial/country rustic aesthetic that perfectly suited our urban Easter brunch vibe. And of course, we exchanged Easter baskets, because you’re never too old for chocolate!

Hello spring, hello world

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Only once I moved from Florida could I truly appreciate the changing of seasons. I had always waited for a time when I would experience the joy of stepping outside and being greeted by a fresh breath of warm air, inciting me to take off that extra layer.

Now being a resident New Yorker, I am more and more ecstatic at each minute change that beckons a new season. To celebrate, I convinced my accomplice (and sister) to greet spring in one of the best places I can think of to enjoy it. The Conservatory Garden in Central Park was breathtaking at this time of year. It is the closest that I’ve come to entering the ‘secret garden,’  a favorite childhood book and movie of mine. Tulips, hyacinths, and pink blossoms everywhere! The bees were buzzing contentedly (save the bees!) and we just couldn’t get enough.

Can’t wait for months of picnics and cups of gelato ahead!