renegade craft fair: new york edition


I love a good fair. Craft fair, food fair, furniture fair… really anything but a street fair. You know, the kind that shuts down part of Sixth Avenue when you’ve decided that’s the day you’re going to rent a zipcar and go to Home Depot or something.

There is no shortage of craft/food/antique fairs to choose from in New York City. For example, I’ve blogged before about the Hester Street Fair; have spent many a happy afternoon wandering the outdoor Brooklyn Smorgasburg; there’s still the Brooklyn Night Bazaar to try out, and MadSqEats in the fall is one of my favorites for food. Two weeks ago a friend and I checked out the new winter home of the Brooklyn Flea in Crown Heights after our Brooklyn Bodyburn class, and poked our heads into the adjoining Berg’n beer hall, too. I am also highly excited for the Hester Holiday Market opening on December 1st at One Penn Plaza. Hey, sometimes I’m in midtown.

Last weekend the Renegade Craft Fair came to town – it’s been here before, I’ve just always missed it in the past. Unlike some of the other markets, it doesn’t hang around. It’s here for two days and then it’s gone, so I was thrilled to finally attend, and I have to say I was really pleased to see such quality stuff, and to chat with small business owners and makers who are really excited and passionate about what they do. There was a little bit of everything – clothing for women, men, kids. Great scarves, bags, and jewelry. Really yummy bath and beauty stuff. Beautiful ceramic vases and spoon rests. And my favorite category – kitchen and tabletop goods, like tea towels, wooden spoons, cast iron pans, trivets, and aprons. You name it, someone is making it. These are some of my favorites! Enjoy.

1 planters from Cara Taylor ceramics | 2 wooden arrow spoons (plus everything else) from Amelie Mancini | 3 indigo clothing & accessories from Katrin Reifeiss | 4 ceramic sake set from Soul Vessel Designs | 5 i’d like everything from btw ceramics, but this striped serving bowl is top of the list | 6 all kinds of beautiful wooden boards and serving pieces at East to West Woods | 7 Herbivore Botanicals gorgeous Pink Clay soap | 8 i love the knotted ropes from Tack & Ward | 9 city metro maps from line posters…especially the Paris one.

funny story.



this story is funny kind of like the way finding a hair in your soup is funny. it involves something that every new yorker loves to talk about: real estate.

it goes like this: couple finds apartment they want to buy and renovate. it’s decently priced in a brooklyn neighborhood that is about to experience skyrocketing rent and sale prices. they make an offer and it’s accepted! contracts are signed! hooray! couple waits as seller cancels the closing one two five seven times for mysterious reasons having to do with building code violations and fines.

but before all the canceled closings, couple puts almost all their belongings into storage and moves to furnished airbnb apartment in new neighborhood to more easily oversee renovation that surely is about to start any second. couple quickly realizes temporary apartment is a mouse and cockroach infested shit hole. even the dog is depressed. couple moves again four months later to second unfurnished temporary location which is actually lovely and HERE WE ARE.

are there worse problems out there? obviously. we have an apartment. it’s on a block with three community gardens. one of them has chickens. it’s close to the subway. i like living here very much.

basically i’m just anxious to get going… to start designing the new space, to get everything out of storage and unpacked and settled away. that’s all. i have pinterest and houzz folders that might explode because they are crammed full of ideas for lighting and flooring and faucets and plates. i have four versions of floor plans drawn for all three floors.

someday… it will happen someday.

anyone else have a buying-real-estate-in-nyc horror story? drop me a line in the comments, i’d love to hear about it.


the bikers of williamsburg…


the man with the flowing beard

there is a two-lane bike path that runs along my street here in williamsburg. when i moved here a couple years ago, i was suprised at how busy it is, with bikes flying by in both directions. but it makes sense – the closest subway line is a fifteen-minute walk away, and if you want to go into the city, that’s great. but if you’re trying to get to greenpoint or DUMBO, or literally almost anywhere else in brooklyn, it’s not that helpful. in other words, get your bike out of storage if you’re going to live here.

as is the norm here in the ‘burg, anyone doing anything is working some kind of look. even on the bike. i started to see a few recurring characters, and my friend and illustrator extraordinaire erin mcgill has captured a few of them perfectly. today we bring you a little series, the bikers of williamsburg. enjoy!

photo-20the girl who rides with no hands

photo-21the unicyclist… and his dog


the man with his sheepdog

i can’t help but wonder about them each a little… like, how does that girl who rides with no hands not fall off? and how on earth does that guy get on and off the unicycle while holding the dog’s leash? and i’d love to know what’s up with flowing beard guy… his story must be interesting, right?

(artwork by erin mcgill. see more of her work here)

dream dining… 2.0

amazing, right?

this week’s dream dining destination: the restaurant at the nomad hotel in new york city. it’s more or less in my backyard, but i haven’t been yet. the restaurant is run by the same chef as eleven madison park, which bodes really, really well. i love the building it’s in, the dark and clubby look of the interior, and the food…. the food looks to die for. tdf, for short. this roast chicken for two (above) is their signature dish, and arrives stuffed full of brioche, foie gras, and truffles. oh my.

(photographs from the nomad hotel’s website)

monday obsession: melt bakery

the ice-cream sandwiches from melt bakery are perfection. i am a huge fan of the classic, but i’m seriously thinking i need to branch out and try some of their other flavors, like the “lovelet”, which is red velvet cookie-cakes with cream cheese ice cream. yes, i could eat that…

see a demo of how to make the perfect ice cream sandwich here.

and did you know? melt bakery just opened their first shop!

(image credit here)

cheese, please

across the pond raw cows milk cheese from lucy’s whey

i hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. we had great weather here in nyc… the kind where it’s a shame to be indoors for even one minute.

being a total cheese nerd, of course i had to go to the cheese market and dairy bar at the new amsterdam market on sunday. i love this market – it’s steps from where the famed fulton fish market was held for years before moving to the bronx, it’s in lower manhattan, which is steeped in the (to me) fascinating history of the first dutch settlement in what we now call manhattan, starting around 1609, and it’s right on the water, with the brooklyn and manhattan bridges posing nicely in the background. it’s also held directly under an overpass of the fdr freeway, making it a wonderfully loud and uniquely nyc-style experience.

in addition to buying as many goodies as i could carry – including some amazing sullivan street bakery bread with tomatoes baked right in –  i also had a milk tasting. it was kind of like having a flight of wine… but instead you sample milk from different breeds of cows. how great is that? see more photos from the afternoon below…

(all photos by laurakinsey)

friday favorites…

happy friday, everyone.

don’t ask how, but i managed to come down with a major sinus infection during the heatwave we’ve been having here on the east coast. i’m hoping to shake it by tomorrow so i can practice some baking. turning on the oven might sound like a dumb idea, but there are so many fruits and berries available right now… it just seems like the perfect time to experiment.

if the weekend lasted more than two days, i’d love to do each and every one of these things:

the cheese market and dairy fair at the new amsterdam market tops my to-do list on sunday!

visit monet’s garden exhibit at the new york botanical center

check out williamsburg’s farmers market

a class in making and decorating model boats? sounds interesting…

take a tour of castle williams on governors island

visit the cloud city exhibit by tomás saraceno at the met

(image credits herehere, and here) 

weekend snapshots

happy monday! i’m hoping everyone had a great weekend. mine flew by and the theme was indulgence… (too much food! too much drink!) but the weather was perfect and mk! and i did some great exploring. highlights? a drink and a snack at the recently opened parish hall, and a great little cocktail at two door tavern, involving cucumber vodka, black pepper, soda water, and lemon or lime. the weekend was nicely bookended by beverages on rooftops – and the ease and frequency with which this is possible might just be one of the best things about new york city.

hester street fair

last summer i became a huge fan of the hester street fair, which is held every saturday on the lower east side in manhattan. well, every saturday from mid-spring to mid-fall, that is, and when they closed up shop last october, it gave me mild anxiety. which is why i was so excited when i heard saturday was opening day. i contemplated going at 10 on the dot but waited until the more respectable hour of 2pm to stuff myself. and i ate enough calories to cover me for about 3 days…but it was totally worth it.

favorites? the korean bulgogi from we rub you. grilled, thin-sliced marinated beef with sesame apple slaw, plus shredded carrots and cilantro on a challah roll. i mean, come on! i could have eaten two. or six, but i wanted to save room for other things.

i scarfed a couple of pork tacos from brooklyn taco. enjoyed a to-die-for cup of salted caramel crack ice-cream from ample hills creamery. downed a mini mojito flavored cupcake from prohibition bakery and a little s’more from s’amore! (which i love – see this old post). the sugar was starting to hit and my friend betty jo and i were super full. she got coffee from the amazing cafe grumpy and we walked around some more, looking at prints and jewelry and old books… but thoughts quickly returned to food. should we get a lobster roll from luke’s? a ricotta cheesecake pie from pie corps, or maybe a popsicle from la newyorkina? i did buy the fruit & nut granola from spatzi’s and thought about buying some pickled cauliflower from sour puss pickles. but i was too full and suddenly my bag felt to heavy. i know what the solution is.  i will have to go back next week.

(the hester street fair runs saturdays 10-6 from april 28th – oct 27th. more info here)