snack of the week: cookies!

did you know there is a cookie bar at whole foods on houston street? a COOKIE BAR! what are they trying to do to me? i was there to get spelt flour and a few other things, including a salad, when i spotted it. i couldn’t resist the vegan gingersnap sandwich cookies with vegan frosting (top photo). they got a little banged up on the way home, but they were tasty… and if they weren’t labeled as vegan i’d never have known. (i’m not a vegan, but i like to taste-test vegan baked goods sometimes to see if they taste as good as the real thing…. these did!)

in other cookie news… Gourmet Guild opened recently in my neighborhood, and mk and i stopped in last weekend to see what’s going on in there. it’s great – kind of like a mini-market of brooklyn-based (or at least new york based) food artisans. several companies i recognized from the outdoor summer markets, like La Newyorkina and Kings County Jerky, but there were some new-to-me faces, too. couldn’t pass up a package of chocolate chili cashew biscotti (bottom two photos) from Whimsy & Spice. they are seriously divine, and they tasted sooo good dunked in my afternoon macchiato.

on the Whimsy & Spice website, i loved reading about this brooklyn-based company run by husband/wife team Mark & Jenna. he does the baking, and she does (among lots of other things) the packaging and product photography, AND manages the blog sweetfineday. i’m adding it to my list of daily must-reads.

(photos by laura kisney)

vogue living…

a couple weeks ago, i was admiring the “farah” shoes from tabitha simmons online…. (you have to watch the video on her website!) and then on friday, vogue arrived in the mail and now i get to see inside her house. leave it to vogue. they have the best house & home features, and i especially love it when the featured space is here in NYC.

first the shoes:

now the house:

(photograps by Françios Halard for Vogue, story by Lynn Yaeger)

pre-holiday weekend fun…

i hadn’t gone up to midtown to see the twinkling holiday decorations or store windows for a couple of years. on friday, after a lovely dinner right next to the fireplace (here), mk and i went for it… the crowds are a kind of a drag but you have to just go with it. pretend you’re the only people on the street.

my favorite windows were at Bergdorf Goodman… love the giant birds wearing feathery dresses, and the girl with the loooong neck standing next to a giraffe. the Gaga windows at Barneys were also a sight to see… do you want to live in a room where everything is made of hair? where there is a swirl of hair in a picture frame made of hair? rest on a hair sofa and gaze out a window framed in hair curtains? bizarre-o but cool.

want to see where the evening ended? look here.

and… you have to watch this:

(bottom two photos are windows at Barneys; photos above are windows at Bergdorf Goodman. taken with my iPhone)

nothing’s better than: a weekend brunch

i’ve been dying to try it, and last weekend it finally happened.

brunch at the fat radish. i’ve been obsessed ever since eating a rhubarb trifle from their table at the hester street fair earlier this summer.

it was so good. as i shoveled that trifle into my mouth some man took my picture. he said he worked for the NY Times and could i sign this release form? they were working on a story about how popular street fairs and flea markets have become. duh.

they didn’t use the photo for the article. (i must have been chewing with my mouth open!) still worth reading, though.

back to brunch. potato and cheddar cake over sauteed brussel sprouts with a little bacon and a perfectly poached egg. spiced poached pears with a little homemade ricotta cheese. perfect meal… beautiful space with whitewashed brick walls and gorgeous, sophisticated holiday decorations. love.

happy thanksgiving!

picture yourself cooking up a storm in this lovely space.

happy day, right?

santa just came through 34th street… the parade is done. the dog show is on. the cooking is about to start getting serious.



see this…

if a man walked up to you on the street and said, “you have an interesting face. i would like to do your portrait.” would you walk away, or would you be game?  in 1927 Paris, a young woman named Marie-Thérèse said, “why not?”

the man was Picasso.

leaving my storage unit on west 21st street the other day, i noticed a sign for the exhibit Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour fou at the Gagosian Gallery. trust me, it’s worth ducking in. the gallery space is lovely, and the real treat is that while i’ve seen many of Picasso’s well-known works, i don’t think i’d ever seen any of these. perhaps they’d be new to you, too?

view the exhibit here.

partial view of the sign above the door. photo by laura kinsey using

ICFF 2011

Spring is not generally my favorite month in NYC. The weather is still kind of gross and I never know what to wear outside. All that time spent debating about whether or not I need a jacket… So needless to say, my mood improves greatly when the International Contemporary Furniture Fair rolls in to town.

I’ve always had a thing for furniture….I studied interior design in college, and was beyond excited to be taking a course in furniture design during a semester abroad in Florence. I was sooo disappointed when I got there and was told the course had been cancelled… would I like to take ceramic restoration instead?  (NO!)  When I go to a show like ICFF or bklyndesigns I can’t help but wonder what that one course might have led to.

Oh, I know. Boo-hoo. I’ll get on with it…

This year’s show was lovely. I talked to designers from Spain, England, Bosnia, Japan, and Turkey, New York, and Cleveland. I petted lots of amazing textiles, parked in a ton of cool chairs, and stared dreamily at light fixtures for so long my eyes went spotty. I managed to take a few pictures, too…

(clockwise from top left: footstool; blankets, pillows, seating & ceramics)

Nice, right? In my opinion, the best part of ICFF is the mix of product that comes from established, dynamic, style forward companies, (Tom Dixon, Jonathan Adler) and the stuff coming from sole proprietors. I saw a lot of booths manned by a single person, the same person who is designing wallcovering, screen printing pillows, or throwing pots. VERY inspiring!

Speaking of wallcovering, I’m a bit of a junkie… and I’m desperate to find a place to use Scrapwood Wallpaper by artist Piet Hein Eek. Materials that are meant to mimic other materials often don’t do the original justice, but this really blew me away. Well, not just me. They won the ICFF Best in Show award in the wallcovering category. Well deserved…
(photo courtesy of