Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Brooklyn Flea

Just two weeks ago I took the subway to Brooklyn to check out the Brooklyn Flea Market. On saturdays it is held on Lafayette Avenue between Vanderbilt and Clermont. I had no expectations but the flea was a happy surprise for me. The hipster volume is pretty high here at this school-yard-turned-flea market. Wanna see where cute girls in granny dresses are inking their tattoos? Check. Straw fedoras with the top cut out for dreads? Check. Mixed ethnicity kids looking like playdate kids for Brangelina's bunch or Gavin and Gwen's kids' nursery school mates? Check. Cool only semi-ironic t-shirts? Check. Skinny black jeans and red underwear briefs over bony hips holding up an expensive bike lock chain? Check. Beautifully crafted tables? Check. Chic porcelain pieces? Check. Reclaimed eyewear? Check. Freakishly tasty raw chocolate bars? Check. Fresh illustrated bags and towels and prints? Check.

Probably the most friendly flea I have been to in the city. The manhattan flea's tend to offer much more in the way of surprises and less in food and craft. But the vendors in Manhattan can seem a bit more about making the sale where as the Brooklyn Flea people really care about what they are selling either emotionally or esthetically. And the quality of what is sold is high for a public flea market.

Some of my favorites:
Mi Mesita. Manny makes very well-crafted minimalist pieces that are definitely the fancy-pants of the market. Very Nakashima-inspired and that is a very good place to be for inspiration.

Claudia Pearson offers illustrated totes and table linens that make you pray the food you are served from the tote or onto a linen is as delectable as her drawings.

ASIS (Angela Spencer's Irresistible Stuff). Angela had a gorgeous tee with sailor knots illustrating the front. It reminded me of Japanese Noren which hang at the entrance to traditional japanese restaurants and shops.
Romi Ceramics Sets out on her table, clean and modern and unpretentious vases. They are porcelain and in black and white and yellow and blue. Some have a very controlled Pollock-ish drip in contrasting colors. I bought two of them and they make a nice cool addition to my somewhat organic collection on my kitchen table.

Gnome Enterprises offer hand-silk screened t-shirts. They are de rigueur hip tees but done with a deft hand and in offbeat colors and designs that seem like they are from a Hallmark Greeting Card that mistakenly took a hit of acid.

Fine and Raw Chocolates
: Since I like chocolate I have been wary of "sugar free" and "dairy free" when deciding on something cocoa to pop into my mouth. Well the offerings at Fine and Raw are sugar free and dairy free and addictive.

Retro-Futuristic: Need 1956 librarian eyeglasses? Need 1960 aviator sunglasses ala Steve McQueen. Auntie Mame specials? Head over to this stand where there are many styles to choose from and lots of encouragement from other shoppers. And the owner has another biz of restoring trailers so check them out on his site.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Apartment Therapy book is out

A few weeks ago the new Apartment Therapy book, The Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces was published. I did the photography for the book and it looks great. Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, a co-founder of AT wrote the book and Joe Maer styled. It was a ton of work and we shot soooo many cool places and met incredibly interesting people.

The design and decorating of the homes was inspiring. Some people were messy and cool and some people were austere and cool and some were hippy-dippy and cool and some were industrial and cool. Kinda of open-season, decorating-wise.

Here are a few of my favorite spreads....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

One-handed photography....

Well, I took a little foray out into the real world by myself and with my Canon and a lens and no tripod. It is the first pic taking since I broke my wrist may 23 (had to have surgery may 27). Very frustrating when i am used to just carrying a zillion things on both arms. Today was just my one arm and my injured hand is just now able to focus. Can't hold anything with the left hand yet but next week I go back to the surgeon's office and get the stitches out and a brace which I can take off. But all looks good and should be out the taking pics within two weeks.

Anyway, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens were empty this early June thursday. The roses, much to my chagrin, were already past their best. Must have been the rain and the warm early spring. Still some look very pretty and they were happy to have the attention paid to them. The bonzai house was completely empty and feeling like another world. That might be because I am reading Lafcadio Hearn's"Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan" which was published in 1894. Reading this book is a joy, mainly due to Hearn's palpable thrill at being in Japan and seeing absolutely everthing fresh. That is how the bonzai house felt to me today. So quiet and empty and yet not sad. The old, tiny trees seemed proud and content.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My new best friend...

Bought this moody and handsome teak sculpture at the flea market at the garages on 25th street. Knew I had to buy it once I saw it sitting being ignored on a table full of stuff. He sat there regally and out of place---like an aristocrat sitting on a blanket at Coney Island.

Not sure of it's origin but think it is Balinese. I love the style and if anyone knows more about this school of art please let me know.