Monday, March 28, 2011

Vintage Swim: ABC Carpet & Home

The Dining Room Dilemma

This past December, we hosted a dinner party for ten at our Brooklyn apartment. It  wasn't until then that I began re-thinking my round dining room table  purchase. Yes, its white cutout criss-cross legs look great against the unfinished oak bookshelf, but really, I can't say it's the best for parties.  On a recent trip to ABC Carpet & Home, I found inspiration and everything but the table...

photography by so does estella

Because we don't entertain here that often, purchasing a permanent large table might not be the best solution either. I must confess that I often steal my favorite tablecloths from Pip & Estella inventory, but still, I envision a well-designed folding table coming to my rescue because there will be occasions where I want the surface to show.

It must be light enough to carry up stairs and narrow enough (when folded) to be stored in the downstairs foyer.

Is your dining area small? Large? How do you accommodate guests for entertaining?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dissection Of A Menu: Berkli Barc

Dissection Of A Menu

On the menu: Butcher Block and Seasonal Sandwiches

Fare: Excellent

Berkli oh man. Thank them for the sandwiches made with sprouts and whole grain bread. California cuisine is hard to find on the streets of NYC when you're on the go!

I could live in this cute little eatery. No, really, I could. The interior design melds modern and natural elements you may not expect from a Lower East Side cafe. And really, I am not sure that it can be classified as a cafe because it's so much more.

Branding: Wins. Look at that facade!

Interior Design (as shown above): Wins!! The blend of wood finishes and butcher block style configurations tie into their menu in theme, while glass cake plates with handwritten labels bring on the character. (In case you hadn't made your mind up already.)

1. Delancey Store Front with a minimal lowercase type used for signage.
2. Various pendants adorn the counter while this amazing piece hands above a farm table.
3. Simple stark white branches sit in a tortoise shell vase. (Where can I get one of those?!)
4. Ginger Bread, Apricot Scones, Irish Potato and Brown Sugar Coffee Cake are displayed on the cake plates I went crazy over. I mean, sure, bakeries have them but it's very unexpected in this space which is why I love it.

So the big question. Are we eating the brand or whats on the menu? Both! Berkli Parc scores.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Station Wagon Conversation: Mr. Matt Lucas

photography by so does estella

The story in pictures
1. Debonair Matt with the classic newsboy cap.
2. Spending a sunny Saturday on West Broadway at a tea bar.
3. A Vintage style Electra bike with stitched leather seat. (Want list!)
4. Matt carries the leather bag I want to steal and sports the pant cuff we speak of (below).

Why I love him 
I dig his style: prep gone rugged, occasionally looking back.
He doesn't rub it in when he beats me in kayak races. (This Summer, Matt. You and me in Sunset Beach California for the re-match.)

So the story goes...

Conversing With: Manhattan Born J. Crew Visual Stylist, Matt Lucas
Years Acquainted: 7
Parked In: Soho - NYC
His Next Move: An evening museum wedding
Conversation On The Twentieth Century Pant Cuff 
Sana : What trend are you loving this Spring? Tell me. It can be anything fashion related.

Matt : The roll-up pant cuff

Sana: What makes it the favorite?

Matt: I can show off my man-hoisery. Look (points to his olive green trouser socks.)

Sana:  (laughs) Seriously Matt, I knew I could count on you to come through on that question.

Matt: It's true. Women have their fancy stockings and what not. Men need a little bit of something too.

*When Matt's new blog launches in a few weeks, I'll update the link here.

Now, friends, spill it. Will you sport the cuff this season?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dissection Of A Menu: Red Rooster

Dissection Of A Menu

photography by so does estella
Fare: Good
Since Red Rooster serves Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch And Dinner, there is little excuse not to visit when in uptown Manhattan.

The first person I saw when I entered was Marcus Samuelsson. It's nice to see a celebrity chef in the mix as opposed to a celebrity chef simply lending out his know that whole branding thing! Which leads me to our next question...
Are we eating the brand or what's on the menu? Both. I have only dined here once so I can't say whether or not the Brunch would hold up on it's own without the amazing interiors, gracious staff and on-point branding but, I will update this post my next time around.

Branding: Wins hands down.

Interior & Design (as shown above): Wins!! Wins!! Wins!! As a vintage fanatic, I felt right at home. The finishes throughout are amazing including striped mosaic floor tile and exquisite lighting.

1. Front Window Signage In A Smooth Retro Feeling Font Above Reclaimed Wood
2. Table For Six Decked Out With Raw Leather Placemats, Industrial Style Seating and A Backdrop Of Vintage Finds
3. Smattering Of Vintage Objects I'd Like To Shop From
4. An Eye-Catching Saturated Red Storefront

How do you feel about the decor? Are there any elements in particular that you are drawn to?

My suggestion for a light brunch before errands: Pumpkin Bread (best ever), Fresh Fruit and a Mimosa.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vintage Swim: Fans And Florals

It's official - I have Spring fever. At the start of the season I am always inclined to re-organize my dressing area and bring the color up a notch. I've been inspired by a set of Chinese fans and their beautiful little boxes that once belonged to my mother. Pleats and florals will be recurring themes in my Spring decor at home and in my wardrobe.

photography by so does estella
1. Chinese Fans: Vintage (Try them on a wall or dresser)
3. Floral Fan Box: Vintage
4. Patterned Fan Boxes: Vintage

Will you add Spring to your wardrobe? Your decor at home? Or both?!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dissection Of A Menu: Buttermilk Channel

Dissection Of A Menu
images by so does estella

Fare: Wins
Aptly named, Buttermilk Channel is and isn't what you'd expect. When I first caught wind of the place through a friend, the name brought to mind huge buckets of waffle mix being poured onto a mega - griddle. Reminiscent of those educational shows we used to watch as children where they gave an inside look at the inner workings of a factory or production mill and we sat there in awe. Yes, kind of like that. 

I imagine that what goes on in the kitchen there is pretty similar, considering there is often an hour wait and lots of Brooklynites and their in-town parents waiting to throw down.

Interior & Design (as shown above): Fitting

1. Cornflower Blue Storefront Which Contrasts With Original Red Brick Facade

2. Globe Pendants Flank The Bar

3. Illustrated Menus Resembling The Original Buttermilk Channel Map
4. Window Signage In Classic Font, Backlit by Traditional Sconces
5. Eggs Huntington
6. Full Bar (at noon) (more below...)

photography by so does estella

Branding: Wins

Are we eating the brand or what's on the menu?

Both! If we took away the minimalist New England style decor and cute little menus with cows walking up the channel, this restaurant would still be on my hit list. For starters, the grapefruit wheels with endive are reason enough alone to go and the waffles, they're heaven.

Considering the vision I had about Buttermilk Channel before I actually dined there, I was surprised and delighted when greeted with the menu. A Yellow the tone of buttermilk
itself is the ground color with a nice cornflower blue type. Quite comforting.

So, Buttermilk wins!!
Ever dined here? What's the favorite waffle spot in your city?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Station Wagon Conversation: Grace Poon

photography by so does estella

The story in pictures

1. Historic Hamilton Heights Limestone. Some neighborhoods are grand in architecture and scale. This is one of them.
2. Grace closes up as we walk down the block for a cup of Korean Ginger Tea.
3. Madame Grace Poon herself. (Love the glasses!)
4. Original decorative historical light post.
5. Can't tell you what she just said.

Why I love her
Always on the same page. Always having fun.

So the story goes...

Conversing With: Los Angeles Born Photographer & Stylist, Grace Poon
Years Acquainted: 11
Parked In: Hamilton Heights, Harlem - NYC
Her Next Move: Tokyo, Japan - Spring

Conversation On Leather Shorts & A Yellow Polka Dot Blouse

Sana : I googled you this morning and saw you on a couple of photographers websites. I need to know where you were headed when Facehunter stopped you. Dressed like that!

Grace : It was Fashion Week and I was actually going to my friends house with the intention of going out later. We ended up watching a short film that was so provoking, I was in my head about it and I didn't want to go out anymore so I stayed over and wore the same thing to Telfar's show the next day.

Sana:  Well you looked *hot!

Grace: Thank you. I didn't know who he was at the time and I mentioned him to my friend. She said "Girl, you better take the picture." So I did. (laughs)


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dissection Of A Menu: Mooncake Foods

Dissection Of A Menu: Are we eating the brand? Or what's on the menu? Lets find out...

photography by so does estella

These days, many businesses rely on creative marketing and fancy-pants branding for at least some portion of their success. When looking at condos a couple of weeks ago, the developer practically had me hook, line, and sinker just with the marketing materials. The information cards were done by letterpress! A stationery geeks dream. This practice is no different for eateries, so I'm putting my favorite (and new) haunts to the test.

Fare: Wins
Mooncake serves Chinese with a slight Vietnamese influence. Usually I shutter at the word diner but this place is a little different. They avoid fried foods and offer favorites like Wonton Soup with watercress, and Vegetarian Peashoot Dumplings. Need I say more?

Interior & Design (as shown above): Wins

1. Charming Storefront In Rich Rouge Color
2. Vintage Pendant Lamp
3. Framed Vintage Oil Painting
4. Adorable Arrangement Of Color-Grouped Supplies

Branding: Wins

Are we eating the brand or what's on the menu?
Both! Have to say, I dig the red Buddah logo designed to resemble a stamp and their overall illustrated branding. 

While Mooncake is casual and quaint, the menu is also pretty extensive for a place of it's size.  It's great for lunch near the office or a quick meet up with a friend. Five points for the fresh ginger and brown rice tea!

So, Mooncake wins!!

There are two more NYC locations. Hells Kitchen and Chelsea. 

Have you been?