Category Archives: photography

It’s the economy, stupid.

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Candy nostalgia reigns supreme in the Lower East Side’s Economy Candy store. This circa-1937 Lower East Side staple is filled from floor to ceiling with retro and international confections, including innumerable  brands you never knew were still in production, or even existed from the get-go. Remember wanting to ‘smoke’ candy cigarettes at the corner drugstore like the big kids? Want a piece of Big League Chew after Sunday’s pick-up game? Imagine a rainbow colored array of chocolates, candy button, lollipops, taffies, collectible Pez dispensers, rock candies, gum-balls and every treat that’s meant to upset your dentist. New York Magazine’s review writes, “Rivington Street’s Economy Candy is pure over-the-top New York, a font of variety and abundance that would leave Willy Wonka weeping in his cocoa.”

That’s me, Keren, posing like Economy Candy’s mascot, below! See the resemblance?

Want an Economy Candy Tote for your finds?

Candies by the box

Zagnut bar? Here. Charleston Chews? You bet baby! You want thingamabobs? They’ve got twenty…It is literally impossible to feel depressed in this sucrose, dextrose neon colored dream. In usual NYC fashion, the store is three times smaller than it should be, almost like a Hoarders episode meets an encyclopedic, library-esque sweets store. The space can feel cramped pretty quickly, and lines of by-the-pound shoppers can get daunting during (sugar) rush hour but, don’t let that dismay you!

Baseball Cards and Candy Buttons

Kitsch Galore with Piggy Bank Tins

Fox’s U-bet Chocolate & Flavored Syrups are an original, Brooklyn-bred treat from the era of the soda jerk! Created in 1895, this liquid is rumored to be the only way to make a perfect New York Chocolate Egg Cream.

I will let Economy Candy explain the history of this institution, straight from the horse’s mouth, “Since 1937, on the Lower East Side Economy Candy is an old-fashioned, family-owned candy store that sells hundreds of kinds of chocolates, candies, nuts, dried fruits; including halvah, sugar free candy and of course all the old time candy you had when you were a kid.

When Jerry Cohen’s father opened Economy Candy in 1937, it was a typical corner candy store of its day. Bulk bins full of colorful hard candies enticed youngsters with their panorama of choices. Guys could buy their dolls a heart-shaped box of chocolates when they had trouble expressing themselves in words. Barrels in the back yielded a geography lesson of nuts from around the world. The hard times of the Depression were easing up, the grim specter of war-to-come wasn’t yet hovering over American shores, and television was a scientific marvel that was unlikely to have any practical commercial application.

Years later, the Dow Jones is soaring to previously unimagined heights, military actions are measured in days, and computer-literate three-year-olds are unnervingly common. And the former youngsters of 1937 still visit Economy Candy for a scoop of goodies, a bag of pistachios, or a slice of halvah like you can’t get anywhere else. And their children and their children’s children shop there, too. This old-fashioned candy store offers SOLID DISCOUNTS on everything from sour balls to upscale chocolates.”

Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolly Lolly Pop!

My coffee cup is resting precariously on Old Fashioned Candy Sticks and Candy Canes so I could get this shot of the M&M wall. The confectionary utopia has common candies as well (and sometimes ever color coded), however its strength lies in the products of yore!  The whole space reads like a Pop Art painting.

My friend, Jeffrey J., exploring the endless possibilities in this parlor of sweets.

The Candy Man Can

Feel like a “Kid in a candy store”, yet? If buying in bulk is not your forte, trying living with these pastel, saccharine soaked products:

Candy is Dandy but Liquor is Quicker

Shop by the Numbers:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

A Moveable Feast

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What do you get when you cross Williamsburg, Brooklyn with a veritable cornucopia and smörgåsbord of food options? A Smorgaburg! Let’s break this down for a second, a smorgasbord is a type of meal served buffet-style with multiple dishes of various foods on a table, originating in Sweden. In English and also in Scandinavian languages, the word smörgåsbord refers loosely to any buffet with a variety of dishes.

Smorgasburg happens every Saturday, rain or shine.  Part of the Brooklyn Flea Market,  Smorgasburg brings together food entrepreneurs and established purveyors from New York City and across the region selling both packaged and prepared foods, fresh produce, and other food-related stands (kitchen utensils, housewares, etc.), for a total of approximately 100 vendors. I have gone to this market several times and it is still my favorite NYC STAY-CATION. In my (very) humble opinion, the best foods hail from:

1. Asia Dog:   Asiadogs are hot dogs with Asian-inspired toppings incorporating flavors found in China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and more. Try the WangDing: Chinese BBQ Porkbelly + onions or the Vinh: Vietnamese banh-mi style: aioli + pate + cucumbers + pickled carrot and daikon + cilantro + jalapeno.

2. Bon Chovie: This is what happens when a chick with a metal head and a green thumb moves fromSeattle to Williamsburg andmarries a charter boat captain and all-around seafood maniac from Florida’s gulf Coast. If you know what’s good for you, have the fried anchovies “jersey style” (head’s on) and relish in the smoked paprika mayo and pickled sweet peppers on the side. Finally, if your thirst need quenching, they have a non-alcoholic sangria that has more fruit than a Chiquita banana headdress.

3. Brooklyn Soda Works: An artist and a chemist making soda and carbonated juices from scratch, using fresh and seasonal ingredients. If Willy Wonky had a soda factory and a seltzer bottle, he would be making these drinks. Using foraged ingredients like sassafras, knotweed, shiso, fennel and peppercorn, soda works makes the freshest (never from syrups or concentrates) and most refreshing fizzy lifting drinks. I want to use EVERY one of them in cocktails as mixers. Your best best will be the ‘grapefruit, jalapeno & honey’ pop.


4. Schnitz: Schnitz is the Shit(z). It is a quick-serve food business dedicated to serving your favorite comfort food: Schnitzel! For those who didn’t get the memo, schnitzel is thin, breaded and lightly fried pieces chicken, pork or veal. All sandwiches are served on a pretzel bun, your options include Sweet Onion: panko crusted crumbs + jicama radish pickle + beet tzatziki or Bamberg: panko parsley crumbs + cuco-daikon pickle + caramelized opinion mustard. My grandmother made schnitzel like it was her job, mostly because she was a stay at home mother and this was her “job”, to cook schnitzel. She was from the Polish shtetl and knew good schnitzel, this stuff comes close.



5. The Good Batch: This purveyor of ice cream sandwhiches began with a simple mission:  bake pure, not overly sweet, delicious food. Anna Gordon, the founder and pastry chef of The Good Batch, has a lot of Dutch people in her life, and after years of receiving eager requests for making fresh stroopwafels, she finally did it. I must admit, the classic Goodwich style ice cream sandwich featuring vanilla ice cream and an irresistible oat cookie loaded with Belgian milk and dark chocolate chunks, and topped with sea salt was the PERFECT combination of salty and sweet.



Honorable Mentions: We Rub You, Mighty Quinn’s 

And then we took the East River Ferry home back to the isle of Manhattan and lived happily ever after…

My Week in Snapshots: 6/1/2012 – 6/8/2012

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The world as seen through my cellphone! Welcome to the week that was.

1. My handsome and brilliant nephew turned three so I went home for his third birthday bash! The morning involved his pre-school friends, a little gym, and pretending to be dinosaurs! The party was Toy Story themed and the room was filled with characters like Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Rex, Hamm, Slinky Dog and Mr. Potato Head!

2. The city was a ghost town during Memorial Day weekend. I think the only two people left in the West Village were my friend Rachel and I. We took this as a hint that we needed to use her empty apartment’s rooftop to make homemade Sangria and hang outdoors. This recipe included peaches, strawberries, apples, red wine and rum! Salud!

3. Walking down the street, sometimes looking down at my feet, I was struck by how beautiful the sidewalk appeared. The random splotches of acrylic, gum, and staining somehow created a perfect Jackson Pollock inspired vignette.

4. Feel transported to another time? My friend Jennell’s mom just became a grandmother (and that means Jennell also just became an aunt)! Rather than buy her new little Molly girl a new stroller, she opted for a vintage carriage. This Inglesina Classic, restored and repainted by Jennell’s mom,  has remained in the traditional English style for more than for 40-years. The top detaches for easy carrying.

5. My summer bracelets were designed by Marina Pecoraro and found while meandering through a flea market! The silk chord , bright colors, and 14 karat gold details give a delicate yet bold touch to any outfit. You can shop more of her jewelry HERE. Free shipping in the USA and she accepts design requests.

6. Rachel and I (and my friend Gerard – the photographer of this image) took the Long Island Railroad to Syosset is a hamlet (and a census-designated place) in Nassau County, New York, in the northeastern section of Town of Oyster Bay near the North Shore of Long Island. We spend the day soaking in the sun and swimming in the water; the ocean was also filled with seaweed and horseshoe crabs, but the temperature was perfect.

7. Every year the not-for-profit that keeps Central Park cultivated, green and blooming hosts a benefit to raise funds to be able to continue its missions. The summer event titled Taste of Summer which invites guests to savor delicious culinary fare from top New York City chefs and restaurants at a one-of-a-kind tasting event in the heart of Central Park. Held at the iconic Bethesda Terrace, this annual benefit for the Central Park Conservancy brings together visionaries in support of its mission to restore and maintain the Park. Taste of Summer also features a luxury-filled silent auction, dancing to one of the city’s hottest DJs, and The Taste Café hosted by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Michael and I had an amazing time dancing, eating, and drinking specialty cocktails.

Small salad plates were made from fresh vegetables that were kept in a gorgeous visual display.

Here are some tasty looking morsels or what stock photographers called “food-mosphere” from the North End Grill and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group.

Not my best photo, this one is a candid shot taken by Michael – sorry for my drunken looking eyes! However, please note the bangles, necklaces, and my new favorite summer polish by Essie: Mojito Madness!

The red-eye prone couple with a floating rose petal and water display. 

8. One of its comments on Yelp states, “I was skeptical before even walking in to Hill Country Chicken. For starters, this place looked way too clean to be serving good fried chicken…Usually when I’m getting my fried food fix, I am not expecting to be offered Boylan soda or champagne…But different can be good, and at Hill Country…different is definitely BETTER!” Hill Country Chicken is in the Flatiron District and is inspired by its founder’s childhood memories and his passion for the Texas-style home cooking of his mother and grandmothers, Betty and Momma Els – hearty, crave-able comfort food served lovingly, casually and unpretentiously by people with big smiles on their faces.  Milkshakes, pies, chicken, potato salad, mac & cheese, pickles, and beer (Pork Slap, 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat, Mama’s Little Yella Pills, Moo Thunder Stout, Modelos, and PBRs)

Image found HERE. The entire vibe of the restaurant is retro fifties meets quirky diner meets southern charm. 

9. While walking home from work I was struck my this gorgeous girl, with super unique style, sitting outside of The School of the Visual Arts. I think her name was Kim (or maybe Jessica?). She just moved to New York City from Virgina and trained her Lovebird (a tiny and affectionate type of Parrot) to sit outside with her on park benches.

10. Michael and I are leaving this weekend for his cousin’s wedding in Ibiza, Spain. We were told to buy and wear a “summer suit” so here is my boyfriend’s Hugo Boss outfit including paisley pocket square, pink shirt, camel-tan blazer, and navy chinos. He will look SHARP!

Thank you for visiting! How was YOUR week? What did you eat? Who did you see? 

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