Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Shopping Safari: Nolita

Another amazing winter day, temperature in the 60’s, calls me to Nolita Wearing just jeans, boots, and sweaters, my neighbor Lisa and I follow the siren song of our favorite shops, whizzing down the FDR Drive. No traffic at all! Stopping first at 257 Elizabeth Street, the adorable pink, orange and green Tory Burch store shouts to be entered. Piles of multi-colored v-necks for budding baby fashionistas, skirts brightly embroidered with flowers for their mothers, crisp-cotton polo shirts in fresh green-and-white prints with matching long cardigans, turquoise print dresses make us think of sunny resorts.
“Reva” ballerinas with bold T-buckles in metallic are just the thing for the holidays. At 247 we visit Jamin Puech, the Parisian shop with the best bags. Do we want the bronze bowling ball bag with turquoise studs or the red knit, double-pocketed carry-all? What about two beaded evening bags…each one original and colorful? Life is full of choices…Seize sur Vingt, at 243, offers ready-made and made-to-measure shirts for you and for the man in your life, straight from Italy, alongside chic cashmere socks and scarves. Plaid or striped boxers might make the perfect Xmas stocking stuffer. Le Labo, at 233, will create your own signature fragrance with its flower scents from Grasse. You needn’t travel far for this extraordinarily original gift, arriving with a personalized label. Terra Planta at 260, tempted with its golden boots. Me&Ro seduced with gold pendants and diamond horns. Cadeau, at 254 looked cute, but when we realized the sexy tops were maternity wear, we moved on!
We pass a beguiling shop, Trust Fund Baby, and see new Notify jeans with skulls at Henry Lehr at 9 Prince. Sigerson Morrrison, at 28, lures us in with its silver boots and golden sling-backs. Urban cowboys will love Double RL at 31.
Moving along to Mott Street we admire caps at La Coppola Storta at 246 for you and your dog. Yellow-beaded cardigans and plum linen dresses at Rebecca Taylor at 260 catch our eye. Teddy-bear change purses at High Way at 238 with matching make-up cases rival the leopard print undies at Only Hearts, our favorite spot for soft cotton lingerie, at 230. Polux, fleuriste, at 248, stops us dead in our tracks.

Are we really in New York? The arrangements in this window are truly French. We want the delicate, monochromatic arrangements with exotic blooms, dotted with berries and Brassica (cabbage, to you). Rows of paper whites in logs perfumed the air of this sweet shop. Dinosaur Designs at 250 is where it’s at for beads and cuffs. Long chains of every hue, wooden cubes, Lucite squares, ropes of coral, and chokers in garnet, giant balls of red would all look great, jazzing up your basic cashmere turtlenecks.

Large but delicate earrings from Gas, at 238, in filigree, could be just thing for those whose ears are not pierced.
All this walking makes us hungry, so we stop for lunch at Bread, a wonderful spot for Panini and shrimp salad, tomato soup and delicious Cappuccino. Tiny tables and window seats make this cozy hub great for people watching. We see Michael J. Fox go by and are surrounded by young fashion editors, mothers, writers, and a host of neighborhood types perched on stools or stationed at the bar. Renewed, we head for 209 Mulberry Street, where Tracy Feith is a real destination. Brocade dresses, corduroy shifts, jeweled clutch bags tempt, but I can’t resist a camel-tooled leather belt with a distressed skull-and-bone buckle, just what I need to hold up my hip-hugging jeans! This jewel of a store always has something special.

At 201,
we hit the jackpot, Cath Kidson, with its fresh prints covering everything from clothes to dishes to scrap books. Pink-handled cutlery, polka-dotted cups and trays, place mats dotted with flowers, napkins covered in stars, cotton pajamas dotted with bouquets of poppy and pansy and piped in pink are things I need. Lisa falls for dishes, butter knives, and an umbrella. I discover a foot-long, red-flowered, draft-catching dachshund for my sister’s pup, Pee Wee. This English designer tempts and messengers her goodies uptown after doing adorable gift-wraps with matching ribbons and cards.
Photographs by Eric Ryan Anderson.