Category Archives: CitySpotlight

Flea markets, out of town destinations, and travel related posts (hotels or vacation picks)

Beach House Inspired Brooklyn Apartment

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For many people, summertime means heading out to soak up some rays in the Hamptons, taking a dip at the nearest idyllic borough beach, or hanging out at a backyard BBQ. But theater producer Kate Russell and her partner Colin Moneymaker share a year-round beach bungalow — which just happens to be in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood. Car horns and street chatter can’t be heard form this garden-facing abode, so there’s no disruption of the home’s island-getaway vibe.

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The couple found the main room’s mounted drift wood on a trip to Maine and affixed it to the wall to remind them of their travels. It acts as both keepsake and one-of-a-kind sculpture.

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Below it, a small antique school desk plays DJ, holding a modest but well-played record collection. Tucked inside are a few favorite titles and a seashell, a memento of a day by the water.

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Kate and Colin’s combined design aesthetic is cool and collected. Colin works in downtown Manhattan, and Kate is a freelancer who works from her home office.

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A simple desk in the living room is where she’s put into motion her most recent project: launching a theater company, and fundraising for its first production. Coincidentally, given Kate’s seaside-inflected home decor, the company’s inaugural season kicks off with an original adaptation of the classic maritime novel “Moby Dick.”

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A laidback look

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The Moroccan and tie-dyed pillows paired with colorfully patterned rugs against blond wood pieces and a modern couch help to communicate a relaxed style. The combined textures are thoughtfully chill, and reminiscent of overlapping beach towels on the sand. White shelves, built by Colin, hold photographs capturing time spent with family, intermingled with artifacts found along the way and quaint stacks of treasured natural elements like stones and driftwood.Colin takes great pride in his city garden.

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Plant life along all the windowsills evokes images of a beautiful reef or cliff-side bluff. Some of the couple’s favorite plants are sourced at nearby Homecoming on Franklin Street, a charming cafe and lifestyle store, and a haven for the neighborhood’s urban gardeners.

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When trying to achieve this look, remember to balance color and space. It’s a memorable home because it’s personal, but still minimal. In the absence of clutter, there are keepsakes.room

Taking a lead from nature itself, only a handful of simple pieces make the space sing. But Kate and Colin manage to bring the staycation home, and set a course to the welcoming space where they’ve dropped anchor.

Paris: A Tiny Tour of Boot Cafe

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It’s been really lousy in New York (and anywhere north of Washington) for the last few weeks and I figured I could brighten your day with a cyber jaunt to Paris for some pour-over coffee at Boot Cafe!

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I didn’t discover Boot Cafe. Everyone has scooped it, I mean everyone. The New York Times and Vogue have blown its tiny cover. You can’t but help feel like you’ve discovered a well-kept secret. That might be attributed to the size of the cafe, it’s probably standing room 10 people and even that would be a tight fit.

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It’s a departure form the lofty co-working spaces coffee shops have adapted in the last decade. What it lacks in physical real estate it makes up for in balls-out personal charm. The walls are layered in photographs, art objects, and postcards. It has a distinctly American vibe thanks to killer take-away coffee and the nearly all-English speaking Baristas.

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Located in a distinctly queer and not so newly bourgeoisie neck of the woods called the Marais, this miniature wonderland is an ideal spot for a tourist or local to hang their hat. The French signage from the original shoe repair shop is a beautiful shade of pale blue and as you enter the double doors your welcomed with all white subway tilling, three tiny marble tables and a tidy server station which looks like the best coffee shop job this side of the river.

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The vibrant green plastic stools that look like stumps are Arnold Circus Stools and are sourced from a shop in London by designer Martino Gamper. They are so chic and I am obsessed with them.

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Along narrow black shelves are perched bottles of water for the taking, bags of coffee beans, and treasures for purchase from nearby and faraway. When I stopped in they were selling Echo Park Pottery Mugs by Peter Shire Studio from the US.

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After taking some pictures and caffeinating I sat down and talked shop with a local regular, cutie Frank Adrian who brought by a homemade lemon cake that was divine (sidebar: he’s got a killer Instagram- follow @cakeboyparis). The small interior invites conversation the same way a cozy living room might.

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I can’t stress enough how generally lousy the take-away coffee game is in Paris, but Boot Cafe is one of the few exceptions and give you that boost a city for walking always needs. Go there when you are visiting Paris, or close your eyes real tight, ignore the buzzing of your electric heater and go there right now in a daydream. Isn’t it rad!? I know!

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THE GET THERE: Unsolicited Advice to a Freelancer

Credit: Michael Popp Studio
Credit: Michael Popp Studio

I haven’t done a post in a while and I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned in the last 10 years in New York. Seeing everyone “get there” in business or personal life is something that starts to happen when you hit 30 in New York. Either folks are having babies and buying houses or peers start to find a niche for themselves professionally.

Recently, out to coffee with my friends I’ve noticed all are in varying stages of either realizing or investing in their own professional success in non-profit sectors and freelance capacities. Some are expanding their businesses, some are starting new bigger/hairier projects and some are packing-up and heading west. My own philosophy for a long time was to find money. I took every gig under the sun and that nomadic freelance lifestyle always paid, sometimes not with actual dollars, but always with a lesson or a scar. That philosophy has served me for as long as it could. I have survived in New York and now I gotta get there.

Below are 3 things that continue to work for me and that I learned from folks further down the road than myself.  Some or none of these will apply to your experience.

1. Ask for what you want

This is something I learned from my parents and something I really take for granted. Everyone has goals they’ve either sketched out on a map or keep tucked away til’ something magical happens. You can’t bank on that magic and often times the map you’ve laid out doesn’t include the whole picture. The conventional ways modeled for creative people “getting there” haven’t proven useful to me. The way I’ve gotten to a fair majority of my professional success is by asking people for exactly what I want and working backwards. The truth is that people want to help other people and it’s made a whole lot easier if the people in charge have a full understanding of what you want.

2. Better done than perfect

There are jobs where things have to be perfect. Doctors, judges, architects all require a monastic commitment to details and perfection. Luckily the jobs I’m good at don’t. I work in interior design editorial, fundraising, events, styling and other creative industries and I know we aren’t saving lives, we’re making things pretty. There are tons of logistics and attention to detail and those moving pieces are very important, but not science. The personal experience someone has is the only part of the job that should be perfect; the getting there doesn’t have to be.

3. You are doing it wrong

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I’ve messed up on projects or left things uncompleted and had to experience the consequences. It’s in those hair-raisingly awkward interactions or dramatic emails that you learn the most. You have to do it wrong. I learned way more from my slip ups than I did from my successes. The caveat here is that you want to be doing wrong less and less of the time.

What are the tools you use to “get there”?

Where these tips useful? irritating? Comment below

Escape With Manuela, A Small Marvel Designed for an Urban Patio

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MANUELA is a small folded steel shelf to perch a coffee or wine on during your fire escape hang out. It comes in treated wood or hydrualic tile. I love the straight-up design of this friendly little space saver. It’s a real hero and can make even the bleakest of fire-escapes cheery and chic.  Designed by NIMIO  in Madrid, the small showroom produces elegant and simple solutions to tight urban living. We included it in our tip-sheet for outdoor entertaining on Zillow.com. Check out more tips for your next party on the deck here! two patio

 

 

 

THREADBARE THEATRE WORKSHOP GETS ITS SEA LEGS AT WORD BOOKSTORE.

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pictured: Threadbare Founder Kate Russell credit: Michael Cinquino

Longtime friend, Kate Russell (a fellow at ELNYA) is producing a staged reading of her adaptation of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick entitled “or, The Whale.” As founding member of Threadbare Theatre Workshop she’s hustled together some really talented actors and creatives who will all be hanging out and drinking wine  from local sponsors.

Mark your calendars for an Earth Day (April 22nd) at 6:30 pm at WORD Bookstore in Greenpoint Brooklyn.  After the reading there will be a creative conversation talk-back with one of my other favorite creative ladies in N.Y .C (and sometimes L.A) Jen Tullock.

Get into it! I’ll see you there! GO THREADBARE.

Vegan Hotdogery Yeah Dawg Needs You! #UPDATED

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Yeah Dawg needs you as a backer on Kickstarter. Head that way and show love! New York City is a hot-dog city and it’s about time we could all be in on the fun! #YeahDawg

UPDATE:

Yeah Dawg has raised over $20,000.00 ! This means they’ve got 12 hours to make their remaining $5,000.00. Tweet them: @YeahDawgVegan  / Facebook them: Yeah Dawg Facebook / A Instagram them: @YeahDawgVegan to help spread the word. These final hours are the most important ! Godspeed you vegan hot dog! 

Y.D is an organic plant based pop up hot dog cart that serves soy and gluten free dawgs along with an assortment of home made fermented krauts, pickled toppings, coconut bacon, and our own cashew mayonnaise. The Y.D is homemade and hand-rolled using a blend of beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, sunflower seeds, GF flours, herbs and spices. They are unique because they are the only soy and gluten free dawg to hit the market.  Founder and Chief Marina Benedetto is a mover and shaker in New York and has donated services and been an awesome leader/advocate in the LGBTQ community for decades. Show Marina’s brand some love and make the Yeah Dawg Team’s day!

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They are over half way to their goal and need backers on Kickstarter.com. I’m sharing because I realized my own start-up dreams on Kickstarter for The Queer Interior.com and I know how meaningful it can be to feel so supported. If you can’t donate, don’t. Just share the Kickstarter link on your social media and spread the word.  A post on Facebook or Instagram is super helpful especially in the last 72 hours. They’ve got 3 days left and it’s not over til’ it’s over. Share with your foodie friends and brooklyn peeps and let’s get Marina that money.

Here are some helpful links so you can learn more! Feel free to pass any of these along to your followers, friends, and coworkers because every $1 counts! 

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Village Voice spent a day working for Yeah Dawg.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 4.44.54 PMWatch Marina as interviewed by Brooklyn Independent Media talk about the brands goals in philanthropy and taste!

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Check out the reaction of New Yorkers trying these banging’ dawgs through a NY CITY LENS. (Spoiler: THEY LOVED THEM.)

 

 

Millbrook or Bust. A Last Summer Staycation in a Beautiful Barn, Why Not?

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  • Photography by Andrea Priorelli
  • A home tour of a farmhouse in Millbrook, New York

Crowded streets, rotting garbage, lack of moving air underground; these moments of metropolitan madness are the reason that the mythical “upstate weekend” is a necessitiy for a New Yorker’s survival.

Against the better judgement of my accountant (*cough* mint.com *cough”), and the fictionalized fear of where such a trip could lead (we’ve all seen that episode of Girls) I decided to unplug and retreat from the all the noise of the streets and the tweets.

Millbrook, NY (population 300) provided a secluded yet, inhabitated enough location to serve as the perfect backdrop. The town was exceptionally quaint, but don’t worry, it had 3 antique shops.

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Our lodging, a barn converted into a home a heaven, was simply stunning.

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The impact an open floor plan can have on opening a jaded soul, should never be understated.

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Vibrant colors against pristine whites.

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with beauty in the details,

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sun through the windows,

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and stars in the sky.

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12 queers, 4 days, 3 nights, 1 location, 0 regrets.

Millbrook NY, we owe you. #BarnOfSecrets2014

Detroit Rose Rises; A Giveaway and Q&A with Deirdre Skiles #queercrush

We’ve got a crush on a candle. Detroit Rose Candle Co. is our newest obsession. Ranging from super butch jars like LEATHER to outlandish and fun scents like GIN FIZ; we’re loving this fledgling candle company’s first season of scents. We’ve seen a lot of American craft and entrepreneurship happening in Detroit and the number of New York expats making the commute.  A creative at heart Deirdre Skiles who sought out the city to play host to a writing retreat ended up discovering the tactile career of candle creation. We got the low down on her own journey to her Eastern Market home,  the scents she’s playing with and the future of her new company.

*Giveaway alert! As a special End-Of-Summer promotion Detroit Rose will be gifting 3 of her original candles to a lucky winner. It’s easy! Keep reading to find out how you can win and watch on Facebook! #queercrush #detroitrosecandleco

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How did you end up in Detroit? When did you start Detroit Rose?

Detroit Rose Candle Co. was created in August 2013.  I was living in New York at the time and came to Detroit to do some research for a book I was (am still) writing. A friend took me to this really enchanting area of town called Eastern Market where vendors sell produce, plants and art and I kind of fell in love with the place. It was this dense part of the city that was so full of life and I wanted to be a part of it. I had just made a batch of candles to give as gifts and thought “I could sell these here, that would amazing to just sit at the market and interact with people and take the world in from that perspective”.  A month later I was selling soy candles I’d poured in found mason jars at the market. I actually live in an old loft space in Eastern Market now and all production is out of my kitchen.

 

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Have you always bleather copyeen crafty? When did you first learn the process of creating scents and making candles?

2.     Crafty?  Yes. More or less. I think I just like to make things, be creative, experiment.  Playing with scents and oils is something I picked up in the process of candle making.  Sometimes it goes all wrong, but sometimes you make something magical. Scent is such a visceral thing. It can really transport you to a memory or time in your life. I like the idea that I’m making these little jars that take someone back to a time in their life they want to remember or something that helps them to find calm when they need it.

Which candles are your your favorite and best sellers?

Top Sellers … Taos Sage, Pipe Tobacco, Lavender Love & Bergamot. Everyone loves Bergamot. Seriously, I dare you to find a human who doesn’t respond positively to that scent.  My favorite to burn is Pipe Tobacco.  It’s this perfect blend of cherry, wood & smoke. I’m obsessed.


Where can I buy these delicious candles?

You can find Detroit Rose candles at Willys (Shinola’s new store in Detroit).  El Dorado General Store (this badass vintage store in Corktown). My Etsy. And in September you can buy them at the Detroit Built Pop Up at the Michele Varian Boutique in Soho.

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*Giveaway alert! End-Of-Summer Promotion:
Detroit Rose will be gifting 3 of their original candles to a lucky winner.
It’s easy to enter:
1. LIKE Detroit Rose & The Queer Interior on Facebook
2. Post this feature to your own page and hashtag:
#queercrush #detroitrosecandleco
3. We’ll announce the winner on September 1st which means you’ve got from today (the 19th) til’ then to enter.

 

Cold Spring Parties at The Living Room

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Spring is in the air and that means wedding industry folks are gladly waist deep in flowers, tule, and brides. Event space and wedding venue The Living Room in Cold Spring is located on historic and charming Main Street and hit the big time when one of it’s first couples to host a reception for their wedding were Cold Spring neighbors and Martha Stweart Wedding influencers Matt and Jack.  The cozy and modern event space is this week’s #WednesdayWonder and we really dig the scene! Antiquing near by, river-side views and near by nature walks and water make this converted drugstore the perfect place for a dance party, yoga hang, or market. They’re currently doing a weekly Sunday market called Bazaar-on-Hudson and they’ve gathered vendors of all walks to sell there goods from 10:30-4:30 pm. Check out all the neat stuff this lovely little space is making happen in the mid-Hudson Valley just off the Metro North train!

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The lit paneled pine walls and sprung dance floor make make for a custom and feet friendly dance experience and we love the sculptural details!

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The painted tin ceiling and original floors create a lovely and at home vibe. Styled above are some amazing local antique store finds, an old ladder stocked with nearby wines and whiskey from Van Brunt Stillhouse in Brooklyn New York. We couldn’t help but add a little Stevie Nicks too!

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 *Wednesday Wonder is a post about an object, space, or idea we share every Wednesday. If you have a #WednesdayWonder you’d like to share get at us on FBInstagramTwitter, or Email: thequeerinterior@gmail.com