Exploring ID Pop Shop

After my recent posts about the Chelsea Market and Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market, the people associated with ID Pop Shop invited me to visit their pop-up shop at Chelsea Market this week. I’m always looking for local artists and artisans–you never know what you might discover for yourself or as gifts for others. And the best part is supporting the creative and business efforts of fellow New Yorkers!

ID Pop Shop is short for Independent Designer Pop Shop. Founders Barbara Wilkinson and Raoul Calleja have carefully curated the ID Pop Shop to offer a variety of options to shoppers. Some artists and artisans routinely show their collections in the ID Pop Shop’s events, but new ones are added each time. The ID Pop Shop regularly sets up in the special event space on the first floor of the Chelsea Market (in fact, it’s been there more than 30 times since 2011), but it also utilizes other spaces.

Today, I thought I would focus on some of my favorite discoveries from my visit. I was immediately drawn to the wearable art of Pauletta Brooks. Pauletta’s jewelry is innovative and beautiful. Some pieces have a very strong presence, taking their cues from the gemstones and minerals that are her raw materials, but there are still delicate elements as well. I snapped a few photos of some of my favorite pieces:

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One thing I don’t often see at shows like this is millinery. Well-made hats have a functional purpose, but they can also be works of art! This ID Pop Shop featured the work of milliner Karema Deodato. As you can see from these photos, her hats are beautifully designed from high-quality materials. They would make a unique gift for someone special or a stylish finishing touch for a special outfit.

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ID Pop Shop co-founder Raoul Calleja’s booth, vernakular photo designs, was fun. Vernakular showcases independent photographers’ photographs in unique ways, by imposing the photos on other useful objects. My favorite items are the round manhole cover rugs, which come in a variety of patterns. (Funny story–I was told that a child who saw these rugs thought that a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle might be hidden underneath!)

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Barbara Wilkinson, the other co-founder of ID Pop Shop, has a booth displaying her delicate and beautiful jewelry designs. Barbara combines semi-precious gemstones from India with handcrafted pendants and charms from Indonesia and Thailand. I saw some necklaces that would make thoughtful holiday gifts:

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There were multiple artisans selling beautiful purses and bags. One of my favorites was Viva Zapata! These colorful bags are designed by Brooklyn resident Tania, and they have a great story. The vinyl used in these bags are leftover scraps from companies that manufacture the vividly-colored seat covers for buses in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The bags are then made by Argentinian tailors. These bags are delightful, with their thoughtful combinations of colors–even the zippers and linings are colorful, and each bag has several internal and external zippered compartments. Viva Zapata! bags are also vegan.

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I also loved Susannah Thompson‘s bags, which are made from denim, burlap, and canvas and are very durable. These bags would make a great tote bag to take towels, sunscreen, etc. to the beach, but you could also use one as an easy carry-on bag or daily work bag. The backpack bags in the second photograph are cute and stylish, with leather straps.

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Clothing designer Nina Valenti’s collection, naturevsfuture, is innovative, with unique details that catch the eye. I particularly loved this top’s design, as well as a number of her coats and jackets. The cut and seams create interesting angles in Nina’s designs, and the fabric feels comfortable and warm.

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Finally, I met Katya Slepak, the founder of Malaya Organics. Malaya Organics is a line of natural and organic beauty products, handcrafted in Brooklyn. I tried samples of the moisturizing body oil, rejuvenating face serum, and hair oil. It was raining the day of my visit, and my hair was wild and frizzy–I was impressed by how the hair oil smoothed my hair, and it smelled great as well! Malaya Organics also makes some lovely bath products, including soaps and bath salts.

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There were other great artists and artisans as well–these are just the ones that I had time to get to know during my visit. Because there are new people joining the ID Pop Shop for each event, it’s possible to find new treasures each time.

Although ID Pop Shop will be ending this particular event on November 1, you will be able to find them December 1-21 at a special pop-up shop space in the Meatpacking District: 446 West 14th Street, at the foot of the High Line. Maybe I’ll see you there! They also provide updates about upcoming events on their Facebook page.

Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market

DSC00891-editedIn a previous post, I described some of the things you can do during a visit to Chelsea Market. Today, I want to talk about Artists & Fleas, a great shopping space for art and thoughtful gifts. There are two locations for Artists & Fleas in New York City: Chelsea Market and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Chelsea Market location can be accessed from inside the Market or outside the Market at 10th Avenue and 15th Street.

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What makes Artists & Fleas so enjoyable is that there are numerous vendors, each with their own stall selling their unique art, jewelry, clothing, and other items. There is such variety that everyone can find something that appeals to them.

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In my most recent visit, I found two vendors’ stalls most appealing. First, there is the jewelry designer, Glitterlimes. Glitterlimes jewelry is designed by Debbie Tuch. Debbie’s jewelry is unique. Made from real candy and fruit that Debbie preserves and then treats with a resin, the jewelry immediately grabbed my attention as I walked by the stall.

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Here are a couple of close-up shots of my favorite pieces. The first one is a brooch made from a slice of Kiwano melon, and the second is a candy bracelet. The melon brooch is stylish and striking, a one-of-a-kind piece that would add a special touch to a jacket, dress, or sweater. In contrast, the candy bracelet is pure fun.

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I was told that the Glitterlimes booth will be gone from the Chelsea Market location soon, but it is coming back in December (just in time for holiday gift shopping!).

The other artist/vendor who caught my attention was Kevin Marcell, who makes beautiful silkscreened prints over recycled New York City bicycle maps.

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Here’s a close-up view of a few of the screen-printed posters:

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I couldn’t resist–I bought one of the Williamsburg Bridge prints for myself!

Artists & Fleas is one of those places where you’ll find something unique every time you visit. If you are ever at Chelsea Market, check it out.

Exploring Chelsea Market

DSC00788_editedThere’s something I love about Chelsea Market. Located in New York City’s Meatpacking District, it’s housed in an old brick National Biscuit Company building that spans a full city block. The Market is full of interesting old architectural details, as well as a variety of food establishments and small shops. It can be a lot of fun to explore, but I avoid it on the weekends. Out-of-town visitors flock to Chelsea Market on the weekends, making it almost impossible to appreciate the variety of things the Market has to offer. I prefer going on weekdays, primarily Monday through Thursday. Chelsea Market is much quieter early in the day, but there are some restaurants that may be better enjoyed in the afternoon and evening.

When I went to Chelsea Market last week, the Market had just been decorated for Halloween. If you have the chance to visit this month, I recommend it–the decorations are really fun! Here’s a sampling of what I saw:

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One of the main reasons people go to Chelsea Market is for the variety of delicious food options, from vegan sushi (yes, that’s a thing!) to lobsters, and everything in between. Here are a few of my favorites (although not a complete list). First, I love the cookies at Eleni’s New York. Not only are the cookies delicious, but they also make great gifts! Right now, they have some fun Halloween-themed cookies in the store, but they always have their New York City-themed cookies as well.

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Another favorite: The Lobster Place. In part, the Lobster Place is a seafood market, where you can buy fresh seafood to prepare at home. But it is so much more. There’s a walk-up window where you can buy lobster rolls (or even complete picnics for the High Line), associated with the Lobster Place’s restaurant, the Cull & Pistol (more on that restaurant coming in another post). Most popular with visitors, however, are the whole lobsters cooked fresh to order. The market is jammed full of people standing at tall tables while they tackle their lobster lunch or dinner.

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And I have to admit that I love the fresh doughnuts from the Doughnuttery, especially paired with the coffee from Ninth Street Espresso. At the Doughnuttery, you can have your hot doughnuts tossed in a variety of flavored sugars. My current favorites: Cacaoboy (flavored with cacao nibs, chocolate cookies, and mesquite), and Purple Pig (flavored with maple, purple potatoes, and bacon). The mini doughnuts go well with Ninth Street Espresso’s rich, complex coffee, which is less acidic than the leading chain coffee store’s coffee. Together, they make a great snack for a walk on the High Line.

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Chelsea Market also has some other great shops. I enjoyed exploring the Chelsea Wine Vault, although the last time I was there it was a bit early to taste wine. They offer some intriguing tasting events and special classes about wine–I may have to check one out some time. If you want a bottle of wine chilled, they can have it ready for you in only 4 minutes.

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There’s also this gorgeous flower shop in the middle of Chelsea Market, associated with Mrs. Bloom’s Mobile.

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Visually, the little shop Spices and Tease always draws me in, with its vibrant display of spices and teas.

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Finally, Chelsea Market also has it’s own outpost of Artists & Fleas–but I’ll talk more about that in my next post!

Tips for getting to Chelsea Market: Like pretty much anything in Manhattan, the best way to get to Chelsea Market (and the most cost-effective way) is by public transportation. You can take the A, C, or E to the 14th Street station, or the L to the 8th Avenue Station (these two stations are actually connected). From there, it is only a couple of blocks to Chelsea Market. There’s also one added benefit to taking the subway there. There’s a really interesting art installation in the subway station by artist Tom Otterness called “Life Underground.” The small bronze sculptures are scattered throughout the station, and you may find them in unusual places. Here are a couple of photographs of my favorites.

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