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It’s the economy, stupid.

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

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My Week in Snapshots: 5/06/2012 – 5/13/2012

Somehow everyone in my life was celebrating a birthday this past weekend. It seems like I needed to be logged into Facebook posting ‘Happy Birthday’ messages, sending SomeECards, or texting friends all weekend. Everyone’s parents were clearly very busy in August. Missives and celebratory cards were sent via carrier pigeon, Morse code, and smoke signals! On Sunday, I traveled to my hometown very briefly for a family Mother’s Day Brunch! The weather was perfect for window shopping, strolling, and various forms of meandering. The transition from Spring to Summer brings some of the loveliest days.

Here are a few photos taken straight from my iPhone so that you can see friends and family through mine own eyes.

1. Historic Mount Holly was first settled in 1677 by Walter Reeves who acquired the land by payment from local Native Americans. The town, close to a dam, a main road, and a river, was the first way point between the major northeastern cities of Philadelphia and New York City. Walking through the colonnades and brick house rows feels very colonial. My family and I passed stone mills, cobblestones, and other items that are now on The National Register of Historic Places. One of the federal houses sold homemade quilts, and in the window these gorgeous flowers were blooming. Many houses from the district predate the revolutionary war and built in 1796, the County prison is now a museum. For more information, go HERE or HERE.

2. In the back of Momofuku Ssam is a new bar that opened in January 2012. The bar, named Booker and Dax, is an homeage to new techniques and technologies used in the pursuit of making delicious drinks. The approach to rethinking cocktails is considered, deliberate, and precision-oriented. Questions and curiosity are eagerly welcomed, but most of all booker and dax welcomes anyone looking for a good, strong drink. Some of their drinks are chilled used liquid nitrogen! Here I am drinking the ‘Jenny & Scott’ – yamazaki, mole and hellfire bitters. For the complete menu, visit HERE.

3. While walking through history Mt. Holly my family and I spooted a sign for a ‘Husbandman’ and were curious as to what this was. Well wouldn’t you know it, the term is an antiquated word for ‘a person who cultivates the land’, in short it means ‘a farmer’! You learn something new every day…

4. We had our family branch at a restaurant called The Robin’s Nest. I love its waterfront location and pistachio siding. The restaurant features eclectic cuisine peppered with a French American flair. The restaurant is quaint, friendly, and feels like eating brunch at home (indeed it’s in an old Victorian House), but with stellar food and drool-worthy desserts (Zagat agrees). Learn more HERE.

5. While walking home from work I was struck by the smell of something delicate and breezy. I was passing L’OCCITANE en Provence on fifth avenue. If you do not know the store, everything is sourced locally, and is one of the few cosmetics manufacturers who still produces in France. I smelled roses and lavender, but most of all was drawn in by these gorgeous Immortelle flowers. The canary yellow flowers are aptly named as they represent eternity and immortality – and are used in anti-aging skin creams. If you have not purchased a L’Occitane hand cream, do yourself a favor and order some NOW.

6. I want to click my heels together three times for my new, gorgeous sequined flats with nude piping. But really, how wonderful are these ballet slippers? AND they were under $50, HERE.

7. At work someone brought these tasty candies from Israel. The one in red is a copy of the ubiquitous ‘Kit Kat’ bar and actually phonetically reads ‘Kif Kaf’. Another one of the candies is called “Pesek Zman” and is a Hazelnut Cream Wafer Bar Covered in Milk Chocolate. These candies were DELICIOUS, I love duty-free chocolates. All are by the company “Elite” which is like the “Hershey’s” of Israel (BUT SO MUCH BETTER), if you are interested in purchasing these, I found some online HERE.

8. This is my lovely and dainty place setting from the Orchestra of St. Luke’s Gift of Music spring gala at The Plaza Hotel. The evening of dinner and music (including Mozart’s Magic Flute) raised $1 million for Orchestra of St. Luke’s performance and education programs, and The DiMenna Center for Classical Music. To learn more about this exceptional chamber ensemble that helps with music education programs and performs phenomenal shows, click HERE. The music was exquisite, and hearing a performance by Eric Owens, an operatic Bass-Baritone was transformative. He makes opera fun and accessible.

Peacocks in the trees, candles burning low, and the orchestra preparing to play in the ballroom.

Men in tuxes leaving the wonderful event with swag bags from Saks Fifth Avenue!

Oh hello! That’s a picture of me waiting in the cab line.

9. Madison Square Park has a notoriously wonderful dog park and playground. Some mornings, the park even hosts yoga on the lawn. Right now, the weather has been perfect, and the area is celebrating Madison Square Eats – a sidewalk smorgasbord celebrating the district’s best restaurants. This confluence of wonderful events has been filling the park with people to the brim! You cannot miss the splashy Marimekko umbrellas!

Image and further information found HERE.

10. Club Monaco worked with the Global Goods Partners to offer hand-embroidered woven bags from the Thailand-Burma border, beaded jewelry from Guatemala, and scarves from India. The so called “beachy boutique” is an annual capsule collection featuring a variety of dresses, breezy skirts, embroidered shorts and vests in rich textures inspired by the bohemian oeuvre and cultures of exotic vacations. Global Goods is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women, alleviating poverty and promoting social justice through partnering with third-world communities. These fair trade key tassels will add pizazz to any chain or purse, more HERE.

How was YOUR week?