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Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend signals the beginning of summer, sand, sun and surf. It is also a day to remember all of those who have fallen while serving in the United States Armed Forces. My Uncle Milt and Grandfather were members of the U.S. military, and my father served for his home country, as well. It is no small task to risk one’s life for the liberty and lifestyle of others – the sacrifice is almost unfathomable to me. I commend and appreciate our troops. Thank you.

Memorial Day tends to also bring along with it other connotations – giant sales – and for me, the start of Oyster Happy Hour season.

Tiny Fork Oyster Happy Hour
Throughout NYC many restaurants clear their sidewalks, put up umbrellas and open their windows to celebrate the art of the raw bar by offering $1, $1.50 and $2 oysters.

Reveling in today’s 79°F sunlight, I partook in Wellfleet (Northeastern region of Cape Cod Bay, MA, Atlantic Ocean) and Kusshi (Pacific Northwest, Vancouver, BC) varietals, tastes spanning from coast to coast.

The Walkup

My favorite oyster bars in New York City are scattered throughout the West Village, at The Mermaid Inn or at Hotel Delmano in Williasburg. However, today found me on the Lower East Side and I meandered into Tiny Fork. The oysters were briny, some had shell remnants but overall, they were fine and shucked well. I tend to like my oysters with some pomp and circumstance – tell me about the size of the shell or the waters of origin. An OK slurp.

Tiny Fork Oyster Happy Hour

More than the food, I enjoyed the French cafe meets Nantucket schoolhouse interior design. Marble counter tops, classic barstools, black-and-white ceramic tiles (checkerboard pattern) and mercury mirrors.

The Walkup / TheLoveShopWhat better way to remind one’s self of the endless possibilities of summer and the glories of being alive? Hang a The World Is Your Oyster print in your living room via Etsy’s, The Love Shop.
Vintage French Oyster Baskets
These Vintage French Oyster Baskets are from the ’30s or ’40s and add a subtle splash of color, and maritime history, to home storage via Napa Style.
Oyster DishesThe oyster shell stamp on the small dishes are a washed cocoa and cream glaze or a watery green. The teensy oysters are pressed into delicate porcelain via Etsy’s Edith Momplaisir. 

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

–  The Walrus and The Carpenter by Lewis Carroll (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

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The Fat Radish

Situated in a location that’s a little off the beaten track in the Lower East Side, the restaurant is surrounded by shops that flip their sign to “closed” early in the day.  The hidden location doesn’t seem to deter any of the food aficionados and long-haired men in clever button downs and Sergeant Pepper blazers.

The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

“What do I know of man’s destiny? I could tell you more about radishes.” – Samuel Beckett

Part of the “No Farm, No Food” – locavore movement, the Fat Radish describes itself as, “… a simple, elegant and airy room that still retains the industrial feel of London’s original Covent Garden marketplace. The cuisine does not fall into one particular category but rather returns to a way of eating before food was constantly classified. The menu is bound by one philosophy , simple, healthy, delicious dishes created with well-sourced, seasonal ingredients.” The Fat Radish The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

Nothing says ‘classy’ quite like a branded trucker hat. The Fat Radish The Fat Radish The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

Fat Radish Silkstone

Silkstone, a creative agency in New York City, designed the restaurants slightly dilapidated but clever decor. When the owners began creating the restaurant in 2010 they were faced with a challenge – how do you a turn an old Lower East Side building (that was formally a sausage factory) into a light and airy dining space? Sourcing the right materials was of utmost importance. With 1970s Covent Garden as an inspiration, the team used old barn wood, unique light fixtures, and renovated the original brick floors, achieving the goal of making the space feel open and light. Along with the challenge of the dining space, there was also the challenge of the kitchen; with no kitchen space existing, a full build out of one was necessary. The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

The eponymous radish table plate, rather than the usual crusty bread offering.The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

Scotch Egg, cornichons, seeded mustard. The Fat Radish

Celery root pot pie, black garlic, gruyere cheese.

   The Fat Radish - Grilled Cheese

The Fat Radish

Kale Caesar Salad, Anchovy, Croutons, Bacon and Egg by candlelight.

The Fat Radish

The dessert menu…

The Fat Radish

Petite pot du creme.

The Fat Radish

My favorite aspect of the restaurant, as is with my entire life, a toss up between the food or the decor. Woody, rustic and comfortable with some Chinese graffiti (to pay tribute to its location) has me feeling as if I’m about to eat at an in-law’s quaint yet modern country home. The ambiance  is really lovely, and something I would like to replicate.

Sam Sifton from the New York Times puts it best, “The Fat Radish is a pleasant and pleasing restaurant for all this, however: a handsome young golden Labrador, camera-ready, hard not to like. To sit in its dining room as light plays off the huge mirror in back, candles flickering everywhere, eating rillettes and drinking wine, is to experience a small part of the New York that leads people here inexorably and always will.”

FatRadish Inspired Industrial Decor

1. Industrial Pendants – A run of larger 1940/50’s British industrial pendant lights by Maxlume, salvaged from a factory in the north of England. Cast aluminium with thick domed glass diffusers. We’ve left these lights in the original green paintwork, simply beeswaxing them to bring out the patina. Large runs of British industrial lighting like this a an increasing rarity.

2. Ayers Skull & Bones Decanter by Ralph Lauren Home. Feeling sinister? How about I mix you up some arsenic and old lace…

3. Candela Cube by Sonia Lartigue, 2010 from the Museum of Modern Art Design Store. This table lamp is made using traditional Mexican craft techniques. When lit, the mirrors create beautiful, geometric optical effects. Handmade. Requires one incandescent 25W bulb (bulb not included).

4. Sturdy and tough industrial table by Woodland Imports.

5.  Pewter Stoneware Large Covered Casserole Dish by Juliska.

6. Greengage Wall Clock – Quirky as the British industrial example that inspired it, this weathered wall clock will add good-natured gravitas to your kitchen or family room. Gracious green laminated face with metal hands. Quartz movement.

7. Bring home the elegance of French-inspired cutlery with this LeBrun Laguiole Ivory style set.

8. The silver, metallic stool is built of beautiful elm wood reclaimed from buildings and furniture pieces that graced the eclectic Qing dynasty. The piece is meticulously hand built and finished by time-honored craftsman utilizing over 120 different processes, by Madera Home Furniture.

What restaurant would you choose to live in?

 

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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