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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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Ossining, New York

William Joseph Reynolds, author of Ossining a Brief History, explains, “Early 17th century Dutch maps of the Hudson River Valley show an Indian village, whose inhabitants were part of the Mohegan Tribe, named “Sint Sinck.” That phrase, when translated, means “stone upon stone” and refers to the extensive beds of limestone found in the southern part of the village.” Frederick Philipse, in 1685 fell so in love with the land, which is bounded to the west by the Hudson River and to the north by the Croton River, that he  bought the area from the Sint Sinck American Indians. The last lord of the manor, also named Frederick Philipse, was a Loyalist in the American Revolutionary War, so the State of New York confiscated the manor in 1779. As of 1901, the vast acreage has been incorporated as Westchester County, New York.

A local Indian authority suggested the town be named Ossinsing, a different form of the name Sing Sing. One year later the last “s” was removed for ease in pronunciation. However, today the district might be most famous as the fictional hometown of Don Draper and family – the main protagonist of Mad Men on AMC.

My friend and colleague, Max. The city mouse prepares to meet the country mouse. 

The gang waits at the train station. 

After the not-so-arduous journey we arrived at Sue’s humble abode! 

Ossining, although seemingly light years away from the hubbub of NYC, is actually only a short jaunt of 45 minutes via the Hudson Line on Metro North. Yet, in those 45 minutes the concrete and alumnim dissipate into expansive canopies of foliage, unfiltered crisp air and a carpet of green grass. When we walked into Sue’s house, circa the 19th century, we were greeted with a spread that would put Martha Stewart to shame! Sue’s warm welcoming and hospitality instantly linked the several strangers in the group as “family-for-the-day”.

While everyone was enjoying the autumnal bounty of artichoke spreads on crostini, caramelized onion flat breads, crudités and other hors d’oeuvres, I took the small opportunity to sneak away before anyone noticed! I apologize to my magical hostess Sue, but her home was just so inviting and perfectly manicured. Beyond the dining room and kitchen, lay a world of antique accessories, pattern play and a gorgeous living room.

And I tiptoed down the hallway (on a Persian runner), to the backyard, to where everyone was eating outside on this unseasonably warm October afternoon. Nary 10 minutes later, no one seemed to notice I had disappeared into the world of Sue’s gorgeous home! Every detail is in it’s rightful place, every window letting in the light just so.

And so a beautiful day of book suggestions, conversation, food and friendship drew to a close. It certainlty did not hurt that Sue is practically a Michelin starred chef whose pièce de résistance of the night was a warm Spicy Tomato, Sriracha & Blue Cheese SoupThis is what the harvest season is brings.