Monthly Archives: January 2014

Greenpoint Guide: Le Gamin

Hola Hart Beat! Welcome to the third installment of the Greenpoint Guide series on the blog. To read the first reviews visit favorite neighborhood haunts Ovenly and Word to get the full story. Today I want to tell you about my favorite french restaurant and cafe in the neighborhood, Le Gamin. The restaurant is located just a block away from Word at 108 Franklin Street in Greenpoint and is the kind of french restaurant and cafe that I used to dream about having near me before I moved to Brooklyn.

Le Gamin in Greenpoint is the sister restaurant of the Soho original location. The French owner, Robert Arbor, then went on to expand the restaurant by opening the Greenpoint branch and for that I am very thankful. Le Gamin is open daily from 8:30am to 10pm which means that you can both come in for a petit déjeuner of muesli, fruit, and a traditional Citron Chaud (pictured above on the left) which is the delicious drink consisting of fresh lemon juice, hot water and honey, and for lunch, dinner and everything in between.
These pictures here on the blog were taken when my mom visited the city and the two of us went into Le Gamin for breakfast. I loved being there in the late morning as the sun streamed through the window but, coming to Le Gamin for dinner is almost better. The ambiance is so romantic without being pretentious and the menu is amazing. The muscles and french fries are a particular favorite of mine and the best part is on Tuesday’s the host a bottomless muscle and fries dish for only $20. Um, yes please. 
Anyway, if I wasn’t going to be out of town for Valentine’s Day this is where I would go to celebrate for sure. For all of you still in the city I can’t imagine a more perfect spot than the quietly charming neighborhood of Greenpoint and a delicious dinner at Le Gamin.

Baby elephants in Thailand

Happy Tuesday, Hart Beat! I’m so excited to share these photos and videos with you today. My roommate Ami’s parents are visiting for a few days before the fly back home to Cambodia and last night they share the most adorable story with me. Ami and her sister, riding the elephant in the photo above, grew up in Thailand and Cambodia where they tell me there are elephants just walking around all over the place. When Ami and Monika were growing up the elephant hospital near their dad’s house in Thailand helped birth a very rare set of elephant twins. The elephants Tong-Teng and Tong-Kun were only 15 days old when Ami and her family went to visit the babies. The pictures below are taken by Ami’s dad.

I was floored when I heard this story. Growing up in western Massachusetts we had black bears and deer but nothing like elephants. And baby elephants! Sweet baby Jesus Tennessee, too cute. Ami’s dad, Oke, shared some videos he took of Tong-Teng and Tong-Kun playing with each other just months after they were born. I can’t stop watching them, it’s unreal. I’m so thankful to have Ami’s parents visiting for a few days, especially since Oke cooks the most amazing Thai food. I love hearing the stories of Southeast Asia and I hope next year I get to go over and visit the elephants for myself. 

Babies be playing.
They are so cute when they fall down and can’t get back up.
These two.
Thanks to Oke for all the photos and videos.

West coast

Hi Hart Beat. Today’s dreary weather has me daydreaming of my almost life on the west coast. I am so thankful to be living in New York and the life I have built here but, man, sometimes I miss those solar rays. In honor of the left coast here’s a little Monday afternoon song for you lovely readers. Also, heard on WNYC this morning there is a major drought out there right now, sending rain your way CA.

“West Coast” by Coconut Records

Greenpoint Guide: Word

You know that feeling when you finish a great book and are so frustrated because you have no idea what to read next? I have the best solution for you. Greenpoint’s local bookstore, Word, is the perfect place to go on a dreary Saturday afternoon like this and find the next read you’ll obsess over. 
One of the best parts about Word is that if they don’t have the book that you want, they’ll order it for you right away. I’ve never had to wait longer for a book to come in stock and that my friends, is an amazing thing.
Word, located at 126 Franklin Street in Greenpoint, is the kind of neighborhood bookstore that doesn’t come around so often anymore. Not only do they keep me in the good books but they have great events (book readings, book releases, and neighborhood local parties) and amazing book groups. I haven’t had time to go to one yet but the novels that they choose for the six different groups are all amazing. 
Side note, Word also has this great bulletin board (pictured above on the right) where you can post an add looking for a roommate or apartment in the neighborhood AND a match making dating service called “Between the Covers.” To join you write down your name, contact information, who you’re looking for, and the kind of books you read. Genius. 
Little matchbooks with book covers!

Favorite 2014 calendar: The Skinny Dipping Report

Hi Hart Beat. Happy Friday! This post is coming at you a few weeks late but it’s still January so I feel like it’s still acceptable. One of my friends from Bates works for a creative agency that collaborated to publish this amazing calendar called “The Skinny Dipping Report.” The calendar hails itself as “The world’s leading authority on swimming naked and doing it well” and Hart Beat, I can’t really argue with that.  

Skinny dipping is the world’s most universally recognized erotic social experience. For many, it was our first time being naked outdoors, even our first time being naked with someone else or even seeing another naked body in the flesh as up until then the only naked body seen are those on adult websites like Japan. Our first skinny dip may have been an act of rebellion, perhaps from parents, friends, or simply our own fears. We reassured each other and ourselves with the promise that darkness and water would conceal our naked bodies, when secretly we knew there was plenty of light to see. It was a good excuse to subvert our own fears of being naked together. 

The calendar prints photographs taken by different people for each month and with the photograph comes the most beautiful story. Each photographer writes a short description of where the picture was taken and how the subject came to be skinny dipping. The calendar also gives a great guide for each photograph highlighting where exactly the picture was taken, where to stay while you’re there, what to eat from the area, and the best drink to go along with your skinny dipping adventure.

I can’t figure out which month I like the best (although, the locations in Spain are definitely top five.) I ordered the calendar to put up in my apartment, I think it’s one of the most beautiful ideas I’ve seen in a while. Enjoy these four months here and then follow this link to see the entire calendar online or order it for yourself here. Apparently this isn’t the first year for the skinny dipping calendar and there’s an ongoing submission for next years installment. I think this is going to be a goal of mine for 2014. More skinny dipping is always a good idea, right Hart Beat?  

Each page also comes with this simplistic calendar featuring the moon cycles so you can plan you’re trip according to the nighttime moon. How romantic. 

Thanks to The Skinny Dipping Report for the lovely pictures. 

Unavailable men, the story of my life

Hi Hart Beat. The other day on the train I was thinking about dating in the city and how horribley awful it is. My curent theory is that if everyone talked to each other on the subway then no one in this city would be single. Seriously Hart Beat, think about it. How many attractive men do you see riding the train every day? HUNDREDS. Just kidding, but only about the numbre of men on the subway. The market where I used to work represented this amazing artist Pamela Barsky who designs and makes these great bags with hilarious sayings on them. My store space used to be right across from hers and so I would read the bags all day long. Some of them are cute or about New York but my favorite one by far was this one bellow.

I remember looking at this one everyday and wonder how simple and true it was. Sometimes I even daydreamed about having it tattooed on my hands so that I would see it every day all the time. There are so many unavailable men out there in so many different forms (emotionally unavailable, locationally unavailable, status unavailable, the list could go on and on.) The beauty of a relationship is finding someone who is unavailable to all but you. That’s the catch. And what a catch, Hart Beat. Wish me luck out there in the jungle.
For those of you who do not want to tattoo Pamela’s saying onto your skin, you can order the bag here on Miss Barsky’s etsy shop. It’s worth browsing around. 

Two New York

Let’s talk about summer style, shall we Hart Beat? I’ve been preparing for a mid-winter vacation and have recently found the most beautiful collection of beach wear yet. Get ready for our third installment of the baller Brooklyn lady series.

Two is a Brooklyn based collection of beautiful tunics, caftans and dresses, all made locally in New York. The effortless pieces are all made using handwoven textiles and saris from India. 

The collection embodies European and Indian influences evolving from the traditional sari. Two is great for the beach or even for surviving an urban heatwave — while still keeping it chic and comfy. 

The designer Monica Patel-Cohn is the daughter of an Indian father and an Italian mother and creates the saris based on modern accessibility. Two was founded in 2010 and hosts its studio in the vibrant Brooklyn neighborhood DUMBO. I am absolutely in love with all the pieces and want to wear them not just on vacation or in the summer, but just around my apartment.

Monica’s story is as beautiful as her designs. She is a natural model and poses for all shots of the saris (how gorgeous is she?), often with her small son. There is a great interview with Monica by the blog Little Augury that you can read here. In the interview, Monica discusses how she balances motherhood and work in the design industry as well as her love for biking in Brooklyn. Get it girl.

Photographs here are found via Remodelista and Jessica Comingore’s blog.

By Heart: All kinds of love in the world

One of my favorite new websites this winter is “By Heart.” The brilliant series by The Atlantic shares essays in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite passages in literature. One of the best that I’ve read is written by author Ron Carlson about his love for F. Scott Fitzgerald. 
Carlson writes, “When I was an undergraduate at the University of Utah, I wrote in a library book for the first and only time. I was reading a story by F. Scott Fitzgerald called ‘The Sensible Thing.’ When I got to the last paragraph, a classic Fitzgerald line about lost love almost regained and lost again. It goes like this,

Well, let it pass, he thought; April is over, April is over. There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice. 

“I couldn’t help myself. I think I wrote: Look at this! As if I were some kind of guide or imprimatur. There was an ache in it, an astonishing ache even in the context of the abundant rue and sorrow of Fitzgerald’s stories, and it felt so much bigger than me. It stirred me so deeply I had to leave some kind of mark.”
Beautiful, right? There is more to the essay here and I highly recommend reading the entire essay if your a writer, a reader, or even just a romantic. 

All I want is Ba&sh

Hola Hart Beat! Happy snow night! I had plans to check out this new Greenpoint restaurant tonight but because of this horrible I’m stuck inside watching horribly depressing whale movies. Anyway, let’s talk about one of my favorite discoveries of last year, fashion brand ba&sh.

A couple years ago when I was traveling in Spain I came across one of the most beautiful brands I’ve ever come across. You know that effortless french style that is always so hard to emulate? Well Ba&sh makes it appear as easy as breathing. Probably because the two designers are Parisian and have worked to create one of France’s more affordable lines. There’s not much on Ba&sh out there in the internet world but I was able to find this NY Times article back from 2007.

Ba&sh, founded in 2003 by the childhood friends Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, started in Paris in Printemps, Bon Marché and the tony Frank & fils. The next year they opened a free-standing shop in Saint-Gaermain-des-Prés followed by a location in the Marais at 22 rue des Francs Bourgeois, they now have 200 sales points. Boccara and Krief’s collection is based on the easy, romantic and chic style they wear themselves. “It’s our ideal wardrobe,” Boccara said. 

 Ba&sh pieces I could use right now.
Images from the fall/winter 2013 campaign. 

Thanks to the french blog Les Demoizelles we can look at some preview shots for the designers spring/summer 2014 line. I am in love with these colors and want to wear all of it right now.

Yea, of course the collection is so beautiful and so french. I love too that the brand name, Ba&sh, is a combination of the founders names (Barbara and Sharon). What a bummer that they don’t have a store or stockiest in New York. Luckily some of their collection can be found on Asos and they do have an online store, although right now the only collection available is fall/winter 2013. Come on girls, I’m done with this winter thing. Where’s spring?

I haven’t been able to track down many promotional product shots or any videos for the Ba&sh spring/summer 2014 line. I did however find this adorable video from 2013 s/s announcement. I don’t speak french so finding out these things are really exercising my google translating skills. Here’s the “printemps / été” 2013 collection:
BA&SH – Spring-Summer 2013 from Emmanuel Herbreteau on Vimeo.

Happy french fashion dreaming, Hart Beat!

Heart it races

Oh Hart Beat, don’t we all wish we lived on the coast of somewhere wonderfully warm? I’m wishing it especially today while I can see another winter blizzard starting right outside my window. My mom and I are heading south in a couple of weeks but I can’t wait until then. I love this Architecture in Helsinki song “Heart It Races” and the other day I found out that Dr Dog does an amazing cover. Even better? This video bellow features the song amongst beautiful surfing scenery. Yes please.  
Dr Dog covering “Heart It Races”
P.S. Beach waves all year long. Am I right?