Weather Vain: Berkeley, California - 72 and Clear

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THIS WEATHER! Berkeley, you sure know how to make an East Coaster jealous. Here’s how to take advantage of all that Alameda County’s serving up. —erica

+ Shades, by Thierry Lasry, ready to take in the Tilden Park views.

+ A linen shirt from Organic by John Patrick that’s as understated-yet-perfect as a cup of coffee from Philz.  

+ The West Is Dead chinos the color of some Donkey & Goat syrah. 

+ Anniel flats—because there’s something confusing about sandals in January.

+ A Baggu tote fit for some serious produce hauls. 

+ Kathleen Whitaker earrings that feel like new classics, Chez Panisse style.

+ This Anndra Neen necklace + a tequila flight at Comal = a pretty fantastic night out.

Come on and check out the “Weather Vain” archives.

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Working It: The 13 Best NYC Spots for Taking a Meeting (If You Ask Us)

When we first started Of a Kind, we spent our days hauling around NYC from meeting to meeting, dragging our laptops, wearing down our heels, and inquiring after wireless codes. Ya know: BE THE HUSTLE. But even now that we have an office to call home, we still spend plenty of days hopping around town, and these are the spots we head to again and again. They’re convenient and reliable and good—below, organized by occasion. —erica

Breakfast

imagePeels: “This just feels so civilized. Things to note: They have free seltzer water (nice!), and while the biscuit sandwiches are delicious, they kind of just make you wanna go back to bed. My vote’s for the muesli instead.” —erica
(325 Bowery)

Cafe Gitane: “It’s just a fact of (my) life: The avocado toast you make at home will never be as good as what they serve up here. It’s worth fighting the scene-y crowd for. (But it’s also worth going on the later side to avoid said crowd.)” —claire
(242 Mott St.)

Maialino: “If you’re feeling fancy…or someone else is paying. As one of our favorite writers, Molly Young, noted, ‘Mark-up on eggs: 5,000 percent.’” —erica
(2 Lexington Ave.)

Lunch

imageMulberry & Vine: “Healthy food! Which is shockingly hard to find in this city. And the counter-service sitch means you get to avoid a convo about who’s gonna pay.” —erica
(73 Warren St.)

Tarallucci E Vino: “The best and worst thing about this place are its proximity to Union Square. Second best is the homemade pasta. The staff gets that nearly everybody present is doing a business lunch, so they’re pretty on top of their service game.” —claire
(15 E. 18th St.)

Sushi Yasuda: “This is the one thing that gets us excited to go to Midtown. Best sushi in NYC. We’re not going to debate this with you. This also means that you gotta make a reservation!” —erica
(204 E. 43rd St.)

Coffee

imageTBSP: “For the better part of 2011 and 2012, TBSP was basically our conference room—we worked a few doors down (in an office dark enough to qualify as a lair) and went here, oh, every damn day.” —erica
(17 W. 20th St.)

Brooklyn Roasting Company (A.K.A. BroRoCo): “When you have to trek to BK to meet with your developers, plan on doing it here and ordering a coconut green tea on ice. They recently remodeled, so there are plenty of tables to be had indoors and out.” —claire
(25 Jay St.)

Saturdays: “This is actually a surf shop with a coffee bar, but the real bonus Jonas here is that they have a pretty big garden in the back. It’s the perfect meeting spot for days when it’s way too nice to be inside.” —claire
(31 Crosby St.)

Takahachi Bakery: “Never a zoo, despite all the Japanese deliciousness to be had. You should be warned that once you try the matcha crepe with red bean cream, you won’t stop thinking about it.” —erica
(25 Murray St.)

After-Work

imageTacombi: “This is probably our #1 go-to for drink meetings. Micheladas and guacamole in a totally laid-back atmosphere just makes working after-hours so much easier. On my to-try list: their spiked horchata.” —claire
(267 Elizabeth St.)

Weather Up: “We go here for drinks meetings in which we hope to actually get things accomplished. It’s very adult—they serve classic and sophisticated cocktails with a brief but delicious snack menu. The soft pretzels with beer cheese and crudite with dip are both top-notch.” —claire
(159 Duane St.)

Shigure: “It has everything we look for in a drink spot—lots of tables, good snacks, and a waitstaff that is pleasant but not in-your-face—with no crowd. Plus, we’re big sake fans, and so is Shigure.” —erica
(277 Church St.)

Looking for more NYC finds? Head here.

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Get Your Michelada on With Workhorse

Bust open a few cans of Tecate, and you’re on your way.

Even the most dedicated workhorse needs to unwind sometimes. And so when Zoë Chicco, Nicole Sutton, and Amber Sutton of the vintage-inspired line Workhorse Jewelry (see what we did there?) want to chill out with a couple of friends, the industrious trio whips up its signature spin on the michelada. “We’re fairly obsessed with it,” confesses Amber. “If we’re getting together with friends, we’ll bring all the fixings with us and make it on site.” Here is their tried-and-true recipe for the so-delicious libation. —mattie kahn

Ingredients:
1 lime, cut into wedges
Celery salt
Cayenne pepper
2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ to 1 teaspoon hot sauce (to taste)
Ice
2 12-ounce bottles or cans of Mexican beer (e.g., Tecate, Modelo, Negro Modelo)

Directions:
Prepare four tall glasses: Sprinkle celery salt and cayenne pepper on a small plate. Use a quartered lime to wet the rim of each glass. Flip the glasses over onto the plate with celery salt and cayenne pepper to coat the rim. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Add a handful of ice to each glass. Divide the lime juice mixture between each of the glasses. Top up the glasses with slowly poured beer, wait for foam to settle, and ENJOY.

Get your hands on the so-stunning, gold-and-diamond bracelet the trio made for us.

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Fort Standard Whips Up a Batch of Hard Apple Cider

It’s a party in a five-gallon jug.

Talk about DIY kings: In addition to handcrafting furniture, jewelry, and toys for their design label Fort Standard, Greg Buntain and Ian Collings brew their own hard cider every year. “It’s super easy,” shrugs Ian. “And super cheap, which was the main incentive to do it.” The boys are so serious about their (alcoholic) juice, in fact, that they throw an annual fall cider fete at their studio. Here, Ian shares their recipe so you can get in on the fun. —raquel laneri

Ingredients:

Five gallons of local, unpasteurized apple cider: “The most important thing is getting the right kind of juice. We get all our cider at the farmers’ market. And you want unpasteurized apple cider—if it has preservatives and it’s been heated, that kills all the yeast and all the good stuff.”
Brewer’s sugar, 1 to 4 pounds: “You could also brew the juice without sugar, but then your alcohol content will be really low, and we like our cider strong!”
Dry ale yeast or champagne yeast, one packet: “The yeast develops the flavor: Champagne yeast renders this very wine-like flavor, and ale yeast brings out a hardy, more round flavor. You’ll want to check packet instructions for exact amounts, but usually one packet is designed for a five-gallon batch.”

Directions:

Prime the yeast by putting it in warm water. In a large pot, heat up one gallon of the apple cider. Add the desired amount of sugar—the more sugar you use, the higher the alcohol content. Warm until the sugar is just dissolved. Don’t heat it up too much, or you’ll kill all the important stuff in the cider!

Combine the sugary solution and the remaining cider in a five-gallon glass jug. Add the yeast—it will start to violently bubble—and seal everything off with an airlock. Store the jug in a dark place that’s below 60 degrees so the mixture can ferment, but don’t put it in the fridge because it’s too cold.

Let it stand for 30 to 40 days, until the mixture stops bubbling.

Come back tomorrow to score another Fort Standard concoction—this time one you can wear. Get on our email list so you don’t miss it!

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Let It Flow: Corinne Grassini of Society for Rational Dress Builds a Fire, Removes a Cork

Sometimes the best drink is the one poured straight from the bottle, and, lucky for us, Corinne Grassini of the thoughtfully edgy line Society for Rational Dress knows exactly which 750 ml containers contain the best fix. Here, her go-to trifecta. 

The family wine and winery.

"The best nights in the summer are the ones spent in my backyard, building a fire—yep, cause it gets COLD at night in L.A. in the summer—and having a glass of wine with my boyfriend, my girlfriends, my sisters…whoever is around to enjoy. My top three favorites (please don’t make me choose!) are The Prisoner or Mercury Head, both by Orin Swift Cellars, or the cabernet sauvignon reserve by Grassini Family Vineyards—yep, my awesome sisters run our family’s vineyard in Santa Ynez.” —corinne  

There are more summer-drinking picks to be had! Click here!

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Let It Flow: Ellen van Dusen and Her Hummingbird

It’s Of a Kind drink week! Or something like that! We’re asking some of our designers what they’re sipping on this summer, and today, the cool-ass gal behind Dusen Dusen (and these pillows) pours one out. 

My friend Cat makes me this drink, the Hummingbird, every time I go to her house, which is a lot. It’s 2 parts champagne, 1 ½ parts St. Germain, 2 parts club soda, and lots of ice—garnished with a lemon twist. It’s really refreshing and sweet, perfect for sitting on the stoop and sipping with a straw!” —ellen

Head this way for more designer beverage consultations.

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Let It Flow: Tara St James of Study Spikes Some Watermelon

Who doesn’t love a summer cocktail? This week, we’re asking some of the designers we’ve worked with what their go-to is—alcoholic or non—in an effort to keep your glass more than half full. Today: the lovely designer from Study, whose beverage of choice is actually more like a food.

I’m actually planning for this to be the summer of the boozy popsicle, but I haven’t mastered that skill yet. In the meantime, here’s my take on a great summer drink that is perfect for picnics in the park because it does not involve bottles, open containers, or anything ticketable: Soak slices of watermelon in tequila overnight, dip them in coarse sea salt, and refrigerate or freeze them you’re going to the beach or a park. Instant frozen margaritas! Put them on a stick for extra-fancy presentation.” —tara

For more designer-y drinks, click here.

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Let It Flow: The Forage Duo Puts Summer Berries to Work

Shauna Alterio and Stephen Loidolt of the tie line Forage (see!) are makers extraordinaire. And lucky for us, their passion for creating crosses over into the cocktail realm. Here, their summer drink of choice that will help you get some more fruit into your diet, too. 

"Stephen first made this drink a few summers ago inspired by all my favorite ingredients—we call it the Berry Fizz. Since then, it’s become one of our most popular treats to make for friends. The individual bottles make it perfect for picnics or lazy afternoons in the park.” —shauna

Ingredients:
1 ½ pints fresh raspberries and blackberries (about 4 cups)
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
6 large springs of fresh mint 
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup vodka
1 bottle prosecco

Directions:
Reserve some berries as garnish. Mash the remaining berries, sugar, and mint in a large bowl. Stir in the vodka, lemon juice, and prosecco. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a pitcher, pressing through; discard solids. Pour into 12-ounce bottles, top with reserved berries, and cork. Keep chilled on ice.

For more designer-approved drink recipes, click here.

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Emerging Thing of the Week: Micheladas

Claire & I? We are *obsessed* with micheladas. As in, if they’re on a menu, they’re going to be in our bellies. If you aren’t acquainted with the drink, it’s a beer cocktail with lots of salty/umami flavors (soy sauce! worcestershire! etc.!), boatloads of tang (lime!), and plenty of kick—a less alcoholic, happy-hour-ready relative of the bloody mary, if you will. And though, like I said, we’ll order them anywhere, our favorite comes from the (really well-done) food blog Spoon Fork Bacon. I encourage inviting some pals over, firing up the grill, quadrupling the recipe (skipping the fussy honey-salt rim and the jalapeño garnish), and making sure you have plenty of citrus on hand for when everyone is hankering for refills. —erica

For more newfound favorites, head this way.

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