Head Home With Lia Cinquegrano of Thomas IV
There’s LOTS to see here.
Back in 2006, Lia Cinquegrano, the super-skilled designer behind the bag line Thomas IV, was living in a closet on 18th and 3rd in Manhattan. No, like actually a closet: “It was off my roommate’s room and had a children’s twin lofted bed, which touched three of the walls,” says the ex-Floridian. After a stint in Chinatown, she packed her bags for Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 2012, moving into a 1,400-square-foot space with her BF Nick. See what she’s done with those seven beyond-spacious rooms here. —alisha prakash
“A Lego VW van—one of Nick’s pieces—on a custom slanted tabletop behind our living-room couch. In the background is the Pez collection Nick inherited from his grandma and a flocked portrait by the artist Virgil Marti.”
“This is our crazy wall of art right by our front door. Nick has a very extensive collection. My brother, Tommy, designed the three larger black-and-white architectural prints in the center. He makes photo montages of warehouses and has them screen-printed by Kayrock Screenprinting in Greenpoint.”
“I love my dining table. I bought it at a church thrift shop on Gramercy Park. I recently painted the chairs and table legs bright teal. Also, it has our autumnal arrangement on it.”
“This is a view of the kitchen—and our magnet collection. The magnets are from around the world. Atop the fridge are three cast pineapples by Nick Paparone.”
“My favorite spice rack is a converted ‘Doctor Scholl’s Foot Comfort Remedies’ display shelf. Above it is a replica of a Van Gogh painting by my mother, Marilynn.”
“This is my sewing machine with some inspiration on the wall behind it—images of the crystal cave in Chihuahua, Mexico, and of the Tarahumara people of northwestern Mexico in pre-Easter costumes. Also, an illustration of one of my bags by Emily Rose Bartley!”
“A large banner by Nick hangs behind the bed, and a rug he designed lies below.”
“I love my cuckoo clock and branch shelf, displaying a collection of tiny tchotchkes, on the wall opposite our bed. The rattan loveseat formerly had more of a Golden Girls vibe. I recovered the cushions in toile and painted the bamboo a high-gloss red.”
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Weather Vain: Phoenicia, New York - 46 With a Chance of Rain
Autumn and all that FALL FOLIAGE just makes us wanna hop in the car (ok, a Zipcar) and go for a drive. Here’s what we’d wear (and do) 120 miles north of Manhattan. —erica
Clockwise from top left:
+ Nothing says escape from the city like some Ace & Jig.
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Watch Morgan Carper Fix Up Her Fort Greene Casa
Extreme Makeover: Designer Home Edition
When Morgan Carper—the force behind the textile-fueled apparel line of the same name—and her hubby, Chris Bradford, got their hands on a 125-year-old Fort Greene brownstone in February 2013, they were pumped to dive in and make it their own. “There’s still work to be done, but this house will constantly be a work in progress,” she says of her (very major) renovation. “I love the idea of growing and evolving into our home.” See what she’s done with the place so far. —alisha prakash
The Living Room
“This is the parlor-floor living room—beautiful bones, but so dark. Because the house is so extremely narrow, we wanted to lighten up the space as much as possible. Bringing down a few walls, painting everything bright white, and laying down white oak floors was our solution. The old floors were actually quite beautiful, but they weren’t original to the house—and the red oak made the space dark. New flooring transformed the space, while adding a personal element to make it our own. I have always loved the classic look of herringbone flooring—the lines elongate the room, and the light finish brightens it.”
“We removed a wall with double doors, opening up the space. The restoration of the moldings was painstakingly time-consuming but incredibly rewarding to preserve such detail and character. Chipping away at all the years of paint was like going back in time. I loved thinking about the families that lived in this house and what was happening during that time, color by color.”
“We wanted to make the space as light as possible, so we gutted it and replaced the dark cherry cabinets with black countertops with white cabinets and Carrera marble. We splurged on the countertops while maintaining low costs with the Ikea white lacquer cabinets—it’s all about balance. Getting to see the skeleton of the house was amazing. The beams and foundation are so stout and solid—they just don’t make them like they used to!”
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See Just What the GREI. Duo Loves About Bed-Stuy
8 places where they eat (and eat and eat).
Larry Paul and Andrew Spargo of the accessory line GREI. have lived in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy for two and a half years—and they love it there. “When we’re sitting on the stoop, people actually say hello as they walk by. Everybody says hello,” says Larry. They’ve also devoured a whole lot of meals in the neighborhood. Dive into their favorites—from Jurassic-size donuts to sophisticated seafood—here. —jane-claire quigley
Larry: I can’t wake up without my coffee in the morning, and Bread Love is my alarm clock. Enter through the back of the beautiful historic mansion on the corner. It’s kind of like a farm stand with a bunch of picnic benches.
Andrew: Everything is local and tasty. I love the banana and zucchini bread. You can also sign up with one of their organic produce partners for a bag of weekly picks from local gardens.
(375 Stuyvesant Ave.)
Larry: A pizza joint not to be missed: authentic thin-crust Neapolitan pizza and a slew of daily specials. There’s a huge garden in the back, so if it’s nice out, check it out.
Andrew: There’s a small bar in the front that serves incredible cocktails. The gin & tonic with fresh rosemary is seriously addictive. And they serve up the best fritto misto I have ever tasted.
(435 Halsey St.)
Larry: Andrew is a pescetarian—I hate that word—so he’s obsessed with this place. When chef Massimiliano Nanni left Saraghina, he went on to open Celestino. The focus is Mediterranean seafood, but there are equally mouthwatering pasta dishes.
(562 Halsey St.)
Larry: A no-frills Dixie-style hang serving Southern favorites and BBQ. My favorites are the fried green tomatoes and fried chicken. It gets packed, so you’ll need some patience.
Andrew: Also try Peaches, their sister restaurant at 393 Lewis Avenue!
(415 Tompkins Ave.)
Do or Dine
Larry: This is the first of many new businesses opening on Bedford Avenue in the ‘hood. Don’t let the “B’s West Indian” take-out awning alarm you: You’re at the right place. Everything about Do or Dine seems like some sort of inside joke. The menu is a mash-up of just about every culture. It’s perfect for stoners with a cultivated palette.
Andrew: I have two words for this spot: disco ball!
(1108 Bedford Ave.)
Larry: This is the same crew that offers the dinosaur-size donuts at the Brooklyn Flea. Their brick-and-mortar location is located catty-corner to the Lafayette Gardens projects on the border of Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy.
Andrew: I recommend the toasted coconut, but if you’re a purest, go for the plain glazed.
(448 Lafayette Ave.)
Larry: Okay, this is technically not our neighborhood, but it’s just a short walk across Atlantic Avenue. Franklin Street in Crown Heights is kind of like Williamsburg ten years ago. It’s now full of 20-somethings wearing anything high-waisted.
Andrew: The food at Chavela’s is amazing. Larry is from California and usually turns his nose up at Mexican cuisine in New York, but I can easily persuade him to go for tacos here any day of the week. Don’t leave without at least one order of guacamole and muchas Micheladas—with the Mexican beer of your choice.
(736 Franklin Ave.)
Andrew: Glady’s is new. The food is simple, but with outstanding fresh ingredients. They just started serving brunch, so if it’s a hike for you, try visiting on the weekend.
(788 Franklin Ave.)
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Go Inside Blanca Monrós Gómez’s Gowanus Studio
A former textile factory gets a makeover.
It wasn’t long ago that Blanca Monrós Gómez—the way-talented, Barcelona-born jewelry designer—was oh-so familiar with the term WFH. But as her biz grew, it was time to find Blanca Monrós Gómez the line a home that was different from that of BMG the person, and, in July 2012, she moved her operations to a lofty spot in Gowanus in Brooklyn. “It has gritty charm typical of these buildings with exposed beams, columns, and oversize steel doors,” she says. “It’s a big, open space with lots of windows and light—the perfect mood for a work space.” You’ll see what she means below. —alisha prakash
“We share the space with my husband’s architecture practice—Office of Architecture—which is great because it has enabled both of us to became each other’s informal support group; a sounding board to bounce off ideas on running a small business.”
“As the business grew in size, we literally ran out of space. We were ready to move to a place that would house both our work and showroom. So it had to be both functional and beautiful.”
“We constantly have visitors coming in—store buyers viewing the collections as well as people doing custom jewelry consultations for individual wedding bands and engagement ring sets.”
“The jewelry is all made by hand in NYC, with the finishing touches done exclusively at our studio. We design our pieces and make all our samples here as well. One of the reasons we chose this space was because of its light. It has become a very productive and inspiring environment.”
“Our rough utility sink looking amazing with beautiful flowers from the talented Amy Merrick!”
Photos courtesy of Alice Gao Photography.
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A Tour of Brooklyn’s Under-the-Radar Kensington ‘Hood with Doug Johnston
Bonus points if done on horseback.
Oh, sure, you know Williamsburg and Fort Greene, but how about Kensington, a narrow north-south strip of Brooklyn at the bottom of Prospect Park? What the neighborhood lacks in restaurants and coffee shops, it makes up for in greenery and open spaces—a compromise that the designer Doug Johnston, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and his wife are more than willing to make. Plus, according to the census, Kensington has one of the most diverse populations in the borough. “It reminds us that we’re living in a city that’s connected to the whole world,” Doug explains. See just why he likes this place so much. —meghana gandhi
“Ocean Parkway starts at the northern tip of Kensington and goes to Coney Island. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who also did Central Park and Prospect Park. One side is a bike path, and one side is a pedestrian walkway. On a bike, it takes 20 minutes to get to Coney Island, and it’s a really pretty ride.”
Ditmas Park Victorian Mansions
“Ditmas Park is the neighborhood just east of Kensington, and it’s full of turn-of-the-century Victorian mansions. The closer you get to Prospect Park, the larger they get. Sometimes they film Boardwalk Empire in that neighborhood—because apparently a lot of the houses are Atlantic City-style. It is unlike anything else in Brooklyn and doesn’t even feel like you’re in NYC anymore.”
“Because people here have yards, you start to get these gardens, manicured lawns, and sculpted shrubs. The forms are halfway between organic and manmade: They grow naturally but are shaped by someone. When I’m making rope pieces, that’s kind of what I try to go for—I base things on what the process wants to do naturally, but I get to have a say in what they look like as well.”
“On the northeast corner of Kensington, you can walk down the street and pass houses, a church, more houses…and then these stables. They’re open to the street, so you see the horses. If you go through Prospect Park, you’ll see people riding the horses. It’s a nice part of the neighborhood. Everyone loves seeing them, and the people who work there seem to love the horses.”
Ice Cream House
“This place is on the same block as our studio, and they’re going to move across the street from the studio—which is even more dangerous. It’s open until midnight every day of the week. The awning is all lit up at night, like this beacon of ice cream. It’s a Hasidic business—so all of the ice cream is kosher—and almost every flavor has a non-dairy version. They have this great orange-vanilla/creamsicle flavor. I think they use artificial coloring, so some of the ice cream has super-crazy colors.”
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Shannon Davenport & Julia Wilson’s Awesome Upstate Adventure
You’re gonna want to be friends with these two—promise.
“For us, inspiration is all about getting away,” says Julia Wilson, one-half of the ridiculously cool jewelry line, Fortune Favors the Brave. “Every summer, we plan a trip around Julia’s birthday with a group of friends,” adds Shannon Davenport, the Romy to Julia’s Michele. This year’s escape? A weekend at a badass barn in Tivoli, two hours from NYC. Way more on that—and the inspo they gathered—below. —alisha prakash
Julia: “As you drive out, there are all these beautiful farmers’ markets. I bought seven jars of apple butter, which were the best thing ever. We also got jam, peaches, berries, and homemade granola.”
Shannon: “We’d sit outside the house, and there’d be these huge butterflies and dragonflies that would come and land nearby. Our next season will have some insect pieces—we’re using the dragonfly, in particular, as inspiration—so it was exciting for us to see them.”
Julia: “Shannon and I are obsessed with building fires. It takes us longer than it probably should, but it’s well worth it once we get it going. Shannon taught me. It’s one of the many things I learned from her—she’s an excellent fire-maker. We sat around the fire and made s’mores.”
Shannon: “There was an outdoor shower, which was incredible. It’s a pretty sizable private, wooden booth, and you’re surrounded by trees. The wall is pretty tall, so no one can see you—but there’s no roof, so you can see the sky. It’s really relaxing. There’s also a tree rope swing, which I really liked, so I spent some time on there, too.”
Julia: “That was my bed because I was the birthday girl. The ceiling was really high. This and all the beds were separated by curtains, so it was like a big sleepover—you could talk to everyone while everyone was falling asleep.”
Shannon: “There was a big wall with feathers sticking out of it, plus a whole library of books and interesting trinkets that made you feel like you much farther than only two hours outside of the city.”
Julia: “This is my French bulldog, Bebe. She’s eight months old. One of our other friends had her Frenchie—it was a big group of us with dogs and friends.”
Shannon: “There were also these really amazing Persian rugs. The whole place had a feeling of luxury even though it was very rustic.”
Julia: “This is Bard College. They have a beautiful garden overlooking the Hudson River. That was probably the most magical part of the trip. We saw all these young, hip people and the guy who plays Ray from Girls. We were like, ‘Wow, this is really the Brooklyn of Upstate New York.’”
Julia: “We played a lot of cards here, but we also went on a lot of walks. The barn is on an acre of land, and on the property, there was this really beautiful creek. Overlooking the creek, they had this wooden deck where you could do yoga—a meditation deck—so we spent some time out there, relaxing, which was really nice.”
Shannon: “The whole place represented getting out of the city, into a rustic environment with nature and quiet that was removed from our busy lives. Also, the big thing for us for in this collection is that we’re using color a lot more than we have before. We associate with the colors in nature. Everything seems a little more vibrant.”
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Take an All-Day Bike Tour of Brooklyn With Mandy Kordal
Doesn’t this sound wheelie fun?
Brooklyn and bikes go together like, well, Mandy Kordal and knitting machines. So how’s this for a mash-up: The oh-so-talented sweater whiz serves up a full day’s worth of two-wheeled excitement that’s way more fun than a session at SoulCycle. —koun bae
“I would start off in the morning at Grand Army Plaza—that’s the entrance to Prospect Park, and on Saturdays there’s a farmers’ market outside. So you can even pick up great snacks for the bike trip. There’s a loop that goes all the way around Prospect Park, so you’ll see the main meadow and the lake, and then you can go all the way back up.”
“If you exit through Grand Army Plaza and go up maybe half a block the hill on Eastern Parkway, you’ll hit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is gorgeous. If you’re there on Saturday before noon, you can get in for free! I would plan to spend at least an hour then because it’s really amazing. The rose garden is really beautiful.”
“This artist Patrick Dougherty does these huge sculptures made out of twigs and tree branches that are displayed there. He does some really amazing stuff.”
“So from the Botanic Garden, it’s easy to take Eastern Parkway to go onto Ocean Parkway, taking the bike path all the way down to the beach at Coney Island. You’re not in any car traffic, which is really nice. It’s completely flat, and it’s a long bike ride—but there aren’t any hills or anything, so it’s nice. This takes around two hours.”
“Then, heading back, you can bike along the water for a bit and then head up north towards DUMBO.”
“If you get to DUMBO before sunset, you can get the whole view of the city and Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is gorgeous, and there’s the adorable Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory where you can grab some dessert. After, you can take the ferry back into Manhattan—it goes to Williamsburg too, which is nice.”
“If you want some night-time activities, you can take a 20-minute ride to Red Hook to check out Sunny’s Bar. It feels like you’ve gone back in time! On Saturday nights, they do a great bluegrass night with live music.”
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Check Out Chiyome’s So-Cool Long Island City HQ
Where a whole lotta amazingness goes down.
Chiyome—Anna Lynett Moss’s line of so-sleek, New York-made totes, pouches, and backpacks—sure looks good. But it does good, too. “If we can build this company to be anything that we want, why wouldn’t we push the boundaries and see if we can have a profound effect in our community?” she says. Case in point: Chiyome recently hired survivors of human trafficking as creative collaborators in the manufacturing process. “We plan to integrate their thoughts as the designs evolve—many of them have an interest in being designers or working for fashion brands. At this time, the focus is on perfecting sewing skills and thinking about design from the ground-up,” Anna explains. “It’s about actualizing a future freedom for some of the city’s most under-served residents.” So where does all of Chiyome’s magic happen? At 5Pointz, a 200,000-square-foot warehouse-cum-artist’s paradise in Long Island City that’s dressed in graffiti from head-to-toe. Yah, pretty much everything about this line’s mind-blowing. —alisha prakash
“An exterior shot of our three large windows and our open door on the left. 5Pointz has quite a history, and we are sad to see it go. [Ed. Note: Come September, Chiyome may no longer be in the space due to building turnover—sadface.] You can see this rooftop really clearly on the 7 train approaching or leaving the Court Square stop. We almost constantly encounter tourists in front of the building snapping quick shots. We also have an enormous private rooftop with views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. It’s the perfect spot for a fancy summer beverage at sunset.”
“I’m not a morning person, but the morning light in our space is really perfect. We face south, but somehow it’s never too harsh. The glass panel on the lower right helps us chart orders, stay on track, and monitor collaborations. Because we have so many people for such a small space, it’s important to coordinate schedules so we’re not all on top of each other.”
“Here are a few samples in our showroom space from our Hover collection. We love having visitors and have received great feedback from the customers we have been lucky enough to meet in person.”
“We recently instituted a new policy called ‘Don’t talk to the sewer.’ The level of concentration required to stitch leather perfectly is critically important. This Singer is from the seventies, and we bought it from a charming retiree in Astoria. She had a quiet nostalgia and seemed quite reluctant to let it go, but I told her I would take care of it and that she could come see its new home if she wanted.”
“This is the workshop side of the space. At the beginning of the summer, it was just me in studio, but since then, we’ve added a COO, a director of social impact, an intern, and four collaborators in design and production. We’ve worked to cultivate a community that celebrates honesty, critical thought, and commitment to craft. Chiyome has the opportunity to subvert conventional power structures through including our collaborators in the design and decision-making process. It’s a transformative experience for us all to share roles and find community in our dialogue.”
“In December, we launch the first capsule collection created solely by the hands of our newest collaborative partners. In this image, you can see two early prototypes. We chose Lucid as the title of this early body of work. Lucid has clear vinyl and frosted acrylic, and shows the play between opacity and translucency in the bags.”
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Lindsey Lambillotte Shows Us Around Her Astoria ‘Hood
Including a sandwich that’ll make your mouth water.
Growing up in a tumbleweed-riddled western Texan town, Lindsey Lambillotte–who designs the elegantly classic clothing line Lambillotte with her sister Suz—had a hankering for some city living. After bouncing around from Jersey City to Weehawken to Greenpoint, she finally settled in Queens. “I moved to Astoria about six years ago, mostly because it was so cheap,” Lindsey explains. “And in the last year or so, there seems to be a huge influx of artistic people coming in, and it’s changing so rapidly.” Check out Lindsey’s gems along the yellow line.
"I’ve moved seven times in eight years, but I love this neighborhood because it’s more residential. Astoria Park is practically in my front yard. It’s just so beautiful."
"Bakeries tend to be really pretty and inviting, but the pastries at this place live up to its appearance. It’s a hidden gem. They have this one pastry with pecans, white chocolate, and gooey goodness that holds it together."(23-18 31st St.)
"I was walking with a friend one night when I stumbled upon this place. I can’t put my finger on why, but I just love it there. It just has the right amount of crazy."
(31-86 31st St.)
The Shady Lady
"They have some of the best food—brunch, specifically—in Astoria. The menu is perfect for sharing, and I can never go without having one of their mac & cheeses. My Ecuadorian friend pronounces it ‘Shaddy Lady,’ which sounds suspiciously close to shitty. It makes me laugh every time, so I’ve yet to correct her!"
(30-19 30th Ave.)
Sal, Kris, & Charlie’s Deli (a.k.a., The Sandwich King)
"My friend Chesterfield has lived in this neighborhood his whole life, and when he helped me move in, he bought me a sandwich from here. I usually just get a turkey sandwich, but I’m pretty sure it has crack in it."(33-12 23rd Ave.)