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NYNOW18At the Javits Center through 8/15.

StumptownColdBrewCoffeeStumptown, with their new “Organic Ethiopia Guji,” and the NYPL are a good fit.

NYIAS17cNYIAS17bNYIAS17aAt the Javits Center through April 23.

Tesla is nowhere to be found, but the design legacy of Bob Lutz is all around — including in the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta (middle photo) which seems to be cross between Lutz’s Merkur XR4TI and Scorpio models of the 1980s.

streetart2017a

eatsa1Cleaning the robots, 43rd & 3rd – February 16, 2017

The future of humanity will require undoing some of the so-called progress of the present.

lv16lv16blv16elv16dSeemingly unphased by the retail exodus from Midtown, Louis Vuitton soldiers on.

Temple.JPGtemplestclairJewelry designer Temple St. Clair is out with her magnum opus, “The Golden Menagerie” — a glimpse at the mystery and process of her stunning designs.

samesky-lefrak2016samesky-ethicalshoppingsamesky-ringssamesky-menSuggesting that “we need to have a lot more gratitude” (for what we have) and greater consciousness for, and connection with, those who are making the things we buy, Francine LeFrak introduced Same Sky’s latest jewelry at an evening of ethical shopping on Wednesday.

Same Sky employees women who were victims of war and genocide in Rwanda, as well as female parolees in the US, to make their distinctive jewelry. Hundreds of women’s lives have been improved and transformed by the efforts of Francine and Same Sky, with none of the parolees returning to prison.

There is a Same Sky kiosk with their jewelry for sale this month at Newark airport, as well as online. Of special note are the new rings for women, and cuff links and wrist bands for men.

sterling-tiffanyshotglassThis handmade Tiffany Sterling Silver shot glass (c.1960) is worth no more than the price of the silver ($19/oz.) — to several silver dealers we spoke with recently. One said that people are buying Tiffany more for the box than for what’s inside.

Much of what had value (and price) in America years ago is worth nothing today.

waldorf2waldorf3The Waldorf Astoria, as it is presently known, will be no more as of March 1, 2017.

NYNOW0816NYNow0816eNYNow0816bNY NOW, billed as “the market for home, lifestyle and gift,” is at the Javits Center through August 24, 2016.

Of special note at this year’s show are chocolates from Louis Sherry (NYC), and products from Taiwan, especially those made by David Hsu, with Treether — a hybrid wood/leather material.

We also recommend Whodini Sisters Bloody Mary Potion for cocktail seasoning and marinade.

Happy to offer two splendid twentieth-century works of American art.

Painting-WasleyPainting-DudashTop – Thom Wasley, “Squall Eastward (Buckroe Beach, VA),” 1960s; acrylic on English flax canvas (23″ x 28″)
Bottom – C. Michael Dudash, “Picnic,” 1993; oil on canvas (8″ x 10″)

For more information: stephen@lotuseditions.com

 

DunkinDonutsThe opening of a new Dunkin Donuts in Woodside (4 stores within 16 blocks of each other), included placing a company sign on a poll that has been a memorial for a Filipino man murdered on the same spot.

No doubt the new Dunkin Donuts will have a similar effect on the Filipino bakeries along that part of Roosevelt Ave., known as Little Manila. One wonders why city planners are so uninspired in their approval of such business zoning. Perhaps they would say “Dunkin Donuts is better than nothing”—which given the rent situation (that politicians also helped to create) has resulted in substantial commercial vacancies and made starting a small business in NYC undoable for most, except for the 200+ Dunkin Donuts franchisees in Queens.

FourSeasonsAshTraysLotus Editions is offering a complete set of vintage ashtrays from The Four Seasons restaurant, with matchboxes. Contact: stephen@lotuseditions.com

DSWS-FourSeasons

TheFourSeasons1TheFourSeasonsOne day after The Four Seasons Restaurant, a modernist monument once considered the most important restaurant in the world, auctioned off the last of its Philip Johnson banquettes and Mies Van der Rohe chairs—and turned off the lights, president Obama told the DNC, the US is “stronger and more prosperous than when we started.” Mr. Obama likes to take credit for saving the country from the Great Recession of 2008-09, when in fact all he did was to create another bubble, instructing others to: change the accounting rules (allowing Wall Street to run wild again), print and borrow trillions of dollars, and fudge the unemployment numbers. The result was not a recovery but rather a country in the twilight zone, a failed thug-state that undermines humanity (starting with consciousness) and world peace.

GarageSale2016aGarageSale2016bIn America’s garages, innovation is leading to liquidation.

 

SteveMadden3SteveMadden1SteveMaddenSteveMadden2A Steve Madden pop-up sale, in a Woodside parking lot, attracted motivated shoppers from far and wide.

LatinArt2016GilbertoRamirezIt’s easy to lose one’s balance with much of the Latin American contemporary art up for auction this week in NYC. Those seeking artwork — more grounded in essential truths — might consider Mujer Meditando (bottom), by Mexican muralist Gilberto Ramirez (c.1963), available through Lotus Editions.

NYIAutoShow2016NYIAutoShow2016aNYIAutoShow2016bNYIAutoShow2016lNYIAutoShow2016kNYIAutoShow2016mNYIAutoShow2016cNYIAutoShow2016jThe show is open to the public March 25 – April 3.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

TheBigShort

NYNow2016aThe Gift show, with 2400 exhibiting companies from 65 countries, at the Javits Center through Feb, 3.

NYFedNYFed2A Party Rental truck was seen leaving the NY Fed this evening, just hours after the Federal Reserve Board announced a hike in interest rates for the first time since 2006.

Ferrari290MMThis 1956 Ferrari 290MM was sold for $28 million at Sotheby’s in NY today.

Sotheby's-Rockwell2Cheerleaders (Losing the Game, 1952), by Norman Rockwell, will be in Sotheby’s American Art Sale on Nov. 18.

SothebysTaubmanSothebysTaubman2SothebysTaubman6SothebysTaubman5SothebysTaubman4“You may find there’s more similarity
in the challenge of marketing a
precious painting by Degas and a
frosted mug of root beer than you
ever thought possible.”
Alfred Taubman

The art collection (500 works) of Alfred Taubman (1924-2015), retail magnate and former owner of Sotheby’s, is currently on display at Sotheby’s New York — and will be sold in a series of auctions in November.

Stella1Stella Artois is out with an all-in-one refigerating countertop draught unit, created by Marc Thorpe, for a perfect pour every time (37-41 degrees F).

VirginiaCocktailWe recommend MV’s Fine Virginia Peanuts in a variety of flavors, including: Cajun, Jalapeno, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Toffee.

Ireland-LinenIreland-Pots3The Irish are back to making stuff these days, really excellent hand-made stuff. From fine linens and crystal, to soap and pottery, here are some of our favorites from this year’s NY NOW: Irish Linen House, 31 Chapel Lane, Foxford, Arran Street East, J. Hills Standard LTD, and The Handmade Soap Company.

NYNow2015-DeBrandDe Brand, at NY NOW, is one of the really good chocolate companies in America.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

NYNow-WhitneyNY NOW: the Market for Home & Lifestyle is underway and runs through Aug, 19 at the Javits Center.

We ran into the Whitneys, from Sarasota Florida today. He paints and she makes jewelry. They’ve been together for 47 years — “a loooonng time!” she said. Today they seemed happy and making great work together.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

GuinnessNitroIPA-JoseOrtegaCreating new possibilities for its famous yeast, Guinness, the Irish Dry Stout (that is “good for you”), is out with new varieties that should put smiles on the faces of Stout lovers around the world.

One of the great joys in life is a pint of Guinness after rigorous exercise. That will be especially true with the just released Guinness Nitro IPA, and its citrus finish.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

NYIAS2015fNYIAS2015gNYIAS2015eThe New York International Auto Show is at the Javits Center — April 3-12, 2015.

Photographs: Stephen Wise.

NewYorkIsSoOver2015A recent Google search of “New York is so over” yielded 18,000+ results.

“What does an American think about the land, what dreams come from the sight of it, what painful dreaming? Are they only money dreams, power dreams? Is that why the land lies desolate like a loved woman who has been forgotten? Has she been misused through dreams of power and conquest?” Meridel Le Sueur, Salute to Spring (International Publishers, 1940)

PediCabNYC2014New York pedicab drivers continue to scam tourists.The unsuspecting couple in this pedicab on 5th Avenue didn’t know they were going to be charged $5.50/minute. That information is covered-up on the side of the cab until it’s too late and riders are told they owe hundreds of dollars.

When LE informed the couple what was going on they quickly ended the ride.

IndiaToday5Prominent Indian investors, business leaders, academics, and MPs gathered in New York, ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s appearance there, to discuss India’s economic situation and the prospects for improvement under the new Prime Minister.

In one of the sessions — Dial India for Investment, the panelists seemed united in their view that India needs fundamental change (after 60 years of socialist policies, corruption, and decision making paralysis) and Modi is the man who can “take the decisions that need to be made.” Although one investor said: “Everything in India is half-assed…India disappoints. I’m not very optimistic.”

Jayant Sinha, Member of the Parliament, BJP believes that with the right policies, India’s $2 trillion economy can grow to $5 trillion in 10 years. He said that China’s low cost manufacturing model is not the way for India, but rather the best hope to create jobs is through “new industries”, driven by tech and engineering solutions, including: medical devices (and tourism), solar, and automotive. Mercedes Benz plans to make India its manufacturing hub for Asia. The Modi government has a goal of creating 300 million jobs in 15 years.

When asked by Aroon Purie, the moderator, “what can go wrong for Prime Minister Modi?” Dr. Rajiv Modi, Chairman CII Pharma, said: “We are very religious people, we pray to the almighty…There is a spirit that is blessing India…Nothing will go wrong…Looking at all the data points nothing can go wrong.”

A recent survey gave India a world rating of 134/189 for ease of doing business. Mr. Sinha believes India can self-correct with a “Dream Team prime minister, finance minister and central banker.” Someone on the panel responded that “India has had dream teams before, and look what happened.” Another investor suggested “taking America and the Western World into India to make it grow.”

India-TimesSquare2

Analysis: If India seeks to be guided by American ‘democracy’ wisdom let it be from the America described by Thomas Jefferson (third President of the United States) in his first inaugural address (March 4, 1801), rather than the “we roll” imperial America of today.

In his remarks Mr. Jefferson talked about being “enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed and practiced in various forms, yet all of them including honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter; with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens—a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”

Jefferson goes on to present “the essential principles of our government, and consequently those which ought to shape our administration. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations—entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the general government in its whole  constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad…absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority—the vital principle of republics, from which there is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism…the supremacy of the civil over military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burdened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information and the arraignment of all abuses at the bar of public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of person under habeas corpus; and trials by juries impartially selected—these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and the blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment.”

Jefferson might find it not a little bit ironic that he, who decried the (American) Indian’s “bigoted veneration for the supposed superlative wisdom of their fathers”, should now be invoked as a corrective for the barbaric ways of his contemporary countrymen and a guide to emerging democracies, such as India. His call for a government that is “wise and frugal” and that “restrains men from injuring one another” has obviously not been heeded by his countrymen. Hopefully India can learn from the mistakes of the U.S. rather than race to repeat them.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Bottom Photo: Diwali at Times Square 9/20/14

CleanOur favorite products at NY Now were: Clean eau de parfum, Scottish Fine SoapsAcca Kappa soaps, and Virginia Cocktail Fine Virginia Peanuts.

Pig-themed products seemed to be everywhere, from Hammond’s Pigs N’ Taters (milk chocolate with bacon bits), to pig dolls from Maileg.

NYNOW2014Maileg

 

 

Tutem-MasksmyzenhomeNY NOW, billed as the ‘market for home and lifestyle,’ opened today with 2800+ vendors from 55 countries.

A couple of products that caught our eye — the personal microbe manager mask from Tutem and the yoga cushion from MyZenHome.

PuddinNYC1 (2)PuddinNYCPuddin’, on St. Marks Place, is the place to go for pudding in NYC.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

CupcakeATMPerhaps we’ll soon see ‘artwork’ sold through ATM machines.

NYNowFavs2014NY NOW, formerly the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF), just wrapped up its Winter session.

The weather and Superbowl made it especially tough this year. One insider told LE that visitor attendance was down 75%. However, after the show, organizers reported significant order-writing from key buyers.

Some of the vendors/products that we like are: Maileg (dolls), Dionis Goat Milk Skincare, Soapology, Acca Kappa Soap Collection, Shelly Kyle Parfums and Deux Glass Collection: Fine Art Gifts and Stationery.

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