Sunny Rainy Days

Madrid’s fair-haired child, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada , brings her happy palette and upbeat designs to her new space in Tribeca/Soho . This is her first New York store, and if ever there was a place to buy an umbrella, this is it. Barcelona, Milan and Paris are fond of her free-wheeling spirit, and now we can add a dress or two to our fashion vocabulary. She brings a sense of the Nicky de St. Phalle to her clothing collections, merging her sense of the haute in the art world, and her practicality for urban Moms.

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New Amsterdam Market

New thing for a Sunday treat: walking breakfast/brunch at the New Amsterdam Market, under the overpass at Peck’s slip. Just a few blocks away from the first ever market in New York (founded in 1642), this year-old Sundays’-only marketplace brings a European feel to old New York.

The vendors range from produce, organic, and specialty, to candy, with samples of everything everywhere. Try the bread, try the pies, have some cheese, taste the lobster. Go for a coffee, and take a breath. Local talent from local farms and small producers bring you an unusual and must-see/experience marketplace. With the broad expanse of the Brooklyn Bridge as the landmark vista, and the cobblestones of lower Manhattan underfoot, the Sunday walk -through -the -market may just become the new way to see New York City. With the kids, with the dog, with the bike. Bring bags, because you’ll want to take home one of everything. And this market is indeed trying to be a slow-food, organic, farmer-friendly kind of place.The selection changes on a weekly basis-who knew there were so many varieties of independants all within a reasonable distance from our doors? Should you crave pickles: got ‘em. Kimchi? Yep. Duck bacon: uh-huh. And the chutney girl is just next to the duck farm stand, so load up for those folks at home. What a better souvenir of NYC than a treat from our local produce, done up into a nice little package, for those foodies on your list. Nix the t-shirts, and grab a jar of jam. Strolling needs a plan, so let your eyes feast first, and double back for samples. Maybe a codfish pie? A cookie?

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Barneys Warehouse Sale, Feb. 17 – March 6

Get thee to Chelsea, if you’ve not experienced the greatest sale since Loehmann’s first opened in the 1940′s. Every year twice per year, the renowned store Barneys has its sale. Everyone knows about it, believe me. This is the last week, the time to go, to get even greater mark-downs, and fresh goods just brought in for the remainder of the sale.

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NYC Fashion Week Runway Looks: Hats of Fall 2011

Trend no longer, hats have hit their stride as a major necessity in our wardrobes. At Fashion Week, there was not the proclivity to slap anything on the model’s heads, but throughout a panoply of shows, stand-outs took the limelight. Hats have it in the accessory field, now and forever.

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Pratt’s Paper Dolls

Most of us learned how to make paper doilies at some point in our early childhood. Take a piece of paper: fold it in quarters, cut it this way and that, open it up, and like magic: a thing of beauty. At least to the eyes of a 6 year old. Take that same piece of paper, think on the Zen side of things, and fold, fold, fold. What little bird, or phantasmajorical animal emerges, comes from the art of origami. Paper pleases. Paper gives us tactile reality, and transforms children of all ages into artists-in-making.

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