Monthly Archives: November 2007

Local Gifting

Yes, the Union Square market is great for holiday shopping. This year, though, you can enjoy some similar gift-buying opportunities right here in the hood! Even better, and less crowded. Plus, support local artisans!
1. PEP Gallery:
Is it better to give or receive?
This holiday season PEP is transforming itself into the hippest, trendiest, most original boutique in Brooklyn. With ARTMART, PEP will be offering limited editions, multiples, and wearable art from some of our favorite artists. With tons of great pieces and prices starting at ten dollars you can do both! Runs Dec. 1-22, holiday reception Dec. 16.
2. Artisans Holiday Fair at Habana Outpost:
The Society for Clinton Hill is co-sponsoring a Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair with Habana Outpost at South Portland and Fulton Streets In Ft. Greene, Brooklyn.
Artisans will be displaying their works for sale from noon to 8 PM, Saturdays and Sundays,
December 1&2, 8&9, 15&16, and 22&23.
Come and meet and view the fare at the Fair while drinking hot chocolate! You’ll find knit hats, scarves, jewelry, ceramics, and unusual gift items for everyone.
3. Still Hip Holiday Craft Fair:


4. Brooklyn-Based Sampler:
Nicole Davis, who occasionally contributes here as Clintoncentric, is offering this unique gift sampler via Brooklyn Based, her e-newsletter of all things cool in the BK.)

Imagine a friend gave you a box filled with delicious-smelling skinnyskinny soap, ingenious holders for soft-boiled eggs called Egg Pants, gorgeous handmade jewelry by wabisabi brooklyn, a striking holiday letterpress card by Jezebel, retro buttons and magnets from Kate Black, and a cool card holder made from the sails of sail boats by Reiter8.

Nice friend right?

Now imagine that you also got at least 6 (6!) of the following in this box:

A beautiful tote bag with avalove’s hand-lithographed designs
a candy-colored diamond acrylic ring from by:AMT
copper and sterling jewelry by Joanne Tracy
a silkscreened notepad and collaged card by Fisk and Fern
a book of fabulous artwork by Robert Mars
a silkscreened onesie
a colorful kid’s skirt made by Fofolle
handmade cards that double as portraiture prints by Desira Pesta
keychains (made either by RePlayGround, 31 Corn Lane, or This is Swigg)
crocheted goods, like an Ezra’s Cousin scarflette or Alicia Kachmar’s adorable mitten ornaments
a fantastic denim clutch, bag or cuff by Wanett Clyde
pretty letterpress postcards by Erin Fae
a wire and gemstone ring from Kimmchi
hand-drawn accessories by Tilly Bloom

No you can’t pick which of those six items you get. But you know for sure you’re getting 11 awesome things… And don’t you like to be surprised? How fantastic is this friend of yours?

Now here’s the kicker: all of these items are made or designed here in Brooklyn, by artists, designers and crafters who hail from Bed-Stuy, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Ditmas Park, East New York, Fort Greene, Greenpoint, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Sunset Park, Williamsburg, and Windsor Terrace, and whose work is available at fabulous boutiques like Spring in Dumbo, Rare Device in Park Slope, the Brooklyn Indie Market, or online at that one-stop-shop for handmade goods, Etsy.

This box is so Brooklyn, it’s even wrapped in Brooklyn maps and lined with The Brooklyn Paper (there’s also a map of the future Brooklyn Greenway and a Zagat’s guide to BK restos inside).

Here’s the other kicker: It’s $20 (plus shipping), an incredible value for one-of-a-kind work made by your gifted neighbors, curated by Brooklyn Based, and sold by The Sampler, a San Francisco company whose founder Marie Kare came up with this brilliant idea of mailing boxes filled with the wares of indie businesses to spread the word about their work. This month they began a series of Samplers called City Samplers, packed with goods native to one place. It launched with their hometown, and Brooklyn Based happened to call at the right moment and propose a box filled with goodies made by Brooklynites.

Fort Greene contributors include:
25 totes from avalove (
25 prints and cards by Desira Pesta (
100 eggpants by Liz Kinnmark (


(more posts to come regarding gifting)

Champagne Tasting @ Greene Grape

Kicking off the Holiday Season with a Grower Champagne Tasting

Join us in Brooklyn this Thursday, November 29, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm for a rare opportunity to taste four different grower champagnes back to back! The bubblies are all from Terry Thiese, the primary importer of grower champagne, and a member of his team will be on hand to answer questions about what Terry calls “farmer-fizz”. Grower champagnes are made by small producers who have the advantage of growing their own grapes and fashioning their own style. The event is FREE and no reservations are required. The Greene Grape is located at 765 Fulton between South Oxford and South Portland (718) 797-9463.

Tree Shopping in the Hill

It’s nearly December, and that means tree shopping!

I’m hoping to highlight the places to buy a tree again this year, with more detail than last year. For starters, the tree guy on Clinton and Lafayette (in front of Cadman Memorial Church) will be setting up on Thursday, Dec. 6. I always end up buying from him – always convenient and friendly.

Boat Noises?

A reader left this question in the comments:

A question for the blog: Do you hear a noise like a fog horn or a ship’s horn on occasion? Is this noise from the Navy Yard, or from cruise ships coming and going from Red Hook, or from ordinary East River ship traffic?

I’ve never heard any boat noises personally. I don’t think the Navy Yard is used for boats anymore, but I’m not positive about this. Anyone know the source?

Turkey Feedback?

Did anyone stand in line for a Jive Turkey last week?  I was tempted to order the Jive / Greene Grape dinner and wine deal, but you could only get a dinner for a large amount of people (and I was only hosting 4).  When I called to simply order a turkey, they told me I had to wait on line for one.  This explains the long lines there every year on Thanksgiving.

I’m kind of bummed that I wasn’t able to try one.  Anyone have a fried turkey?