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Brooklyn Gal

If Santa Shopped Local

She's a beauty! Jas MB black quilted convertible bag at Barneys Co-op

If Santa left his gift buying till the eleventh hour, where oh where would he shop? At some of the Brooklyn Gal’s favorite stores and boutiques in (drumroll…) Brooklyn!

We bet that he would have no trouble at all fitting a Jas MB black quilted handbag with handles and a detachable shoulder strap from Barneys Co-op in his own satchel. Bonus: it’s on sale!

A cute Whit polka dot dress from Bird (great for transitioning into spring) or even Rachel Comey’s penpal-heeled booties are also compact enough to snag and add to the bulging bag.

If time allows, maybe he can swoop by Zoë in Dumbo and peruse the comfy T-shirts and sweaters, which we are always short of.

Or if Old Nick happened to win the lottery (we can dream, can’t we?) we bet that anything he might scoop up at Eva Gentry would make his elf very happy indeed.

And of course if Santa just decided to keep it small, the Brooklyn Gal would love to read Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Triology (psst: it’s all boxed and ready to go at Barnes & Noble) or just The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to start…




Footwear News – TenOverSix – January, 2009


Wish-ful Thinking

Santa, don't forget to shop net-a-porter's seasonal sale!

Sample sales? No thanks. The Brooklyn Gal always winds up frustrated by the throngs of fashionistas all waging battle for the same 20 items. We hate trying on clothes over our own, even if we come dressed in warrior-wear like leggings and thin T-shirts that allow us to easily slip in and out of the garments on offer. And, much, much worse, we oftentimes wind up buying items we may not need or even love because we get so caught up in sample-sale fever and, hello, it’s hard to pass up such bargains. Waste of time and money.

But don’t get us wrong – we do love a great sale – especially the online sale happening this moment at net-a-porter. True, our favorite e-commerce site sometimes prices select items a few bucks higher than its competitors, but damn, the selection can’t be beat.

What’s on the Brooklyn Gal’s wish-list radar right now? Well, if our pockets were deeper or Santa were richer, we would purchase these lover-ly wardrobe essentials in a nanosecond.

We heart all of the following net-a-porter finds, listed in no particular order:

Chloé leather boots. Oh how we love the tassels and the dark gray color. We could live without the logo (really, do we need to be walking brand billboards?) but we are enchanted by everything else about these beauties so we would gladly make an exception.

Isabel Marant slouchy wedge-ankle boots. One part leather, one part suede, all in awesome gray. We would strut around town in these babies all winter long.

Chinti and Parker elbow patch cashmere cardigan. Practical, yet luxurious. And we do have a thin for the au courant elbow-patch trend.

Miu Miu bell-sleeve belted wool-blend cardigan. Okay, we admit it: this sweater is what fashion dreams are made of. We are not usually oh-so-label-conscious but honestly, the Brooklyn Gal would sell our relatives for this gorgeous hunter-green cardi.

Paul & Joe Sister merino wool fair isle gilet. You say gilet, we say vest. Either way, it’s an adorable way to ward off the winter chill.

Stella McCartney double-breasted wool coat dark green. The price is totally out of our league but there is no debating the style appeal. Totally disarming!

Sonia Rykiel striped knit and velvet dress. Sonia can do no wrong. And we are always a sucker for a comfy knit sweater dress. Bonus points for holiday glam!

Yes, the Brooklyn Gal‘s list is long, but heck, don’t we deserve it all? We’ve been very, very good this year. And, what’s more, we’re really good at compromising. Just one little green sweater would satisfy the bargain-shopping itch!


Edible Brooklyn| Winter 2010 – Like Mom Used to Make

Virginia Dobles never regarded her mother, homemaker Patsy Roberts, as a professional role model. But after Dobles lost her job last year, she spent two weeks soul-searching, mostly under the bedcovers in her Park Slope apartment, and had a revelation.

With her 30-year advertising career kaput, Dobles, 53, wondered whether baking—always her mother’s passion—might hold the key to her happiness, too. “She was a real mom’s mom. Everyone in the neighborhood used to get a tin of her cookies for their birthday—everyone. That she became my inspiration sounds hokey, but it’s true.”

Dobles mixed up the butter cookies that had made Patsy, now 84, a local legend decades earlier in Rockaway Beach, Queens, and a nebulous plan took shape: Why not distribute bundles to 50 friends for Thanksgiving and let kismet take its course? Dobles’s husband, Cristian, a former ad agency creative director, whipped up retro-cute labels featuring Patsy in her prime with a fitting tagline—“Sweetness is the main ingredient”—and Patsy’s Cookies took flight.

Friends told friends about the Dobles’s prettily packaged cookies and they sold 500 boxes for Christmas. Soon they were selling three varieties—cookie-pressed butter cookies, dusted with sugar crystals; chocolate-chip butter; and walnut and maple syrup—to Union Market and Back to the Land in Park Slope and the Blue Bungalow in Rockaway Beach, even the Garden of Eden Gourmet Market in New Jersey.

Dobles believes the “sense memory” resonates with customers. At the couple’s in-store samplings, shoppers take a bite and wax nostalgic about their own mother or grandmother’s buttery renditions. She says some even well up.

These days the Dobles’s sprawling Slope apartment is “corporate headquarters,” while their cookies—along with brownies and walnut crumb cakes—are baked in a certified kitchen in Bedford- Stuyvesant. Dobles substitutes real vanilla for Patsy’s cheap stuff, chops nuts in a Cuisinart instead of, ahem, a meat grinder and mixes dough in a KitchenAid stand mixer. “My mother did it like this,” she says, stirringan imaginary bowl.

The resultant cookies are lighter, but Patsy Roberts wholeheartedly approves. “The first time I showed her the packaging with her face on it,” recalls Dobles, “she said ‘Now I feel like I have a legacy’ and it made me so proud.”




Where’s the Bean?

L.L.Bean's Adirondack Barn Coat is perfect for those hikes in the woods

If you were a venerable Goliath like L.L. Bean, wouldn’t you make sure that every last detail of your Christmas 2010 catalogue was 100% correct before sending it out to zillions of customers? The Brooklyn Gal most definitely would.

To be fair, perhaps the L.L. Bean folks were in a time crunch or the proofreader was on vacation or someone just forgot to spell check the whole kit and kaboodle. Or maybe they’ve become so reliant on online sales that the paper edition is a bit of an afterthought.

Whatever the reason, we were totally floored when we flipped through the new L.L. Bean catalogue the other day. (Yes, guilty as charged: we love perusing catalogues – and folding down pages for future reference. So what if that future almost never rolls around for the Brooklyn Gal.) Anyway, there it was, plain as day, on page 35, a quote from a happy customer extolling the virtues of the Trail Model Rainwear: “The workmanship is excellent, and the perfomance is top notch.” Hello, PERFOMANCE?

L.L. Bean, we have heard that your performance gear rocks. And what’s more, we’re mulling over the insulated Adirondack Barn Coat at the moment, in loden, but of course. The price can’t be beat!

But please, for your next catalogue performance, may we suggest that you look before shipping?

Humbly yours, the Brooklyn Gal.


Vintage Magazine: On Haberdashers

Vintage Magazine: On Haberdashers


Vintage Magazine: Rise of the Wedge

Vintage Magazine: The Rise of the Wedge