11/29/16 11:46am
starhawk and tony

Starhawk (on the left) and his brother Tony Arcuri keep Greenpoint colorful. Photos: Regina Mogilevskaya

Jerry Garcia once nicknamed Starhawk “The Kid.” The co-owner of Greenpoint’s Starhawk Design Studio doesn’t really keep track of time in a conventional sense, but he reckons this was sometime back in the 70’s, when he was touring the country with the Grateful Dead. Though born in Brooklyn, he left home when he was a teenager.

“I always had faith that travel was the right choice,” Starhawk tells me with a gleam in his eye as we stand across from one another in his shop, chatting as customers mill about picking up crystals, smelling incense, and browsing slowly through hangers swimming with tie-dyed shirts, skirts, leggings, arm warmers and socks.

Touring with the Grateful Dead is just one chapter in the dizzying book of Starhawk’s life, which includes stints with Peter Gabriel and Ziggy Marley, residence on the beaches of Hawaii, pop-up tie dye shops from Pennsylvania to California, and plenty of meditation in between.

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Photos: Regina Mogilevskaya

It all started with a dose of color. “The first thing I ever tried to tie dye was a butterfly on a t-shirt,” says Starhawk. He never studied art of any kind–or attended college–but from a young age he loved gobbling up texts about ancient cultures. He’d always felt a strong kinship with color, and his inspiration sprouted from studying indigenous clothing designs, out of which came a near-obsession with American tie dye techniques. For years, he traveled the country creating and selling his custom-made tie-dye clothing, as means of self expression and to support himself.

How Starhawk ended up Greenpoint after decades of kaleidoscopic nomadism is a story of simple fate. He and his brother, Tom Arcuri–who shared with me that he was in the clothing industry, though not on the design side, for “about 42 short years”–decided to start a business together. In 2015 they had a pop-up shop on Manhattan Avenue for a couple of days, and when they spotted an empty storefront for rent just two blocks from that location, they decided to make Greenpoint a permanent home. (more…)

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04/26/16 12:05pm

seedsheet
After using a Seedsheet last summer, we marveled at how easy it made growing plants from seed. Each Seedsheet–there are nearly 20 to choose from–includes a variety of organic nonGMO seeds and soil contained in water-soluble pods, perfectly spaced apart on a fabric that prevents any weeds from sprouting beside your tomatoes, sunflowers or basil. You just roll it over soil like a blanket, water it and wait for your perfect weedless plot of vegetables, herbs or flowers that you “planted” in 30 seconds. It’s like the Chia Pet of gardens.

There is a Seedsheet designed for every type of green thumb–foodiestea or smoothie enthusiasts, or all of the above–and every size space. It can fit in a windowsill, on a patio or a rooftop and it comes neatly folded in waterproof packaging. So while everyone else is sending their mother flowers for Mother’s Day, surprise her with a garden.

02/10/15 8:35am
Introducing the Love Bot...isn't he cute?

Introducing the Love Bot…isn’t he cute? Photo: mouth.com

We get it. You’re finally getting over the holiday gift stress, and you just want to hunker down for the rest of the winter binge-watching Black Mirror in your sweats. You don’t want to trudge around town shopping for your beloved. Instead, use these five online portals to find romantic gifts for your loved ones, who will appreciate you thinking outside the (Duane Reade chocolate) box. Or better yet? Treat your own damn self to something special–each of these sites sell way more than lovey dovey presents.

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12/12/13 8:45am

The selection at Vine Wine in Williamsburg reflects a few different passions. For one, they believe that you should always be able to find a delicious and affordable bottle, and keep a whole $15 and under section stocked with just that. Vine also carries more interesting California wines from young winemakers who are changing the West Coast wine scene, like Donkey and Goat, Massican and Forlorn Hope, than nearly anywhere else in the city. It’s a great place to pick up a large format bottle like a magnum, or even bigger, or a bottle of whiskey or hard-to-find spirit. And, Vine is home to more bubbles than you could ever imagine, and a staff that is passionately devoted to helping you find the right sparkler for the occasion. On Saturday, Dec. 14 they’re hosting their annual free champagne tasting with snacks and bottles of bubbly you’d be crazy not to want to try. Here are a few more gift ideas for the season.

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New California Wine Gift Pack
California wine has changed significantly over the past several years and wine journalist Jon Bonne has written a book profiling the young winemakers who are making fascinating new wines that defy the big, heavily oaked, super fruity California image. This gift pack includes a copy of The New California Wine and a two-pack of bottles featured in the book. $68.95

Haut-Segottes 2006 Bordeaux
Vine’s philosophy is that there is a delicious bottle of wine to enjoy in any price range. However, sometimes you need a gift that will impress even the most old school of wine snobs. This Haut-Segottes 2006 from St. Emillion in Bordeaux is it. An herbaceous blend of Cab Franc and Merlot, it’s drinking well right now or can be stored for years to come. Give it to your boss, your girlfriend’s dad or your francophile friend. $39.95

Wine Bible Gift Pack
The Wine Bible is an indispensable tool for anyone who wants to learn more about wine–pros use it to look up obscure grape varieties and details about growing regions all the time. Combine that with a $25 Vine Gift card (which are available in any amount) and you have a great gift for enthusiastic newcomers to the world of wine. $40

Holiday Survival Six Pack
From office parties to friends’ competing Christmas parties to the New Year’s Eve question (what the hell are we going to do this year?), this is an intense time of year. Grab this six-pack and take one decision off your plate. Filled with Vine staffers’ favorites, it will get you through a long weekend with your insufferable brother-in-law, or work as your go-to for last minute hostess gifts. Peace of mind in a reusable wine tote. $120

Les Capriades Sparkling Rosé Magnum
Good guests bring wine, great guests bring magnums. This large format sparkling rosé is a lovely rose petal pink made from a lush but light blend of Gamay and Cab Franc. Bring this to a gathering of any kind and you will be the hero of the night. $49.95

R. H. Coutier Brut Millesime 2004
Forget Veueve Clicquot, Cristal or any sparkling wine (except maybe Carlos Santana DVX) you’ve heard mentioned in a song. Vine has an amazing selection of bubbles from classic champagnes to wild pet nats and the staff can explain the differences and help you find the perfect bottle.  The family that makes this champagne has lived in Ambonnay, one of the largest Grand Cru villages in the Champagne region, since 1614. It’s a beautiful blend of Pinot Noir (75%) and Chardonnay (25%), perfect for an elegant gift or special occasion. Try it at Vine’s annual champagne tasting on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 3-6pm. $69.95

12/03/13 2:00pm
Sun December 8, 2013
Shop at the Bazazas holiday market between now and Dec. 10 and a portion of your purchase price will be donated to the Red Cross for its recovery efforts in the Philippines. Photo: Bazazas

Shop at the Bazazas holiday market between now and Dec. 10 and a portion of your purchase price will be donated to the Red Cross for its recovery efforts in the Philippines. Photo: Bazazas

Four holiday bazaars are happening this Sunday, with the goods to get your holiday shopping going. There’s the Holiday Artisan Bazaar at Williamsburg’s b. conte  boutique, where 25 local designers and artists will be offering everything from pillows to prints to supple leather pouches, in addition to the store’s already impressive inventory, with wine and hors d’oeuvres while you shop. The Wythe Hotel is also getting into the holiday shopping spirit by hosting Of a Kind’s Holiday Spectacular, a two-day market (it starts on Saturday) where 14 of the curated e-commerce site’s favorite fashion designers will be selling their wares. Further south, Brooklyn Exposed is having its first annual annual Holiday Bazaar at the beautiful 501 Union, where, in addition to the 30 local vendors vending, you’ll get complimentary Fairway coffee, Brooklyn ARTery’s workshops in the DIY corner and a DJ. And finally in Park Slope, make sure to stop by Bazazas, a pop-up shop that’s taken up residence in the back of a deli on the corner of 7th Avenue and Garfield until Dec. 10.–part of the proceeds from each sale goes to The Red Cross for disaster relief efforts in the Philippines.

11/27/13 8:24am
The Walt Whitman shirt from Novel-Ts employs a bit of cleverness. Photo: Novel-Ts

The Walt Whitman shirt from Novel-Ts employs a bit of cleverness. Photo: Novel-Ts

The writer in your life probably needs to be constantly and unrelentingly reminded of how much you adore them. This holiday season is the perfect time to let them know how much you care and if somewhere within your gift to them is the message, “I think you’re brilliant and your work will change the world,” you’ve succeed in locking them down into your life forever

Obviously the perfect gift is a cabin in upstate New York with a perpetually babbling brook running behind it that’s stocked with a capricious kitten and a case of Glenlivet. Follow me on Twitter for more dream gift suggestions. In the meantime, if a cabin isn’t in your price range, here are five gift ideas to keep your scribbler happy and inspired this holiday season–with a chance to win one of them.

The Gift of Ego–$24.95
If you don’t look good, you don’t feel good.  If you don’t look like a writer, you don’t feel like a writer. Why do you think Hank Moody is always having sex and never actually writing?  Because he looks like a gigolo who robbed a Kenneth Cole store.  Point is you’ve got to look the part. Quality tweed and outdoorsy Pendleton shirts are always a good bet.

Another, more affordable option, is to go with a clever literary tee, and course there’s a whole line of them made right here in Brooklyn called Novel-T’s. They’ve imagined great writers as a sort of literary fantasy baseball league, and make jerseys bearing the names, as well visual references to, your favorite writers, and some of their more illustrious characters. The collection pays special attention to writers with a Brooklyn footprint of some sort, like Walt Whitman. Jonathan Ames and this Dave Eggers.

Novel-T’s and Brooklyn Based are in the giving spirit and so we are going set three of you up with Novel-T gear for the holidays.  All you have to do is browse the Novel-Ts website and come up with a literary shirt suggestion that isn’t already in the roster. Leave your suggestion in the comments below and the crew at Novel-Ts will pick their favorites. Go on!
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