Monday, January 18, 2010

Design Adventures in NYC

Carter and I jetted off to The Big Apple this weekend...because we are jetters like that.

Actually, Carter's siblings live in NYC, so we planned a week or two ago to head up to spend some quality time with them...and since this was to be a family QT weekend, I was not to camp out at fabric stores and spend hours hitting up the home decor hot spots in NYC (keep in mind, I have no idea where said hot spots are, but I imagine I would sniff them out).

Saturday morning, we awoke to a beautiful day in the city - a balmy 50 degrees with the sun shining - and my dear bro-in-law Jason had planned a lovely brunch for us. So we hopped a cab (the boys know me very well) and as we stepped out at the corner of 39th and 9th, something immediately caught my eye...a white sign that said "Hell's Kitchen Flea Market." Ummm...wait, what? HKFM!? It was my lucky day! I wasn't even looking for a design adventure...and one found me!

Our restaurant was appropriately called "HK" and its windows faced into the flea as I sipped my bellini, I gazed upon the wares that I would soon be perusing for myself. Luckily, we had about an hour to kill after brunch and the boys were amenable to taking a little walk through the market...

My first look at the market...I felt so hip since I often read other bloggers talking about their HKFM finds (did you read Alicia B.'s recent post?) 

The first stand that we saw ended up being the best one of the bunch (in my opinion) - lots of goodies with Asian appeal...


That's my b-i-l Jason checking out a bookcase...he's looking for a bar for his (super-cute) apartment and we ended up falling in love with the piece. Alas, we didn't quite have the time to jet the bookcase back to his place, but he vows to return to see if it is there in a couple of weekends.

This was one of the best pieces I saw...not quite sure what it is, but it would look dynamite hanging in my dining room...


And below it were some fabulous mirrors...Jason also considered one of these for his place...


This box of Chinese calligraphy pens was my absolute favorite find...they were GORGEOUS...I was overwhelmed by the choices, and I of course wanted about ten of them, so I walked away without one. But they were so beautiful...


Check out this faux bois one! Pretty cool, isn't it?


The old phonograph intrigued all of us...if I had the right place to put it, it might have come home with me...


I have no use for a cane stand, but isn't it lovely?? And I loved the canes too...also a perfect piece for umbrellas...


I'm a sucker for silver...


This console table was so charming...I really liked the shape...much prettier in person.


The market was really fun to stroll and although I left empty-handed, the experience was well worth it...the perfect way to spend a very pretty afternoon in the city!

So you would think hitting up the flea market would have been enough of a design adventure...but wait, there's more!

We had a bit of time to kill on Sunday morning before heading back so Carter and I ducked into a cafe to grab a bagel and some coffee. As we sat there, my mind started to wander thinking about fabric...and how the city was chock full of amazing fabric shops...and how Jason had mentioned that the garment district was near Penn Station...and how we happened to be a couple of blocks from Penn Station...hmmm...

So I pulled out my trusty phone (which took all the flea market pictures, btw...pretty good in a pinch) and I googled "NYC fabric district"...and lo and behold, several stores popped up in the 38th/39th and 7th/8th area...about two blocks from where I was sitting. I looked at my watch and I had 45 minutes before we had to go - I wasn't sure how many stores would be open on a Sunday, but I wasn't going to let the opportunity pass me I grabbed my purse, kissed Carter on the cheek, promised to be back on time, and headed out to see what I could find....


And find I did...rolls upon rolls upon rolls of fabric...I had died and gone to heaven.


I didn't get enough time to do any shopping, but just witnessing the volume of fabric available was enough for me...


And I even hit up some notions and trims stores...I was positively light-headed looking at all the trim...


In contrast to Saturday, Sunday was cold and cloudy. As I put on my coat to head to the fabric shops, I grabbed my umbrella...Carter (whose back was to the windows) asked why I needed my umbrella...and I explained that it had started raining...

Carter: You're going out in the rain?

Me: Yes

Carter: Wow, you must be dedicated.

Dedicated indeed.


  1. You are in trouble, Missy! And you know why... that is all.

  2. I know, I know...but, it was truly family time and we only had about an hour that was unscheduled...but now we are Bolt Bus experts and will hopefully be heading up there more often with a more open schedule for socializing...promise!

  3. Wow, that's gotta be the best flea market I've ever seen! I sorely need to make a trip up to NYC just to hit up the HKFM, the fabric district, ABC Carpet & Home, John Derian and I'm sure about a million other places that you can only get in NYC!

  4. Yes, it was wonderful...I only got a taste - I need to go back soon!

  5. Love seeing your flea market pics!! How were prices?

  6. Hmmm...prices...most of the pieces were unmarked (and I didn't inquire about anything)so not too much info on that front...the calligraphy brushes were $25 which I thought was good for very pretty and unique pieces. They were my favorite find...and I am KICKING myself for not having bought one...DOH.

  7. Very inspiring, especially considering I am going to New York in three weeks! Would you recommend this particular flea market? I know there are many in NY. I have done garment district and never miss the crazy wholesale bead shops, but I've never hit a NY flea market- I really need to.

  8. I really loved the HKFM - it's at the corner of 39th and 9th (and thus also quite close to the fabric district). I've also read other NYC-based bloggers post about it, so it's probably one of many good ones.

    Any other commenters out there that can guide our dear MoS with NYC flea suggestions?


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