New York City

Quiet Storms by A Round Cube

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Sometime ago, I was walking down my usual route and was captivated by a quaint store that stood out amongst the brick walls of Williamsburg. The storefront and its white exterior looked seemingly normal at first glance, inside with curtains draping on one end and a large potted plant on the other; glimmering under the afternoon sun, the name of the store “Quiet Storms” says otherwise. Upon entering, visitors are enveloped by silk curtains which are draped along the walls. In the center, an elongated table greets visitors while showcasing Quiet Storms' prized possessions – curated by shop owner Reshma Patel, each distinguished jewelry made by independent designers, tell a story. Geometric forms with a twist of German ingenuity. Delicate, yet bold, avant-garde designs from Copenhagen. Unique and quirky with a touch of surrealism from Madrid. I took my time looking at each piece, admiring its' subtle details and individuality – delicate, yet bold and unforgiving.

某日散步在Williamsburg街上,眼角瞄到一家以前沒見過的小店,白色絲綢配著紅絲絨抱枕,窗邊放著許多熱帶植物,抬頭看它的名字,金色的“Quiet Storms” 在午後太陽下在微微閃爍。走慣的街上新開了這個迷人的店,腳步不由自主著踏進去。白色絲綢環繞著店內的空間,俐落的擺設襯托著店裡的長桌,安靜的陳列著他們收藏的珠寶與飾品。走近看你會發現老闆Rashma Patel的用心,她挑選的珠寶都是來自世界各地的獨立珠寶設計師。來自德國,又圓又方的幾何搭配隱藏的結構。來自哥本哈根,精緻卻大方的前衛精神。來自馬德里,風趣中帶著超現實主義的自信。放慢腳步欣賞這些獨特的設計,你會逐項讀出每個不同的文化背景,購物的同時更有欣賞藝術作品一樣的樂趣。

 
 
 
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Rashma's vision resonates with me whenever I see jewelry shops. As her passion for jewelry stems from her Indian heritage, she said that precious gems and metals are a significant part of her culture. Jewelry is timeless and deserves being given the appropriate stage to present itself. On the other hand, she wants Quality made approachable. The shop illustrates Rashma's vision perfectly – powerful yet tranquil, relaxed yet sophisticated, much like "Quiet Storms." To be honest, I have never been good with accessories. Bits just slip between my fingers (if not today then definitely tomorrow or the day after that); as such, its been a long time since I've kept jewelry. This time, however, I couldn't resist getting a pair of asymmetrical earrings and a ring, both of which I have never seen elsewhere. Quiet Storms brought back my affection in wearing jewelry; and as of now, the only place I'd go look for any.

現在每當我看見別家的珠寶陳列都會想到Rashma。從我們的聊天中發現對於出生印度背景的Rashma來說,珠寶不只是印度文化重要的一環,對他們而言更是傳承永恆的舞台。在珠寶被嚴肅的框住在奢華之中,她更希望透過獨到的擺設讓高品質珠寶更親名。這間屬於Rashma的角落完全詮釋了他的信念;力量中有平靜,輕鬆卻又嚴謹,在這樣的看似反差的信念卻又保持一種平衡,也就像他的名字一樣,“Quiet Storms — 寧靜的暴風雨”。

老實說我對於保管這種小精品非常的不在行,如果今天特別收好不讓它搞丟明天要戴時也還是會找不到,所以省得麻煩我不算是很愛戴飾品。這次很難得在Quiet Stroms買下ㄧ只戒指跟一對不等稱的耳環,都是我從未見過的設計。可以說Quiet Storms讓我拾起穿戴飾品的興趣,也是現在我可能唯一愛逛的飾品店。

 
 
 

KEENAN POLICH X QUIET STORMS

Quiet Storms is pleased to introduce a limited edition ceramic and glass jewelry box in collaboration with design duo Keenan Polich. The jewelry box is about touching; the feeling of a round lid in hand, the smooth pocket inside, the sensory and sensual play between glass and ceramic. It is a reliquary designed around the daily ritual of wearing those most special pieces of jewelry.

Learn more on the design
 
Quiet Storms [Williamsburg]
142 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
 

That perfect croissant — Arcade Bakery by A Round Cube

 
 
 

Every New Yorker probably has a little imperious and acerbic "Ego" living inside of them (Ratatouille's hard-to-please food critic but a man of great taste and distinction, Anton Ego.) With New Yorkers coming from all around the world, we do not go easy with the fuss about top ranked or the best unless challenged by each and one of our standards... Now I am excited to share another hidden location in New York — there is a particular pleasure to finding great shops that exist in places they shouldn't. This time it's a small-village-in-France level butter baking found in an anonymous 1920's office building in Tribeca. They are home to inarguably the city’s best baguettes and croissants (featured by all Ego's.. ahem food bloggers) and the best pizza too (approved by myself). 

紐約好吃的東西真的非常多,有時候會突發奇想,會不會每個人心裡都住著一位挑食刁鑽的Ego先生(電影料理鼠王的奧客美食評論家 Anton Ego)面對熱門餐廳主打著他們絕對是城裡最棒的,還是能秉持著自己的口味去挑戰標準⋯⋯以上是個題外話,不過這次要推薦的隱藏烘培麵包店,是一間在華爾街非常紅的隱藏小店,而它的招牌就正是:我們是全紐約烤披薩、可頌麵包與法式長棍麵包烤得最香的一間麵包店!

 
 
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Because of the reputation, I had expectations and assumptions of what an in-trend, French bakery would be like. It took me by surprise that it was coming from a low-key, small vending window inside a century-old office building.

也許是因為這樣,在我第一次造訪Arcade Bakery的時候,已經先入為主的帶著超高期待,還沒開始吃就已經對麵包們有了莫名其妙的遐想。而當我走進這棟一百多年前的商用大樓裡,反而有點訝異,因為Arcade Bakery沒有店面,除此之外更像是這棟大樓樓下的麵包店或是福利社,如此的低調與隨意。

 
 
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The scent of freshly baked pastries will find you the second you step inside. Following a long, sloping, marble hallway with wooden retail windows vending the goodies. One beautiful touch that I can‘t get over with is the interior, a combination of historic high arch ceilings with artful patterns and contemporary designed seats carved into each side of the wall with pulled down tables. People standing or sitting, casually grabbing a bite, or quietly in line waiting; these moments of tranquil makes the crowded subway and bustling street scenes experienced just five minutes ago seemed much further away. 

推開傳統大厦的旋轉門,沿著長廊走到底才能看到這家有著大名氣卻低調的麵包店。在木頭與大理石的妝點下,它的裝潢乍看是樸實,當你走近便可發現它在室內設計與佈置中的巧思。配合著1920年代風格的天花板,交錯的線條與現代的桌椅搭配,巧妙的融合了傳統與現代風格,在場的每個人安靜地排隊與用餐,在Arcade Bakery裡你看不見新舊的隔閡、強調傳統或現代,感受到的反而是彼此欣賞與融洽,這份寧靜也讓我淡忘了五分鐘前剛出地鐵穿越車陣街道的吵雜聲,由內而外的安靜了下來。

 
 
 
Baker Roger Gural took his expertise from France and Napa’s Bouchon Bakery and translated it into what are inarguably the city’s best baguettes and croissants....

Bon Appétit
 
 
 

We ordered the popular margarita pizza and almond croissant, it looked usual and even plain, but before you realize you've already devoured it and will agree to the saying that "We are the best in town." The croissant was perfectly flaky on the outside and moist inside, with thick almond paste/butter in the middle. It's a very honest flavor. Sometimes I think that there's no mystery to good food, but the chef being true to his taste and respects the ingredients. Our era filled with artificial flavorings and machine made products; it can be hard to find such a fresh and genuine flavor. Especially when located in Wall Street district where the world's capitalism is built on, Arcade Bakery's existence made an impression.

點了店裏最著名的披薩與可頌,送上桌的餐點外型沒有太多驚喜,甚至有點樸素,沒替它們多拍幾張就趁熱接連著吃了好幾口,我也開始明白為什麼他們有自信說 "We are the best in town" 。至於原因,應該是食物原始的香味吧。這個說法也許有點兩光,但那種味道就是似曾相識卻更有畫面,好像分辨得出小麥味的溫潤、起士裡的全脂牛奶、烘焙過羅勒葉的清爽與火烤後水果的焦糖香。講得誇張點,是像家的味道,是對你坦白的香味。我想有時候食物的好吃真的是沒有太多的訣竅,廚師忠於自己味蕾也尊重食材,這份堅持也替食材保留了它們各自原本的味道。在化學香料充斥與機器取代人力的世代,能吃到一份單純的美味機會不多。在華爾街這樣充滿商業、資本主義和時間就是金錢象徵的一區,Arcade Bakery的存在更是讓人印象深刻。

 
 
 

Roger Gural, the owner of Arcade Bakery wearing a real nice T-shirt.
老闆穿著"The Good Fork"也太可愛!

 
 
Arcade Bakery  [Tribeca]
220 Church St, New York, NY 10013
www.arcadebakery.com
Open all week from 8AM – 4PM
 

Black and White by A Round Cube

 
 
 

Nowadays, I’ve mainly been shooting with my ContaxT2. I'm not a photographer, or anything; however, I do enjoy snapping this and that while casually walking down the street or some alleyway. The quality and process of shooting with film is incomparable to digital - not being able to immediately see what was captured is, in some ways, enlightening. You could say that I’m a bit of an old spirit. Waiting for the rolls to be developed adds to the experience of shooting with film. I even enjoy randomly browsing through those out of focus, under or overexposed moments. While organizing the rolls accumulated since I have started, I had an idea to put together posts using these, something like recollections through film photo. I got excited and dug out leaves pressed in some book last year, scanned them in and started fiddling. So here goes the first, hope you would enjoy it with us. xx

發現最近自己幾乎是用底片相機在拍照,雖然不是專業攝影師但喜歡隨身口袋裡去到哪都帶著底片相機,方便即時記錄每天生活中遇見的人物街景、 甚至是一瞬間。喜歡按下快門後無法立刻看自己究竟拍到了什麼,有時底片會不經意的曝光、或是塵粒在光線下預期外的明顯,還有每次等待底片洗出來前的期待,這些都是讓我格外享受用傳統底片相機拍照的樂趣。翻翻一直以來累積的照片,讓我想好好的整理他們,用底片機拍下的記憶和一些無所謂卻最真實的日常記錄。想到這裡開始有點興奮翻開去年秋天我夾在書裡的落葉 (經過一年很多都碎了),把它們傳進電腦裡用剩下的幾片小葉開始亂擺,同樣的一片落葉卻是不同的秋天。這是首篇,希望在看的你也跟我們一起enjoy囉。

 
 
 
 
 
Sometimes it happens that you stall, delay, wait for something to happen. Sometimes you have the feeling that here are all the makings of a picture – except for just one thing that seems to be missing. But what one thing? Perhaps someone suddenly walks into your range of view. You follow his progress through the viewfinder. You wait and wait, and then finally you press the button – and you depart with the feeling (though you don’t know why) that you’ve really got something.”

— Henri Cartier-Bresson



"有時候不盡滿意,我們便會動也不動,等待什麼事情發生;有時整個畫面都鬆散了,拍不到好照片幾已成為定局,突然有個人從眼前經過,我們透過觀景窗跟隨他的路徑,我們等待、再等待……然後按下快門,至此才帶著背包裡好像裝了一些東西的感覺離開。"

—亨利‧卡提耶-布列松
 
 
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Photos taken with
Tri-X400 using Contax T2.

Sweets found inside a "Burrow" by A Round Cube

photo source   Brunch with

photo source Brunch with

 
 
 

What I am about to introduce is one of my favorite hidden gems, yes I know, lots of places in New York get hailed as "hidden gem" but this one earns the moniker. Tucked away in the lobby of a historic building in Dumbo, Burrow, a Japanese Patisserie is just as hard to spot as the "speakeasy" bars — the entrance could take a while to find. This little shop is actually located right around the corner from the vintage store previously introduced, The Front General StoreIf you are planning a visit, definitely check out both its a bundle of joy! 

今天要來介紹的是一家日本甜點店 — Burrow。店如其名, Burrow的意思是地洞, 而難找的程度就像Speakeasy一樣明明有了地址卻找不到門進去, 每次和朋友邊聊天邊走去Burrow的路上都常常會不留意走過頭。第一次拜訪時不外乎同時非常期待卻也異常焦躁(尤其是肚子餓的時候)。雖然說是地洞, 不過它也同時位於之前介紹過的二手古董店附近: The Front General Store

 
 
 
 
 
 

Burrow is the dessert places I visit most frequently, although I still manage to walk past many times. Once you find your way inside, you'll be greeted by the friendly proprietor ready to make you a warm drink or serve up a pastry from their mystical case of offerings. What they have here is a combination of Japanese delicacy and the warmth of American baking. From portrait cookies, tower of cream puffs to cactus-shaped macarons, the pastries are often too adorable and makes you think twice before eating. The flavors and selections change on a regular basis. There are even daily specials made with seasonal ingredients, such as the cherry blossom cakes and pumpkin pies. Snatch ‘em if you see ‘em! (they are kind of rare). Everything here is made with as much love as talent.

紐約的甜點文化就像它的民族風情一樣是個大鎔爐。Burrow可以說是我最喜歡也最常去的甜點店了, 它有著忠於真材實料的味道, 結合日式的精緻與美式烘焙的溫度, 連我不愛吃甜食的朋友都能自己吃好幾個蛋糕。Burrow厲害的地方除了能讓不愛吃甜食的人享受甜而不膩的糕點之外, 更是能滿足甜食愛好者的口味抓住他們成為常客。我想它與一般甜點店最大的不同就在於烘培師Ayako Kurokawa對於食材有著源源不絕的靈感, 每個禮拜甚至每天都能看見Burrow推出新的糕點。對於她而言, 除了本身對當季食材搭配有著扎實的經驗, 而且每樣餅乾與蛋糕更像是他的藝術創作。像是女孩辮子的奶油餅乾、自畫像的插畫蛋糕、仙人掌的立體夾心、黑人手指餅乾, 每個都像是一件小藝術品, 要下手吃它們之前都得想想到底該從哪裡開始吃才好。

 
 
photos source    Burrow

photos source Burrow

 
 
Burrow's Patissier

"AYAKO KUROKAWA is a patissier and a food stylist in NYC. She picks her inspirations from her restaurant experiences, Brooklyn life, and day dreaming in the subway. She likes the comfort of wood, precious old things, and simple fresh dishes. She also loves to surprise people, and to bring smiles to their faces with her sweets."
 
photo source   Brunch with

photo source Brunch with

Burrow
68 Jay St #119, Brooklyn, NY 11201
www.ayakokurokawa.com
 

Bellocq Tea Atelier by angela chang

 
 
 

When friends from out of town visit NY, I feel obligated to show them around — I want them to experience the city (and all its nitty gritties). There's a reason why New Yorkers loathe tourists, who are more than satisfied by the novelties of Manhattan; the city may be fashionable, but it can't cure mediocrity. Yet, people who don't find NY the least bit enchanting sadden me. Venturing outside of the bustling city, I would excitedly recommend studios and that are "Made in Brooklyn"; among them, Bellocq Tea always comes first.

Fascinated by tea, I paid multiple visits to Bellocq, a tasting and design studio hidden away in the banks of industrial Brooklyn. Not only am I allured by their blended loose leaf teas but also by the hand crafted furnishings, the well curated ceramics and the quaint decor; these ingredients provide me with a dose of inspiration. 

朋友來紐約玩時都會覺得有義務帶他們走走,想讓大家感受到紐約的真實風貌。說到這個,紐約客厭惡觀光客不是沒有原因的,觀光客們滿足於曼哈頓上僅有的一切,但時尚街頭也不過如此,紐約令人著迷之處另藏許多,而今天介紹的Belloq Tea只是其中之一。

Belloq Tea位於Greenpoint Brooklyn工業區, 外面是紅磚瓦舊工廠 — 絕對看不出來裡面是精緻的茶葉沙龍!是紐約街上許多迷人的小店和咖啡廳裡都找得到的茶葉牌子。自己對於茶和一切相關事物一直都很感興趣,但讓我一來再來的原因不只是Bellocq的茶葉,從手工的傢俱裝潢,樸實的茶具陶瓷,和他們隨這季節變化的擺設等;讓我每過一陣子就想來被他們inspire一下。

 
 
 
 
 
 

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by the aromatic scent of tea, followed by an elegant vintage interior and a wall of gorgeous gold canisters. Filled with whitewashed wood, upholstery covered in dusty pink velvet and greens growing in every corner, the sitting room is a vivid dream of how I imagined my perfect studio to be. Tints of orange and gold flickers in the corner of your eye, its the candle light and reflections of the silver and gold canisters — an impossibly beautiful color palette. Pity that they do not serve tea/ beverage in this great ambiance. Instead, the space provides me with a cup full of enchantment; Bellocq is a tea studio that I'd want to linger in for as long as possible.

一進店裡,迎門而來的是撲鼻的茶香和滿牆的金銀茶罐,轉角擺放著精心挑選過的茶具和瓷器,接著隱約看到後面的房間,是個讓人不自主的發出驚嘆聲夢寐以求的角落,冷灰色的磚瓦牆配淡粉的鵝絨和白色木製傢俱,環繞在旁的是種種得綠色盆栽,鮮豔的橘紅不時閃爍在眼角中,是房間裡點滿得蠟燭和金色茶罐的反光 — an impossibly beautiful color palette。可惜的是他們不提供座位以及餐飲服務,純屬商店,讓你帶著小小的遺憾想在這裡逗留久一點,在完美氣氛中嘗一杯Belloq的魔力。

 
 
 
 
 
 
Bellocq Tea  [Greenpoin, Brooklyn]
104 West St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Bellocq.com
 

Vintage Shop — Front General Store by A Round Cube

 
 

Beneath the thunder loud train tracks elevated above Dumbo is one of the best (Japanese owned) vintage shops, Front General Store. Offering a wide array of well-picked (and priced, too) pieces, your selections are clothing's from the 50s to 90s tagged and dated, colorful bohemian embroidered tops and dresses, 1900s handmade French underclothes, an abundant stock of vintage Levi's from straight, flared and shorts in all washes and sizes. At the back of the shop is piled up with aviator, military and sukajan (Japanese embroidered bomber) jackets. 

The Front General Store是間擁有著琳琅滿目的收藏的vintage shop。從五零到九零年代每一件店家都用黑色墨水手寫標上物品活躍的年代。你能找到波西米亞刺繡連身裙、十九世紀法式蕾絲內襯衣、甚至九零年代百搭的LEVI'S牛仔褲尺寸和顏色更是族繁不及備載。逛到店的最深處你會看見掛滿了飛行員的皮夾克,軍裝外套,日式刺繡外套(不良感100%的流氓外套)。
 

 
 
 
 
 
 


Their accessories are also impressive, racks of silk scarfs, bandanas, aged books, tin boxes, brass pins, and eyewear — (my personal favorite of their's) If you are looking for fine metal framed ones, they have a gorgeous collection. Also jewelry, stationaries, home decors and just one of a kind objects that will satisfy your hunger in finding unique accessories or gifts. 

他們的配件與飾品總是讓人驚豔, 女人味的絲絹方巾、美式哈雷印花頭巾、生鏽的煙草鐵盒、鑰匙圈和別針, 更值得一提的是滿牆的復古金屬細框眼鏡,每次去總會試戴個10分鐘,算是只有近視人才能享受的福利吧。除了個人配件, Front General Store更是營造了與他們風格一致的居家氣氛, 如果想替家裡增添新的瓷器或小擺設, 亦或是想不到要送什麼禮物給朋友, 總是能在他們店裡找到辦法。
 

 
 
 
Front General Store
143 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
frontgeneralstore.com
 

Dollar Oysters at Maison Premiere by angela chang

 
 

Maison Premiere is many things all at once; my go-to place for fresh oysters (in budget, yes-- you heard me), my favorite garden brunch spot, and the bar that offers one of the most amazing cocktails and absinthe. The waiter and waitresses are better dressed than the customers, in black vests and narrow ties, hands behind their backs. They also have a cozy and thoughtful garden seating for warmer times. Absinthe and oysters are the draws (as for the food it only gets better) of this immaculately-executed old world charmer. Every time after a visit, already, I cannot wait till the next time, to be surrounded by lush greens and indulge again in the dollar oysters happy hour  the happiest one of them all.

*Oyster happy hour | 4 -7pm weekday | 10-1pm weekend | 12+ varieties of oysters
 

說到紐約的Oyster Bar就不能不提一下Maison Premiere。
新鮮的Oyster Bar是Brunch的好選擇,晚上更是創意海鮮料理讓人垂涎三尺。他們特別的菜單吸引許多人來,而他們的調酒和生蠔會讓你留下成為常客。Maison Premiere與附近一家鬆餅有名的餐廳La Barricou同位老闆所經營,最近又新開了一家,Sauvage。食材極為新鮮是一間很有格調的餐廳 ,重點是這麼好的條件下價位還算親民。到了四五月份會開放後花園座位,清爽的早上在綠葉瀰漫的林蔭中大嗑生蠔,配上早上的第一杯咖啡,一籃現烤麵包。
“One dollar oyster happy hour” (一塊錢一個生蠔的“開心時間)

*Oyster happy hour | 4 -7pm 平日 | 10-1pm 假日 | 12+ 生蠔種類任選

 

Picture: 
Poached eggs with oysters & periwinkles | Bread basket with garlic butter | Fresh uni and oysters

Maison Premiere  [Williamsburg, Brooklyn]
298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
maisonpremiere.com
 

Milk and Roses by angela chang

 
 
 

This weekend my roommate and I set out to find a nice cafe to linger for the afternoon. The result was this new found gem - Milk and Roses, that is just off the Greenpoint subway in Brooklyn. Milk and Roses is an European-fairytale styled cafe walls lined with books stacked up to the ceiling. A grand piano sits in the center of the room and is surrounded by vintage leather sofas. What's more is behind the kitchen there is a backdoor that leads you inside a little greenhouse with one facade built using a whitewashed garage door. And through the greenhouse spacious garden awaits with picnic tables and trees, inviting guests to indulge in anafternoon getaway from the loud streets of New York City. 

這個禮拜我和室友的目標是尋找新咖啡廳適合度過一整個下午,於是發現了這間布魯克林的Milk and Roses,有著簡樸外觀卻能帶領顧客體驗世外桃源的魅力。從踏進店內的瞬間就像翻開一本書,開始讀起故事的序目。琳琅滿目的叢書,鎮店之寶的老鋼琴,溫醇的咖啡香與顧客們喃喃的說話聲交織,穿過廚房旁的後門是他們的溫室小木屋,最後是木屋外的後花園,有著野餐桌和即使是秋末了還綠著的花草樹木,有種離開了紐約城市的不真實感。別於大多紐約的咖啡館,在Milk and Roses更能享受一段屬於自己安靜的時間。

 
 
 
 
Milk and Roses Restaurant
1110 Manhattan Ave. , Brooklyn, NY 11222
Milkandrosesbk.com