It took Joel Russ ten days to travel from Germany to Ellis Island by boat in 1907, and that was the easy part. The 22-year-old Russ had arrived in America to help support his older sister's family, which he began doing by selling strings of Polish mushrooms, carrying them on his shoulders until he had saved up enough money for a pushcart. Next, he upgraded to a horse and wagon, and by 1914, he had enough funds to open a store. Dubbed "Russ's Cut Rate Appetizers", the store specialized in selling the cold appetizers known in Yiddish as "forshpayz": among them salt-cured salmon and herring. In 1920, he moved to East Houston Street, where the shop still stands today. During this period, he also became the father of three daughters who began working in the shop after school and on weekends, and in 1933, the store was renamed Russ & Daughters––widely regarded as the first business to ever use "& Daughters" in its name. Nearly 100 years later, the shop is owned and staffed by fourth-generation Russ family members, and has been recognized by The Smithsonian Institute as "a part of New York's cultural heritage". One of the last traditional appetizing stores on the Lower East Side, the business is considered by most to be much more than a beloved grocery: it's a preserver of the culture of the city's Eastern European Jewish Immigrants. Smoked and cured salmon is still sliced by hand, while bagels are rolled by hand and baked in an old-fashioned revolving oven. When ¬New York Magazine asked world-traveling chef Anthony Bourdain to name the best meal he's ever eaten in New York, the Travel Channel host said simply, "bagel, nova, cream cheese at Russ & Daughters. Not just the best, but 'ours'." Beyond the traditional bagel toppers, today's customers find gourmet delights such as cinnamon or chocolate babka, homemade chopped herring salad with granny smith apples, and handmade macaroons dipped in dark chocolate. Russian-style blini's make the perfect vessel for any of Russ & Daughter's high grade, hand-packed caviars, which are still sourced the old-fashioned way: by waiting patiently next to the fish's nests.
As a partner of the NY Waterway's East River Ferry, Peachfrog gives travelers from across the five boroughs a compelling reason to trek out to North Williamsburg by boat. The overstock boutique fits in well with its up-and-coming surroundings, outfitting guests with the dresses, hats, and handbags necessary to stand out among the hip crowd that frequents the nearby wine bars, brew pubs, and underground cinemas.
These chic apparel items—along with the store’s housewares and accessories—arrive directly from boutique retailers. Peachfrog does its part to ensure that they move along quickly, marking them at up to 90% off their original prices and continually seeking out new items to take their place. "They're finds, they're treasures, they're gone," cofounder Howard Blumberg notes. He specializes in tracking down unique items, kindly passing on pieces that one could easily find in a chain or department store.
Blumberg founded the shop with business partner and sculptor Bill Norton, a pioneer of the area's arts community who formerly served as the director of installations at MoMA PS1. Under Norton's artistic hand, Peachfrog transformed from the hull of an old egg-roll factory into an industrial-chic boutique. Today, men's clothing items dwell in what was once a large freezer, and the factory kitchen’s original range hoods extract heat from sundresses entering their supernova stage in the dressing rooms. In 2009, the New York Times gave Peachfrog an approving nod, citing the store's expansive inventory as well as its close proximity to other charming shops and street vendors.
In 1991, the surprise discovery of a Lomo Kompakt Automat?a compact Russian camera?in a Vienna shop struck inspiration into a group of local students; they reveled in the shadowy corners, lo-fi graininess, saturated colors, and light-leaks that riddled its photos. The group traveled to the camera's birthplace in St. Petersburg to meet with the original manufacturers at the Lomo PLC factory, and forge a contract for global distribution. Over the next 20 years, the students' venture expanded into Lomography, a global company that develops experimental cameras and accessories and operates stores in 17 countries.
Whether on gallery shop shelves in an online store, Lomography boasts full-size and compact analog cameras, many in hues such as bright blue, green, and goldenrod. Classic cult picture-takers such as the Diana F+, Lomo Kino, and Lomo LC-A+ join experimental eight-frame and fish-eye cameras, pocket cameras, and kinoscopes. Accessories such as flash, wide-angle lens, and fish-eye lens attachments, and a line of darkroom equipment, spur creative exploration and provide justification for annexing the shadiest corners of the basement. Lomography fuels its cameras with film types such as 35mm, 120 medium format, and instant that can be developed at professional studios or through its online development services. The store also compiles photography books and city guides, and fashion such as shirts, bags, and button sets.
With more than 850,000 images, Art.com boasts an immense variety of ready-to-hang wall pieces and decorative artwork along with professional custom framing and mounting services. Choose pieces from a massive selection of media and styles, including photographs, vintage art prints, and abstract pieces, or search by subject matter for items such as iconic album covers and movie prints. An artist search can help perusing patrons snag fine-art prints from Matisse and Munch or one of the pulp pieces by Andy Warhol, best known for his daring depiction of infamous midcentury gunslingers the Elvis triplets.
The site's Photos to Art feature lets shutterbugs upload digital snapshots to the site and select a custom frame using a quick interface that offers more than 25 custom frames, a range of sizes, and more than 80 museum-quality mats. In addition to framing uploaded photos, Art.com can also print them on a canvas stretched across wooden support bars and protected with a gallery-grade UV finish. Patrons can view mockups of their custom portraits to ensure they'll match the walls on which they'll hang. Art aficionados can also choose prints from a moody lot of black-and-white beauties before encasing them in a variety of smart frames. Purchases are protected by Art.com's return policy, which guarantees 100% satisfaction.
In "Understanding CrossFit," founder Greg Glassman says CrossFit?s ?specialty is not specializing.? Flower City CrossFit's dedicated instructors certainly follow that philosophy, providing their members with a slew of constantly changing exercises that incorporate everything from bootcamp?style cardio and body-weight routines to Olympic lifting, climbing, throwing, and basic tumbling. Classes are held multiple times per day, and might feature the Workout of the Day, focus on athletes prepping for the CrossFit Games, or help children prepare to face another week of extreme recess. But exercisers will rarely see the same workout twice. In fact, some classes introduce completely new techniques, such as self-defense seminars, dodge-ball tournaments, or the occasional Barbells for Boobs event, which supports low-income and uninsured women in need of breast-cancer prevention screenings.
Featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Today show as well as in the pages of InStyle magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine, Violight's dental-hygiene products harness UV light to eliminate up to 99.9% of germs. Thanks to original product testing by Dr. Philip Tierno, Jr.— Director of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology for the Departments of Microbiology and Pathology at New York University's Langone Medical Center—and ongoing laboratory tests, Violight products can confidently claim to kill bacteria such as strep, salmonella, E. coli, staph, and H1N1 using the same technology employed by hospitals and Dr. No's dentist. Winner of a 2005 Industrial Design Excellence Award, the original toothbrush sanitizer brings a modern, minimalist aesthetic to bathroom counters as it cleans up to four brushes simultaneously. Portable, travel-proof designs keep mouths impeccable on business trips or vacations, and parents can coax kids toward oral cleanliness with sanitizers designed to fit almost any toothbrush or electric-toothbrush head and modeled after panda, penguin, and ninja characters. Extending its germ-killing expertise beyond the bristle, Violight’s cell-phone sanitizer renders harmless the bacteria and ingrained particles deposited into phones’ crevices by breathy cellular chats or voicemails left by the flu. Customers can also order replacement UV bulbs for cleansing devices or replacement heads for Violight’s Slim Sonic toothbrush, which cleans teeth at 22,000 strokes per minute.