Best of NYC

By Stacey Cervellino

Caracas Arepa Bar
Venezuelan Homemade Arepas
91 E7th Street
212.228.5062
T-Sat 12pm-11pm
Sun 12pm-9pm
www.caracasarepabar.com

Caracas is a tiny café with a laid back vibe, festive music playing in the background and brightly colored table cloths covering the tables. The most expensive dish on the menu is the lunch special which includes a natural juice for $13.95. Other Venezuelan delights include Coconut Milk Shakes, a Dulce de Leche dessert, and a menu full of traditional foods: empanadas, rice and beans, and arepas, a corn based wheat free bread substitute filled with anything from olives to eggplant. The menu is both vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Eat in or take out and enjoy.

Angelo Lambrou
96 E7th Street
212.460.9870
Tues-Sat 1pm-8pm
Sun 1pm-7pm
www.angelolambrou.com

Born in South Africa, Angelo Lambrou studied design in Johnnesberg and London, won fame as the designer for Miss South Africa’s Miss Universe winning gown, and subsequently opened a small boutique on east 7th Street.

His designs are sexy and fluid with layering, beading, asymmetrical hems, and body conscious silhouettes the drape the body in fabric. Full of detail and drama, Angelo’s dresses give women a sense of confidence and sensuality. The colors are bright and bold in silk or stretch fabric with detailing like asymetical hemlines, beading, built in bras, and layered fabric in different colors. There’s something a bit tribal in all his designs and he clearly loves the female figure. Even better: sale items are now 10-50 percent off.

Pa (personal affairs)
102 East 7th Street
212.420.7778
Mon-Sun 12-8
www.pa212.com

Pa features German designers and classic lines to create beautifully tailored clothing for professionals. A great place to get the perfect pair of black pants or a sharp blazer with simple detailing that takes you out of the Ann Taylor realm and into something with a bit of an edge. Pants are about $100 and up. The cowl neck sweaters once $69 are now 40% off and down vests are on sale for $53.

Sugar
110 E7th Street
212.420.6499
Mon-Fri 1pm-8pm (Wed is 3pm-8pm)
Sat 12pm-8pm
Sun 12pm-7pm
www.sugarfashion.com

With designs by Ruth, Hazel, and Prudence, cute tees and warm bright sweaters, Sugar will satisfy your sweet tooth for shopping. Check out the summer sale rack and stock up for next year. The sweetest deal: Ruth’s Teal velvet and silk cocktail dress for $212.

Vintage Style
11 E7th Street
212.260.6390
Mon-Sun 1pm-9pm

So many boots and so little time. Vintage style has one of the best selections of affordable vintage boots and faux furs in Manhattan. I tried on a perfect pair of slate blue Capezio cowboy boots, while the girl next to me modeled a pair of black riding boots, both for only $30. Behind us was a wall of rabbit fur and other unidentified furry jackets-all $30-$75. Most boots are between $30 and $50. Rid’em cowboy.

Cutting Image
122 E7th Street
212.529.6925
www.cuttingimagenyc.com

A tiny salon decorated in yellow and red, Cutting Image is a new addition to the East Village. Lisa, the owner worked for Tony and Guy before opening her own salon in May. Cuts start at $80 for her 20-30 something clientele. Stop by to pick up some Bed Head hair product and talk to Lisa. Like my beloved L’atelier on Christopher Street, Cutting Image could become your favorite neighborhood salon, small enough and friendly enough for that personal touch we’re all looking for.

Tiny Living
125 E7th Street
212.228.2748
www.tiny-living.com

I took one look at Tiny Living and thought-this is it, the east village has gone corporate, with K-Mart at Astor Place, what’s next: a Wal-Mart on Avenue A? But, in it’s own, small way, Tiny won me over with it’s array of inventive pieces for small spaces: the wall wine rack, the photo coaster set ($20), the What’s cooking Recipe Ready file box complete with recipes for old favorites like brownies and lasagna, the Simple Human dish drain set, a beautiful white porcelain sponge and soap caddy for $15, and the best idea to date: carpet tiles. The tiles come in modern patterns and are 20″ x 20″ between $8 and $30 per tile. You can essentially build your own carpet, sized to the proportions you need for your tiny living space. Tiny is full of ingenious products to help you organize and beautify your home.

Bijoux
127 E7th Street
212.777.1669

Sophie Pujebet calls Bijoux her caravan, filled with costume like pieces from New York designers, all friends of the owner. It’s an arts and crafts gallery with handmade masks on the walls and those feminine dresses detailed with ribbons, lace, flowers, and other decorative appliqués. These dresses, ranging from $250-$700 require a bit of imagination and a great deal of confidence to pull off, in a Bjork-esque sort of way, and are perfectly festive and bold for New Years Eve or a downtown black-tie event.

Join the caravan and pay Sophie a visit.

Originally published November 2005
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