The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

A weekend in review: shopping is fun, people are dumb. August 18, 2009

Filed under: Beauty,Cool sites,Places to go,Products,Tips — Alden @ 1:01 am

On Friday, because I had the day off, I made my weekly pilgrimage to the Evolution salon for my eco-friendly mani/pedi. Even if you don’t want a green manicure, I recommend this place anyway, because Marien does such a meticulous job. If you are looking for a speed manicure, this probably isn’t for you, but you will leave feeling like a princess!

The first place I stopped outside of Evolution was an “natural beauty shop.” Naturally I imagined a lower-key version of the Body Shop with cute little hippie bottles of lotion. Alas, no. Turns out these “natural beauty shops” (and there are several) exclusively stock african oils and moisturizers, and are run by men with thick accents and disinterested glares for little girls like me. I scuttled out of there as soon as I was doing the polite look-at-everything circuit. This is the first time I’ve given a bad review to a place, but seriously, don’t go there. Don’t.

Me and my cool new Brooklyn Industries jacket on Friday night

Me and my cool new Brooklyn Industries jacket on Friday night

Atlantic Ave does have some great antique shops though. As I strolled west, I found a sweet worn leather purse wrapped around the forearm of a lawn jockey for $30. AtAve is also crammed with tiny boutiques, though I made it out without spending anything.

Ha, Ook, not true. I just remembered I got a boyfriend blazer from Brooklyn industries. I consider it ok, because it’s very much local, and the shop does carry some pieces of organic wear, even if my wonderful jacket with military-style buttons is not.

Because I was in Brooklyn, and I hadn’t eaten allll day, (I’m not anorexic, I’m just busy.) I wandered down to the Chip Shop for lunch. I’ve gotten this fabulous book called 1001 things to do in New Y0rk. It’s definitely not for tourists, because you would need 10 years to do all the little things in here. It runs from the mundane (stand over the grate that Marilyn made famous) to the crazy (go to a transvestite finishing school.) It’s perfect for getting into all the nooks and crannies of being a New Yorker. And one of those things was the Chip Shop.

Chip Shop is a pub that specializes in heavy fried food, macaroni and cheese, and old men with accents nursing beers at the bar. After not eating all day, I probably should have realized a beer with tip me over, which it did. But I ate a half serving of the kids-size mac and cheese (yeah, it’s that big) and a fried Twix for dessert. Look, you must try it. It’s the combination of a crunchy fried shell and melted chocolate… mmmmm.

Apparently there is more than one Chip Shop in the area. Just be warned: if you plan to go drinking there late at night, you might find yourself ordering one of everything off the dessert menu, as drunk late-night patrons are wont to do. Oh, and they’ll also fry up things that you bring in. Fried cupcake anyone?

When I drunkenly emerged from the Chip Shop into the heat of the afternoon, I realized it was pretty late, so I took the train home to change and go out. I met my friend Morgan (see comments after the guido post) at his place in China Town. His roommate is a hipster to the max who does PR for bands, and Morgan has just wrapped up a job doing music photography. Obviously they are in the scene, and Friday was no exception. First we stopped at Les Enfant Terribles down the street for a delicious yet light meal of moules frites (mussels and fries) and calamari. Oh goodness was it good. Go there if you like good French food, and hot French waitresses. (That’s the opinion of one of the boys I was with, not mine.) Even the owner stopped by, and though I usually dislike snotty French men, he seemed jovial enough. He laughed when we all ordered a Stella, but was quickly back with our beers and food, including a big bucket of fries.

School of Seven Bells

School of Seven Bells

After that Morgan led us down to the Seaport by the Brooklyn Bridge for a concert by School of Seven Bells, an indie electronic band with a striking front girl. You can find their stuff on iTunes. Start with “Half Asleep,” if you’re going to download something. Me? I’m kind of in love. The picture above is Morgan’s, of course.

After we went out to a bar and met up with friends. One friend-of-a-friend I met was this Icelandic guy who works at Credit Suisse. He asked me what I did, and when I told him, he says, “Oh, so you mean by sustainability that if you do an ad now, it will still be good in five years?”


“No…it has to do with being eco-friendly, green, the environment? Ya know?”

I thought Icelanders knew all about this stuff! After enduring his grab-hands for ten minutes, I got up and left him there.


Saturday during the day I ventured out again to do some shopping in the village. I started at C.O. Bigelows. Now, I know nothing about the place, except that they make wonderful lip glosses I receive in my Christmas stocking every year. But I was charmed immediately. The sales girls helped me pick out a whole new skin-care regimen, completely organic. I’ve been running low lately on my “mostly organic” line by Origins, which doesn’t really work anyway.

The coolest thing about this line is that the cardboard packaging contains seeds for herbs. You just wet it down and put it in a pot of dirt, and voila! How cool is that? IMGP0041

Next I popped over to Zachary’s Smile, a cute little vintage store. (You can find a longer list of vintage stores here.) Crowded with pretty girls and their moms, and filled with standard fair, I had a good time sifting through the racks. What really pulled me in was the vast array of deliciously worn in leather boots. The kind of stuff people have been buying new from Steve Madden, but this is the good stuff. I chose a pair of flat-heeled, brown, knee-high boots, and I also picked up a pink velvet cropped jacket and another boyfriend blazer, this time in sailor-navy blue. This last piece was from the Zachary’s Smile new line, that creates pieces with an old look. Obviously I’m really into the boyfriend blazer trend.

Next I went to Chee-Pee’s on 8th ave. A far different experience. Instead of a cute little boutique bustling with 20-somethings, I found a largely empty shop with institutional lighting, linoleum tile, carefully sorted racks of old cocktail dresses, leather jackets, and crazy tutus. The sales guy had dreads and a no nonsense attitude- when I told him what I wanted he moved off like a silent animal stalking his prey. I suspect they don’t take kindly to ditsy fashionistas, but if you know what you want… I walked away with a lovely Mad Men-style slip and an old pair of men’s Levi 505s with a worn out spot on the butt where the former owner kept his wallet. I’ve made them into a great pair of cuffed shorts.

[Warning! This store is only for people who are hipsters, or secretly want to be a hipster, like me. Do not go here if your favorite brand is Ralph Lauren, Lily Pulitzer, or Milly.)

As far as Saturday night, it was super fun but nothing to bore you with, my wonderful readers. All I know is that I took taxis entirely too much this weekend, guiltily handing over money I didn’t need to spend for the privilege of pumping CO2 into the air. What can a little, helpless girl like me do though? Take the subway at 2 in the morning? Non, merci.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s