Do you find that when you travel to a place where you have a friend, it makes all the difference in the world? We do. We love having local people show us how they live, where they eat, where they shop and so on. It's the best way to get to know the city intimately, don't you think?
This year we are starting a new feature called "Like a Local"--which essentially is the locals guide to the cities that they live in.
Our first "Like a Local" post is from Jennifer Dolan, who is the co-founder of Vellum New York. Jen is one of the sweetest, most talented, kindest people we ever meet. She is also super chic and super cool too.
Jen lives in New York and here are some of her favorite local haunts (some are in Paris and Chicago as well).
We hope you enjoy this new feature of our site. If you would like to share with us your favorite haunts, please email us. We would LOVE to hear from you.
New York Faves from Jen Dolan-Vellum New York
In NYC I love scouring the 26th Street and Hell’s Kitchen flea markets for small trinkets, unusual vintage handbags, or unique pieces of furniture.
Santa Maria Novella is my favorite go-to for vanity waters. I can’t get enough of their rose water. They produce wonderful waters and tonics for personal and home use and have amazing soaps that make great gifts. They have a product out-post in Lafco New York on Lafayette Street in Soho and have a gorgeous store on Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles. When in Florence, I always stop into the cloister portion of the famous Santa Maria Novella church where the products originated and have been made for centuries.
Distant Origin in Soho, NYC is good for interesting pieces of furniture with a modern spin (Lucite consoles, vanities, nesting tables, and fun ottomans). I’ve also found fun glass accessories there like one of my favorites, a thinly-blown clear glass sea urchin that makes a great bud vase or taper candleholder. I love accessories with a bit of whimsy!
NYC has lots of great neighborhoods to get lost in, among the amazing stores in Nolita, positioned between the Lower East Side and Soho, is Polux Fleuriste, one of my favorite places for flowers. They make a simple or extravagant arrangement incorporating the most gorgeous buds and colors. Their tiny space on Mott Street houses every stem imaginable as well as gifts and cards with a personal touch. Stop off before a dinner party for a small bouquet or call in a congratulatory arrangement. They’re tops at both.
McNally Robinson bookstore, a skip away from Polux Fleuriste on Prince Street in NYC, is a great source for the latest issue of Vogue, cool stationery, sentimental cards, or the perfect coffee table book. I’m in here at least once a week.
I’m a huge fan of vintage fashion and love browsing Daha on the Lower East Side of NYC for shoes, dresses, and handbags. Foley & Corinna on Stanton in the LES, a store of both new and vintage finds, is another favorite haunt for flirty dresses and fun jewelry (their necklaces as well as extensive selection of candles make great gifts). And of course Mayle in Nolita on Elizabeth Street, a favorite space for its cozy, comforting vibe with lush vintage-feeling clothes in rich fabrics and dense colors, tucked into a tiny space that smells headily of pomegranate.
In Chicago, Jayson Home and Garden is a wonderful resource for all categories (contemporary occasional furniture, outdoor plant life, cool accessories, hip lighting). I could spend all day here!
In Paris you can’t beat the iconic Colette on Rue Saint-Honore for the most interestingly-curated, edgy selection of music, books, objects, fashion, cosmetics, and food, all under one roof. So inspiring. And then hop down the street a few blocks to the Hotel Costes for a cocktail and appetizer in the ivy-gilded atrium.
On my want, would-love-to-have-it list? A malachite bar cart with silver trim on the 7th floor home section of Bergdorf Goodman on 5th Ave. in NYC and an old-fashioned claw bathtub. I’d fill it will all of those great bath salts from Santa Maria Novella!!