On the Town
176 Spring St., 212-334-6021, SoHo, Manhattan
Tokidoki has brought its quirky collectibles to Spring Street. A wee 250 square feet in size, the outpost stocks an impressive range of accessories and apparel by the Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand. From the bags, blankets and hats to the soccer balls, mouse pads and skate decks, Tokidoki products celebrate the art and iconic characters created by Italian artist Simone Legno. Founded in 2005 with business partners Pooneh Mohajer and Ivan Arnold, the brand has amassed legions of devotees since then.
We're new to the Tokidoki game, however. Browsing the vinyl toys and colorful print backpacks, we couldn’t help wondering, Why is that cute little cow figure packing heat? Why did hundreds of people line up here on opening day? Sensing bemusement, the store manager offered a crash course in Tokidoki subculture.... The brand’s characters are invented with distinctive qualities and detailed backstories (with real life lessons typically tied in there somewhere). Mozzarella, for instance, is the leader of The Moofia, a gang assembled to extort milk from the lunchboxes of schoolyard bullies. She is loving and kind to good kids, but ruthless with and feared by those who harass the innocent. Mozzarella rocks a tommy gun and comes with a 2.5-inch smiling bullet companion. You get the idea.
Each season new products, prints and brand collabs featuring the Tokidoki families are introduced, often in limited capacity. The new capsule store serves as a one-stop shop for the many different Tokidoki lines and is the first of its kind here in the States. Though unlikely to become a Tokidoki die-hard, we really did love the design concepts and store energy. After taking it all in, we hit the streets of SoHo with a pep in our step and cute Moofia keychain in hand.
By Rebecca Prusinowski, Paper magazine contributor
Bar: White Slab Palace
77 Delancey St., 212-334-0913, Lower East Side, Manhattan
From the folks behind Scandinavian boîte Good World comes White Slab Palace, another Lower East Side effort with a Nordic theme. Indeed, White Slab Palace echoes its predecessor—there are similarly lofty bar stools, a bit of taxidermy (Good World has a moose head on the wall, Slab has a stuffed bear backlit in an eerie light) and a slew of freshly squeezed, creative cocktails. The Lavender Lemonade ($11), made with vodka, lemonade and orange curacao, was lively and floral, and the Bloody Beet, made with beet juice, Stoli and garnished with a baby carrot, is a more adventurous option—ideal for health-conscious imbibers (or vampire bunnies). A beer list features nearly 40 selections, including summery German wheat beers like Wittekerke ($5) and Franziskaner Hefe Weiss ($7). In tune with its marble-derived name, the space features several geological design notes, like a granite-topped bar and black slate stone on the wall, which, combined with the space’s rustic wood tables and windows lining the walls, creates an airy, austere feeling. A prominent location at Allen and Delancey means it will get crowded faster than Good World, but with a food menu on its way and its plentiful seating, the Palace is the ideal location for beginning or ending a night on the LES.
By Elizabeth Thompson, Paper magazine contributor
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