12/17/13 10:48am
Cannot kill the family; buttery is found in me

Cannot kill the family; buttery is found in me

As you surely know by now, Brokelyn has a pronounced pro-pun bias. What you may not know is that we are also in the pro-metalhead camp (as this reporter’s first, third and fifth concerts were all METALLICA). This is all why the tasty creations by Williamsburg’s Better Off Spread caught our eye: Not only are the names of each item infused with heavy metal themed punditry that would have Dimebag Darrell rockin and rollin in his grave, but the vegan, organic spreads themselves are pretty damn delicious. The sweet (Master of Peppermints and the pumpkiny Cashew the Bell Tolls) or savory (the spicy Jalapeno Be Thy Name or the peppery Ace of Spice), concoctions are good enough that they’re meant to be served as their own appetizers, but you can just as easily throw them on a sandwich. And you may have seen them in our raffle at last week’s No Office party too!

$11-$13 each, or get the Master of Peppermints two-pack for $20; available online or throughout NYC

12/23/09 2:02am

teaBrokelyn is officially in favor of splurgy little pick-me-ups (cause we can’t afford big ones), and a current addiction is stopping into Sacred Vibes Apothecary for a couple ounces of custom-blended tea. The chamomile/peppermint/licorice is a soothing balm for what ails us (being awake at 3 a.m.) and rest assured shop owner Karen Rose has a leafy blend for what afflicts anyone on your list too. Yes there are teas for eczema, arthritis and high blood pressure, but if you don’t think Constipation Relief Tea is an appealing stocking stuffer, how about one that promises beautiful skin? The cocktail of calendula, red clover, chickweed, burdock root and cleavers makes for pleasant winter sipping, and Karen says it’s like a facial in a teacup. Or maybe we said that. Beautiful Skin Tea is $10 a 2-ounce bag at Sacred Vibes, 376 Argyle Rd. between Cortelyou and Dorchester, 718-284-2890.

12/22/09 1:13pm

glovesWe’re gonna catch all kinds of crap for posting a gift from Target, since it isn’t exactly a homespun mom-and-pop enterprise, but here goes anyway. For at least the last couple of years, Target has been selling ladies mitts, two pairs for $1.50. That means you can put a pair in your pocket, on your nightstand, in your backpack, in your glove compartment (it’s called that for a reason) hanging from the mantle in place of a stocking, dangling from your belt for a chic winter look etc. etc. etc. You will never have cold hands, nor especially warm ones, but what do you want for less than a buck? We love them, evil retailer, one-ply acrylic and all. You probably already know this, but here are the Brooklyn Targets.

12/21/09 4:23pm

photo from zibbet.com/Frankenkitty

photo from zibbet.com/Frankenkitty

There are loads of iconic Brooklyn shots on sale around town, but this cotton-candy-colored take on a Coney Island landmark called to us with its dreamy, almost toy-like look. It’s one of the photos Brooklyn’s Mari Lowery is selling under the name Frankenkitty on the new Etsy rival site, Zibbet. As her handle suggests, Lowery has a sardonic eye, but she does the creepy doll thing without making you cringe, venturing into the established genre of spooky mannequins and bunny-costume photos with refreshing grace. The richly toned yet under-saturated images, coupled with animated compositions, make the pictures more compelling than the run-of-the-mill, was-your-childhood-that-awful shots.

Photos are $25 for an 8-by-8-inch print. Act fast if you want to get your photo-loving friend a print in time for the 25th—your last day to order is Wednesday, and the photographer will ship it next day or priority (you will have to email her at mari@marilowery.com and pay the extra charges).

12/21/09 11:42am

Picture 7Back in our day, just about every sexually confused undergrad had at least one Georgia O’Keeffe poster on her wall, but who knew that the great painter of NSFW flowers also captured the Brooklyn Bridge on canvas? (If the answer is “Like, everyone, you idiot” you can totally keep that to yourself.) According to the Brooklyn Museum’s web site, this is one of the last paintings O’Keeffe made in New York before moving to New Mexico in 1949, and it’s considered “her farewell to the city where she had lived or worked and many years.”

Tell the recipient that you like how the Gothic style arches “proclaim this vast utilitarian structure a kind of American cathedral” (a goodie lifted from the Brooklyn Museum web site). Incidentally, the Whitney, which we heard is somewhere in… Manhattan?… is having an O’Keeffe show until Jan. 17 and for more choice lines here’s a mucho eleganté review written by our friend Barb. The 24-by-36-inch poster is $20 at the Brooklyn Museum gift shop.

Picture 23Before all you practical types start grousing that junk-mail envelopes and magazines make perfectly good coasters, remember that the whole point of presents is that they’re little luxuries that the recipient might not buy for him or herself. And so should you be invited to any stylish holiday parties, these reusable, hand-letterpressed coasters—with goldfish, butterflies or flowers—are a better-than-wine hostess gift that will ensure invitations for years to come. Made in Brooklyn by Breck Hostetter and Matt Heindl of Sesame Letterpress, they’re $17 for eight at Lion in the Sun, 232 7th Ave., (718) 369-4006

12/15/09 7:49am

Picture 10Every gal in Brooklyn needs a wardrobe of grocery totes to elevate a market run into a stylish eco moment—and we’re digging Loyalty & Blood’s bags monogrammed with florid, scrolly letters so grand they practically defy the canvas. The large size is $28, but the smaller version ($24) is a chicly compact 14″-W x 16″H x 3″D. (Tell her it’s an evening tote.) Available online through Loyalty & Blood, a quirky online store run by Williamsburg-by-way-of-Austin couple David Denosowicz and Maggie Doyle.

Big thanks to our friend Jessica Dodell-Feder for sending us this tip. If you’re a merchant, local craftsperson or a reader with a fun find for our growing list, please send photos and descriptions to faye [at] brokelyn [dot] com. And check the site every day through Christmas for our latest additions.

11/30/09 3:31pm

Here’s an ongoing list of our favorite gift ideas for under $25, sold in Brooklyn or made by locals. If you have a great find for this daily post, please send photos and descriptions to faye [at] brokelyn [dot] com. And check the site every day through Christmas.

Hand soap from Cog and Pearl.#1 “Hand soaps”

We were working on an altogether different item when we came across this irresistible little dish of “hand soaps” from Cog & Pearl, the Park Slope eclectica shop for Design*Sponge obsessives. So tickled were we by these sudsy sculpturettes that they inspired a new series: each day until Christmas, we’ll be highlighting one fun, under-$25 gift item that you can buy in Brooklyn. Our first entry: a green organza bag featuring roughly this array of 10 hand soaps for only $20. Buy it online or in-store at Cog & Pearl if we haven’t snarfed them all first.