this is pamela barsky's blog.

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welcome to soho

two weeks ago, along with all the other makers in the artists and fleas family, I moved to soho.

 

right there on the corner of prince and broadway, I’ve opened up shop.

walk in the front door, and there I am.

 

I hope you’ll stop by.

he bought ARTSY FARTSY

as a hardcore the good wife fan, it was a treat to learn josh charles was in my shop this week.  he bought a bag.

 

ashley judd rocked my world today

whether you love our new president, or you don’t, you gotta admit, it wasn’t really all that nice for him to leave his wife in the car holding the now infamous blue tiffany box while he bounded up the stairs to great the outgoing first family.

and, damn, he is a bad dancer.

whether or not you think an actress has any business speaking about politics (i think it is great.) you cannot say ashley judd does not commit.  her reading today of a young girl’s poem was so exhilarating, so moving, it brought tears to my eyes.

after lukewarm interest during the election from millenials about the importance of women fighting for women, it was so amazing to see such a turnout at every single one of the marches held today.  in my life, i’ve always found the very worst things to happen to me open the door for the best.  i hope the election of a president who doesn’t hold women’s issues in high regard will turn out to provide the spark we  need to keep moving forward.

a few notes from barcelona and please pass the rolaids

today for lunch, we went to a restaurant called tickets, owned by ferran adria the guy famous for once owning il bulli.  it is one of the hardest reservations we’ve ever scored.  and while our dejeuner was delicious, it has to be one of the weirdest restaurant experiences i’ve ever had.

the place was done up like a movie theater on acid with all the front end staff dressed in usher uniforms.  the windows were filled with sponsored displays that reminded me of pre-game decor made by high school cheerleaders.  if there is such thing as a design muscle, it really made mine ache.

i am not a huge fan of molecular gastronomy.  i appreciate the artistry and effort, but in the end i’d always rather have a soulful bowl of something, anything, cooked over a hot stove.  yes, it is cool they can make some olive oil and olive juice look like a real olive, but i’ve seen too many magicians pull that coin out of a kid’s ear to be impressed.   that said our pan con tomate was the best i’ve ever had.  ditto the iberico ham.   and the octopus was absolutely delicious.

the restaurant is a bit like a tourist conveyor belt.  literally the moment we ate the last bite of our entree, someone appeared behind our counter seats and told us to grab our drinks, we were headed off to the dessert room.  umm, ok.

we walked through a velvet curtain into a willy wonka lover’s wet dream.  the ceiling was covered in gigantic strawberries and cherries and the lone waiter was rushing about spraying sweet smells from an aerosol can.   one wall was covered with televisions which to my great surprise were playing one of my favorite flicks, the party.

we were encouraged to order three desserts for two.  the cheesecake was really a mouse covered in white chocolate.  delicious, but completely campy all dressed up like a wax covered round of cheese complete with custom labeling.  the other two were dull enough i don’t really remember what i ate.  i do however, remember our spoons were held by magnets to a little tree on the table.

a quick trip to the loo provided the most head scratching moment of the day.  yes, yellow subway tile and matching yellow wood trim is a bit gauche, but ok, not everyone has the same taste as me.  but when i looked up, i realized the ceiling was mirrored i suddenly found myself searching for the faux fur topped heart shaped bed.

please note, it seems you are supposed to put your cash into the candy box in which they bring the bill; when we didn’t the waiter took the money from us, stuffed it in and scurried off to get our change.   we left out a side door blocked by a blue velvet rope and emerged into the sunlight still puzzled.   our meal was tasty.  and at 100 euro for cava, sparkling water, vermouth, a gut busting number of creative tapas and three desserts, pretty cheap.

i just didn’t get it at all.

barcelona

i’d like to live in paris.  but i’d sure like to visit barcelona a lot.

the food here is bananas.  and the vintage shopping is blow your mind.

if i don’t come back, look for me slumped over on a side street stuffed with iberico ham.

david chang is pissing me off

i am in paris where my husband i just had a delicious and soulful meal including a bottle of wine for the grand total of 81 euro.

walking home, my husband mentioned david chang’s latest ramblings about tokyo having the best food in the world and (i’m paraphrasing here) paris and italy can fuck off.  coming on the tail of his rant about how hard it is to make money running a restaurant in new york, i gotta say, i’m really getting annoyed with “sir” david chang.

i run a business in new york.  it isn’t a restaurant.  but, i have all the same challenges david chang faces.  rents are high.  customers are fickle.  only difference is i have to pay my employees a living wage and can’t get away with paying salespeople (known as waiters in restaurantese) peanuts and hoping my customers will fill a tip cup to make up the difference.

i wish david chang would stop whining.

yes, new york is expensive.  but nowhere else do people spend like they do in our wonderful city.  yes, rents are high. but has anyone looked at the markup on wine and booze?  yes employees are expensive, hard to find and tough to keep.  you are the fucking boss and get to keep the profits from their labor.

i think i mentioned i am in paris.  where  people cook in microscopic kitchens without any of the “kiss the ground i walk on” adoration showered on american chefs.    today i had lunch in a wine shop that somehow morphs into a restaurant during lunch and dinner.  the owner, albeit wearing a martin margiela sweater, waits on tables.  not just when someone calls in sick but every time i’ve been there.  he also sells wine off the shelves, simply reaching over customers to grab a bottle when someone shows interest.   dinner was  at a popular place down a long long deserted alley.  the kitchen barely had room for a stove.  the place was packed with people eating some of the most delicious food i’ve had all year.  and that includes the two fantastic meals i had in tokyo in january.

so, please david chang, shut up.

you are not the only business person who has it hard.

and you are not the only chef who has to figure out how to turn a profit.

and if you don’t think paris has fucking amazing food, you are eating at the wrong places.

i just needed to get that off my chest.

it was a big day here at pamela barsky

it has been a busy week around here.

signed the lease for my new shop on macdougal.

designed the space.

built the space.  well, actually, the lovely devin kain built the space. i mostly watched.

today, i broke the bathroom door  (that happens when you try to push when you should have pulled), got the new square register up and running, put four contractor bags full of funny pouches on the shelves.

and then people started to come in. and shop.  and shop some more.

it was kind of crazy.  i had no sign.  the shelves were half full. there was construction crap everywhere.

and people bought stuff.

so happy.

i am happy to announce

i could have had a baby in less time, but i am happy to announce the birth, er, opening of my new store at 106 macdougal on or around april 1st.

not too much more in the way of details to share.  we’re starting build out on thursday.  and sometime over the weekend, we’ll begin filling the place with bags.  and my new button down shirts.  and dresses.  and jeans.  there will also be some vintage goo gaws.  and the odd bit of furniture.

if you are in the neighborhood, pop in to say hi.  (we’re a stone’s throw from by chloe and the comedy cellar.)

 

please draw me

“every person in new york”  is attempting to draw every person in new york.

i so love that idea.

if you want to be included, send an email to art@jasonpolan.com letting him know when and where you will be for at least two minutes.

he plans a large get together with all his subjects when the project is complete.

http://everypersoninnewyork.blogspot.com

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to do or not to do

i get up on sunday mornings full of intention.  today, i was going to go to the whitney in hopes the jim dine black rainbow painting i love so much is still on display.   that did not happen.

instead i messed around on facebook, ordered two vintage purses on ebay, searched the internet for the absolute best price on the margiela sunglasses i fell in love with in tokyo (umm, the website i finally bought them from had them for nearly 50% off the margiela store price–what’s with that?), and after compulsively toggling between pinterest, where i keep a private stash of inspiring pins, and square where i can see, in real time, how much or how little the shop is selling, i found myself ordering some 6″ x 8″ wood rectangles on which i plan to silkscreen some of my designs and make them into “art.”

when i was a kid, my dad would have accused me of being lazy on a day when the only reason i got out of bed was to answer the door when the food delivery guy buzzed.  but creativity is fickle.  some days it needs a good hard kick in the pants and others you just gotta let it take a long hot bath wearing a very expensive argon based facial masque.

ideas are not linear.  often, to get to a completed design for a new store, you have to visit the website of every single auction house specializing in mid century furniture.  and then you have to put your name on a watch list for  vintage evelyn ackerman designs; it’ll ping you when one comes up for sale.  and then you have to try to figure out exactly what year  shriekback dropped the singer you thought made the band so interesting.   you might discover a new food delivery website that promises to bring you the really good stuff, like donut plant donuts and should you be vegan, by chloe cupcakes.

people often tell me they are amazed at how much i do.  on these occasions, i smile and turn away quickly.  “don’t they have any idea how much time i spend doing absolutely nothing,” i think to myself.   truth is, both are true.  i do a lot.  and i do a lot of nothing at all.  those two things in combination makes things work.

 

 

my new shop is open at artists and fleas in brooklyn

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pamela barsky williamsburg is now open saturdays and sundays from 10 to 7.  we’re upfront right next to the dj, so come get your jams on (clearly not the same as get your jammies on, so don’t forget to get dressed first.) and pick out the perfect bag for your beautiful make up forever matte lipstick.