Saturday, November 15, 2008

It was supposed to rain all day but when I was in my yoga class at noon, the sky was sunny so I said to myself, "What would you like to do this afternoon?" And the answer was, "Go to Boerum Hill."

Love Boerum Hill, the neighborhood in Brooklyn between Cobble Hill and Park Slope. I jumped on the A train at 14th Street and thought I knew where I was going but ended up at Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, which is way out there. Oh well. I circled back and made it to Boerum Hill where the sky is open, the trees are big, and the nineteenth century houses that line the streets are low.

Leaves were falling everywhere. We don't get a lot of that in Manhattan.

This is the corner bar in Boerum Hill. Charming, no? It looks to me like Amsterdam.

Boerum Hill runs along Atlantic Avenue where there are many wonderful shops and antique stores. The nineteenth century store fronts remind me of Clinton, New York, upstate.

One of my favorite places on Atlantic Avenue is a men's store called Hollander & Lexer (358 Atlantic). It features well-designed clothes in an antique setting.

The store has wood floors, dark painted walls, metal light fixtures and old, unframed portraits.

The clothes hang on metal racks and accessories are in glass cases.

Designer styles include Steven Alan shirts, Rag & Bone jeans, and Filson bags. Rich hippie, bohemian luxe, whatever you call it, I love that mix of great clothes in an old-fashioned environment -- it's romantic and cool at the same time.

The maestro behind this alchemy is owner Hicham Benmira -- tall, thin, chic, charming, immediately calling you "darling." He grew up in Casablanca, and pushes his glossy locks of jet black hair around his head. "Have you been to Darr?" he inquires in a Moroccan accent. That is the antique store across the street presided over by his partner Brian Cousins (369 Atlantic).

Well, let's have a look.

It's a wonderful mix of furniture, lamps, accessories, animal heads. Brian says they travel a lot and get things from all over, most recently driving a truck to Kansas and filling it up with goods.

That was fun. Like an art trip.

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