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For the Birds
Binoculars with rapid focusing, up-close viewing, sharp resolution, and natural color reproduction (even at dusk) are the stuff of serious birders' dreams. Swarovski's new EL 8.5X42 makes these dreams come true. These glasses are among the first the famed company designed specifically for birding, so Swarovski made sure that they were lightweight and perfectly balanced, with narrow tubes for fast handling, twist-in eye cups for those with glasses, and an extra-wide-angle field of view. And for the klutzy birder, the specs are drop- and waterproof ($1,498).
CLAIRMONT-NICHOLS/1016 First Avenue, near 55th Street/212-758-2346
Ladybugs, a gardener's best friend, will offer help of a different kind this summer. Viva Time has mutated them into fetching little clip-on watches (pinch their antennae to reveal the watch face). Never mind their unfortunate Tic-Tic Time Tellers name -- these enameled-metal quartz timepieces will be homing in on many a backpack and beach bag ($19.99).
LORD & TAYLOR/Main floor
Not content with branding just handbags, mackintoshes, and blouses, now Burberry has given beach towels the logo treatment. This venerable trench-coat house has joined the Vuitton, Chanel, and Missoni ranks and turned its trademarked plaid into a thick and thirsty must-have for depositing that Burberry-bikini-clad body on the sand ($195).
BURBERRY/9 East 57th Street/212-371-5010
H55, a primo source for vintage Scandinavian furniture and objets, has just snapped up a cache of Per Lütken vases designed for the Holmegaard Glassworks. This Danish company was founded in 1825, and it's still very much around, producing 2 million bottles a day for the Carlsberg brewery. Lütken was one of Holmegaard's early designers; he created these brilliant handblown vases in the late sixties and named the Pop-inspired series Carnaby after that swingin'-sixties London street ($125 to $350).
H55/17 Little West 12th Street/Second floor/212-462-4559
If the name Liberty of London evokes memories of sweet, flower-strewn cotton blouses, think again. This 125-year-old company has changed its spots, or rather its prints. It's now turning out multi-patterned pajamas in bold color combinations that look more radical Japanese than proper English. The lush softness of the cotton, however, attests to its Liberty lineage ($130).
ABC CARPET & HOME/888 Broadway, at 19th Street/212-473-3000