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Jewels of the Nile
Call it a labor of love. Not only does Erica Rosenfeld painstakingly fuse the colorful glass pieces her jewelry is made of, but she also scours the markets for the antique steel-cut beads that hold them together. The resulting pieces -- bracelets, necklaces, chokers, and rings -- are a mix of old and new: Fusing glass is an ancient Egyptian technique, but Rosenfeld's color choices and geometric designs are very much of the millennium (this necklace, $400).
57 Rockwell Place, Brooklyn/718-625-3685
353 Bleecker Street/212-691-6516
Tools for Living
Wouldn't be caught dead with a "man bag"? Easy big fella, you can't get any more manly than a tool bag. This one, at A.P.C., is available in small (for the gym, $40) or large (for weekends away, $60). Made of hyperstrong parachute fabric, it has plenty of pockets inside and out, plus special loops for holding tools -- or shoes, or rolled-up T-shirts, or one of your special facial scrubs.
131 Mercer Street/212-966-0069
Om and Away
Of all athletic pursuits, yoga is probably the easiest to stay true to when you're traveling. And this Yoga in a Box kit makes it even easier. It includes flash cards -- with photos of poses on one side and line drawings on the other -- plus a stretching strap, a candle, incense, and two CDs with both instruction and soothing music ($30).
96 Greenwich Avenue/212-691-1001
Michael Aram's now-iconic nature knobs -- brass drawer pulls in the shapes of flowers and such -- were last century's must-have accessory. His new collection is more streamlined, perfect for twenty-first-century interiors. Aram originally imagined his Africa bowls as wood pieces, but ended up with a dark oxidized-bronze outer layer and a high-gloss stainless-steel interior. "The blackness is evocative of ebony and has a wooden quality," says Aram. "But they're food-safe and the double-wall construction of the piece helps maintain the temperature of whatever is in the bowl" (large, $85; small sold in set of two for $40).
920 Broadway, near 21st Street/212-228-3600
If you looked in designer Kate Spade's bag on an average day, you'd find at least three pairs of sunglasses -- and that was before she started making them herself. Spade's new collection of eyewear, which hits stores this week, includes 32 women's styles (18 sunglasses and 14 ophthalmic frames, ranging from $150 to $225), many with a groovy suburban-mom-circa-1976 look. Shown here, the Katherine, $150.
454 Broome Street/212-274-1991
Check out the spring 2001 issue of New York Shops, our guide to the city's best stores, including "Best Bets" for the home. On sale at newsstands April 20. To order a copy, call 800-496-7833 ($4.99 plus $2 shipping and handling).
Click here for Best Bets Online at Yahoo!