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Best Bets

4X4
Beach Loungers
Tote it, park it.


From left, the Sand lounger and Stowaway low chair.  

Maidstone Beach/Low Back: Sand lounger, $149 at eightydegreeshawaii.com.
Main Beach/Low Back: Stowaway low chair, $45 at REI, 303 Lafayette St.



From left, the Sandy Smith x Socrates Sculpture Park Intermezzo beach chair and the Lafuma Maxi Transat chair.  

Maidstone Beach/High Back: Sandy Smith x Socrates Sculpture Park Intermezzo beach chair, $400 at sandysmith.co.uk.
Main Beach/High Back: Lafuma Maxi Transat chair, $80 at Gracious Home, 1992 Broadway.


First Look
Tire-tossing personal-training veteran Larry Betz opens Brooklyn Athletic Club in late July: a four-story megaplex—think CrossFit warehouse meets Equinox amenities—overlooking McCarren Park(8 Berry St., Williamsburg).



How to Buy Vintage Sunglasses
Three tips from J. Kirby Harris, owner of Vintage Optical, popping up at the Annex Markets lot (W. 25th St. nr. Broadway) weekends in late July.


1. Do the optician check.
“Inspect the hinges for a tiny wire threading through—as long as it’s there, you’ll be able to tighten or loosen your glasses for a snug fit. Local lens shops usually do these adjustments for free.”

2. Pick plastic.
“Some people think glass lenses are clearer, but they’re also prone to shattering. Tap the lens to your teeth: Glass clicks, plastic doesn’t. Also, the heavier the plastic feels, the higher quality it is.”

3. Safety first.
“If the glasses date back to pre-1980s, before UV protection became standard, best to replace those lenses. And don’t assume you’re safe with cat’s-eye and aviators—they’ve both been in production since the ’40s.”


Urban Export
Explicitly dude-centric design shops selling hardwood benches alongside leather portfolios.

The Now-Classic Brooklyn-Woodsman Version:
Modern Anthology (68-117 Jay St., Dumbo).



The Newly Opened Sleek L.A. Permutation:
Please Do Not Enter (523 W. 6th St., Ste. 1229; pleasedonotenter.com).



New Niche
Toy stores that double as play spaces for robot-building, macraméing, and baby-DJ-ing.


Kids Design the World  

Color Bklyn (760 Washington Ave., Prospect Heights) Tattly tattoos, ukulele-building kits; baby-DJ classes.

Play Kids (676 Flatbush Ave., Lefferts Gardens) Great-white-shark models, Slinkys; in-store studio for pre-ballet and macramé.

Kids Design the World (663 Vanderbilt Av., Prospect Heights) Bucket chairs, 3-D coloring books; stop-motion animation for 6-year-olds.

Brooklyn Robot Foundry (528 Canal St.) Red Hook–made voice recorders; summer robot-programming camp.


Self-Help
At Remedies Herb Shop (453 Court St., Carroll Gardens), owner and former Flower Power intern Cheryl Boiko stocks herbs, salts, and tinctures to flavor a stir-fry, repel bugs, or attract a lover.


Organic Catnip ($2.80/oz)
“Everyone is skeptical, but I swear—catnip tea is great for sleeping. To a human, the taste is green, earthy, and mild. It’ll relax your muscles.”




Urban Herbalist Bug-Flea-Tick Repellent ($10)
“This is made by a New York City firefighter. The blend has lemongrass and peppermint, but no citronella; he insists that the latter attracts bugs.”




Brooklyn Herborium Cow Fart Goo ($14)
“Acne, rashes, ringworm—this squelchy oil is a panacea for skin issues. Rub it into your cracked elbows and heels.”




Ghost-Pepper Salt ($1.95/oz)
“I would only use this as a finish salt, because it’s so, so spicy. The mix is unrefined sea salt and Naga Jolokia pepper, and it’s great with Thai food.”




Witches Kitchen Aphrodite’s Love Potion ($30)
“This is made with ginger, brandy, rose petals, and honey and really puts you in the mood. Try a drop in your Champagne.”


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