The Best Bet
After years of monochrome mimimalism, wood—with all its curves, grains, and scraps of bark intact—is making a comeback. And the inheritor of legendary George Nakashima’s legacy could be John Houshmand, who gets his elm, pine, and spalted maple from the same supersecret source as the late master. Houshmand’s designs meld strict simplicity with a straight-from-the-forest authenticity. Call it the new naturalism. This spalted-maple low table is $8,100 (627 Greenwich St., at Morton St.; 212-965-1238; by appointment only).
The Fizziest Lemonade, To Go
Super-sparkling Lorina is now available in small glass bottles, but it’s still the same recipe the French company has used since 1895 ($1.99 at Gourmet Garage, 1245 Park Ave., at 96th St.; 212-348-5850).
Live Your Rebel Without a Cause Fantasies
Renting a vintage car in New York has been next to impossible—until now. U.K.-based Classic Car Club just opened a branch here, and its seventeen-car garage includes a 1957 Porsche Speedster (pictured), a 1969 Camaro RS/SS, and a 1977 Aston Martin V8. (Memberships from $7,000; $1,500 initiation fee; 250 Hudson St., at Broome St.; 212-229-2402.)
An All-Purpose Tea Set
Heath Ceramics’ and Dosa’s clay cups come in white and black and would look just as good holding nuts at your next cocktail party ($260 at Dosa; 107 Thompson Street, nr. Prince St.; 212-431-1733).
A Safer Manicure
The European Union recently banned the use of dibutyl-phthalate ingredients in cosmetics because of possible links to birth defects and cancer. The U.S. hasn’t followed suit yet, but Barielle’s new 22-color nail-polish collection is dibutyl-phthalate-free ($8 per bottle at Ricky’s, 988 Eighth Ave., at 58th St.; 212-957-8343).
Potting Soil You Don’t Have to Haul Home
Wonder Soil comes in a tennis-ball-can-size container, with eighteen “wafers” in each tube. Add water, and each wafer turns into over half a pound of soil ($9.99 at Gracious Home, 1992 Broadway at 67th St.; 212-231-7800).