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Curl Up Next to Me
Defying the concept of traditional frames, Green & Associates’ new rubber version can assume all sorts of shapes. The company’s playful Vertebrate has interior metal wires so it can be stretched tall, bent small, even snaked on top of a computer. It’s a neat way of keeping friends and family in plain sight no matter the degree of desk or work-station clutter ($14.95; in blue and white, too).
MXYPLYZYK/125 Greenwich Avenue, near 13th Street 212-989-4300
A great pair of pajamas is hard to find, but on Thompson Street there’s a tiny store chock-full of them. Makie’s classics are made in France by Bains-Plus and come in jacquards, checks, stripes, and floral prints, with contrasting piping and elasticized waists. Besides pj’s for men and women, the shop carries kiddie sizes along with children’s handmade dresses and rompers. Limoges tea sets, cards of vintage buttons, French canvas totes, and Mariage Fréres teas round out the treats at this sweet little general store. (Pajamas, $75, $140, and $150; vintage buttons, $15 a card; handmade children’s clothing, $60 to $80; totes, $90.)
MAKIE/109 Thompson Street/212-625-3930
Rise and Shine
Though everyone knows the name Eddie Bauer, few know that the founder of the company was responsible for the first down-insulated jacket and, drats, one of the first catalogues to wreak havoc with our mailboxes. Bauer was a dedicated sportsman but also nuts about gadgets. The company has remained true to this obsession and continues to turn out some nifty gizmos. A case in point, the Stretch Light, which morphs from a tabletop lantern to a freestanding spotlight to a handheld flashlight. This smart little lamp gives off an intense beam and can provide all-in-one emergency illumination ($16).
EDDIE BAUER/All locations
Hunger for Knowledge
Kids’ desks are usually basic and boring and rarely fun to work at, but at Toy Planet (a London-based company), the designers take a more adventurous approach. The result is a desk that’s sure to trigger a child’s imagination. Their kooky “Tiger” is handmade in the UK from recycled wood, the paint is nontoxic, and the mammal’s mouth opens wide to reveal storage for all manner of homework essentials ($205).
BARNEYS NEW YORK/ Chelsea Passage
Pescepalla is Italian for puffer (a fish that can blow itself up to twice its size), and it’s the name of both Francesca Grunenfelder and Guido Zwicker’s new gallery-cum-shop and their signature ceramic lamp. It’s also a kind of metaphor for their lives. The pair, multitalented Neapolitan artists with backgrounds in dance, theater, lighting, and set design, have recently transformed themselves into potters known for their unusual glazes (though the addition of such unlikely materials as feathers, twigs, metal screws, fishnet stockings, and mink on many of their pieces might be a bit much for Jonathan Adler types). Display is definitely the thing in their minimalist gallery, with its bare walls and concrete floor: Vases sit in pools of water; a giant rolled canvas painting hangs from the ceiling and (like fabric) is for sale by the foot; and free-flowing hanging shelves hold assorted vessels, vases, and bowls. (From $50 for a set of two Neapolitan espresso cups to $400 for a small ceramic vase to $1,200 for a large platinum jar to $2,800 for a ceramic blowfish lamp.)
PESCEPALLA DOCKS/345 Greenwich Street, near Harrison Street/212-625-3148