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Best Bets: Week of January 26, 2015

How to Give Your Little One a Manicure
Three tips from Teychenne Whitley, whose Milk and Cookies Kids Spa and Salon, home of the Slimy Booger manicure for boys, opens February 1 at 1196 First Avenue.

1. Make it fizz. “Girls and boys love bath bombs, which explode in a bowl of warm water where you can soak their hands. Whole Foods sells them in every color you can imagine.”
2. Act professional. “Rinse with soap and massage the hands with a scented moisturizer, then do some light shaping with a nail file. The more multi-sensory the experience, the more exciting it is for the kid.”
3. Go vegan. “We use a new vegan-polish line called Ella + Milla, which comes in seven-milliliter bottles that are the right size for 4-to-8-year-olds. It’s also quick-drying, for short attention spans.”

2x2: Statement Footrests
The ottoman empire.

Reasonable: Left, Sole ottoman, $93 at
Splurgy: Right, Homeware Jasper ottoman, $700 at

Reasonable: Left, yellow wool ottoman, $315 at
Splurgy: Right, Alvorada ottoman, $998 at

Ask a Shop Clerk
In late November, Bowery native Reggie Yu opened Avant Garde by MMC, a hybrid vape lounge and art gallery, at 319 Grand Street.

Really, vaping in a gallery? It adds a nice tone to the whole experience; there’s a little fogginess in the air. Some art people say it’s not cool, but we have good ventilation. Right now we’re working with Android Jones, who’s a premier digital artist. Before that it was the Brazilian street artist Matheus Goulart.

What’s the vape selection like? I have a 25-foot bar across from the gallery wall where I sell the tanks and e-liquids and let people try the flavors for free. Orange cream is really popular right now, and I love the litchi flavor, and Key-lime cheesecake. But a lot of smokers go with a menthol or tobacco flavor. If you come in, drop a pack of cigarettes on the bar, and tell me you’re quitting, I’ll give you a 25 percent discount on your first pen.

Three in One
Nilea Alexander of the new Crown Heights vintage shop Marche Rue Dix (1453 Bedford Ave.) on cold-weather comforts.

Sip: Cafe Touba ($4 by the cup, $14 for a one-kilogram bag). “This Senegalese coffee has a special ingredient called djar that’s very peppery. People visit from our café next door all the time to buy our bags of ground beans.”
Wrap: Boxy ’80s blazer (from $58). “I like Aztec prints and textures. Even if it’s from the ’80s, our coats are not going to have shoulder pads. My favorites remind me of a rug styled into a jacket.”
Glow: Soy-wax candles (from $18). “My husband and I pour our own candles into vintage ceramic pieces like tumblers and teapots. We mix the essential oils in the back of the shop.”

The loud-and-proud German accessories line MCM joins North Soho’s backpack district.

Map by Jason Lee  

1. Victorinox Swiss Army: Mesh passport pocket for the Swedish light rail (99 Wooster St.).
2. Woolrich: Checked wool for the Gunks (125 Wooster St.).
3. Tumi: A fabric Ridley roll-top backpack for the Admiral’s Club (102 Prince St.).
4. MCM:Gemstone trim for the mall in Seoul (100 Greene St.).
5. Burton: Fleece-lined pockets for the Whistler lodge (106 Spring St.).
6. Fjällräven: Laptop shape for the NYU dining hall (38 Greene St.).
7. Patagonia: Water-resistant polyester for the Rockaways (72 Greene St.).

Top Five
Japanese homewares e-shop Nalata Nalata just debuted its first flagship at 2 Extra Place. Here, a few of co-founder Stevenson Aung’s favorites for every room of the house.

“I collaborated with Japanese futon manufacturer Takaokaya on these denim ojami ($225). An ojami is a cross between a throw pillow and a floor pillow, and traditionally it’s silk.”

“Uchino’s Sumi towels (from $14) are one of our best sellers. They have a charcoal-and-gauze weave on one side, which repels odors, and an absorbent pile weave on the other.”

“This Tetu cast-iron kettle ($460) is produced with a traditional technique that’s used in the Iwate Prefecture, but the shape is contemporary. Oxidation on the surface of the iron keeps it from rusting.”

“These tiered containers ($98) are meant for kitchen storage, but my customers tend to use them as desk storage or for organizing jewelry. Mute Studio is really young, and their designers love oak.”

“The Lemnos Snow Clock ($160) has numbers that are etched on the glass, rather than the clock. When there is natural light, it casts a beautiful shadow onto the wood behind it.”