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Best Bets: Week of April 20, 2015

Ask a Shop Clerk
Caroline Weaver, 24-year-old proprietor of the new CW Pencil Enterprise (100A Forsyth St.), goes beyond the No. 2.

Why pencils? I’m trying to show people that there are pencils that write so much better than the standard Ticonderogas—smear-resistant Tombow pencils from Japan, or WWII-era pencils that have plastic barrels instead of metal because at the time all of the metal was being put toward the war. I sell the Eberhard Faber Blackwing—John Steinbeck’s favorite—for $50. There’s a little desk with samples of all my pencils, so you can know what it’s like to write with them, sharpen them, feel them—and smell them.

The Future
The family behind Jim’s Shoe Repair goes high-tech and high-end with Cobbler Concierge.

The just-launched allows users to place their most precious shoes in prepaid packaging, ship them to a 5,000-square-foot workshop in Queens, and have them returned to their feet in about a week (step-by-step notes on the job are uploaded to your profile page). Italian-crafted sewing and finishing machines restore the candy-red luster to Louboutin soles, change the leather on Saint Laurent stilettos from gold to black patent, and give the works to a pair of winter-worn Frye boots (salt removal, leather staining, added insulation). With repairs starting at about $85, it’s best to save your more-basic heel-tap replacements for Jim’s brick-and-mortar space, which, incidentally, just beat back Duane Reade to keep its 59th Street lease.

First Look
On April 20, the Venturas—husband Michael is a design consultant and wife Caroline a goldsmith—will open Calliope (349 W. 12th St.), a mid-century-focused furniture shop on the ground floor of their multipurpose converted brownstone.

Illustration by Jason Lee  

1. A library including early editions of Carl Jung and new titles from Taschen.
2. Turntable spinning vinyls by Wendy Rene and Lee Hazlewood (from $30).
3. Splatterware by Chris Earl ($40), Doug Johnston woven bowls ($30).
4. Adjacent gallery space, with classes (from $150) like wood joinery.
5. All art on the walls is for sale, including jazzy geometric prints by Chicago-based Chad Kouri.
6. A Ventura-designed 12-foot-long table made of reclaimed wood and brass (price upon request).
7. Furniture vignettes including a blond leather chair by Michael Felix ($3,000).

2x2: Cool Canteens
Bottle it up.

For Imbibing:
Six-ounce Areaware Liquid Body Flask, $45 at MoMA Design Store, 81 Spring St.
For Hydrating: Seventeen-ounce teakwood S’well bottle, $35 at

For Imbibing:
Nine-ounce Surname Conductor flask, $235 at Still House, 117 E. 7th St.
For Hydrating: Two-quart Hammertone green bottle, $50 at

Tokyobike’s new flagship (1 Prince St.), on the lip between Nolita and the Bowery, has single-speeds and nine-gears alongside Japanese homewares.

Bikes: Models like the New Balance Limited CS ($925), offered in mustard or navy (to match the store’s limited-edition sneaker collaboration with New Balance). For tune-ups, the first appointment with mechanic-in-residence Thomas Horrell is free.

Wares: Vintage beer and sake glasses ($15), water-purifying Binchotan charcoal sticks ($15), and lacquered Syosen tea canisters with airtight lids ($210).

Gear: Matte helmets by Sahn ($129), waterproof Postalco riding capes ($350), in addition to the New Balance kicks ($120).

Top Five
East of the Mississippi (164 Havemeyer St., Williamsburg) is stocked exclusively with indie women’s clothing and home accents from this side of, well, you know. Here, creative director JJ Maxwell’s picks for living an East Coast–ish lifestyle.

“Everybody has loved the General Manufacturing leather jump ropes ($80 in black, blue, or rainbow), which are part of a little corner of giftable men’s essentials I put together.”

“I want bags that look as good on the inside as the outside. This leather-and-cowhide tote ($320), handmade in Chicago by CHC Bags, has great accents and pockets.”

“I love the use of different, sustainably harvested woods in these Maxx&Unicorn trays ($95), which are all made in Greenpoint. They’re really durable.”

Souda did all of our store’s lighting and parts of our shelving. Their Kawa dishes ($45) have a beautiful molten-lava feel and are manufactured here in East Williamsburg.”

“This is my personal favorite among the nine antique-loomed Brahms blankets we carry ($254). They have structure to them, and they’re not too fuzzy.”