best bets

From Sexy Sheets to Sandra Boynton’s Surprisingly Good Coffee

Photo: Courtesy of Merci Paris

An all-over-the-place assortment of stood-behind products culled from this very website that appear in the September 25 issue of New York Magazine.

Best Bets

Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser
From $67
From $67

Most people refer to any old water flosser as a Waterpik—it’s the Kleenex of the category. But an actual Waterpik is in a lane of its own. It’s one of just two brands with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance and the only brand recommended by every single one of the 12 dental experts we spoke to. Waterpik has a model to suit any lifestyle—a cordless option for those who like to use it in the shower, a kid-friendly version, and one that shrinks to half its size for travel—but the resounding favorite among those we polled is the Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser. In addition to its ten pressure settings and a 22-ounce tank that allows the flosser to run for 90 seconds, it has a built-in timer and seven 360-degree tips that accommodate complex dentalwork and braces. According to Dr. Pia Lieb, founder of Cosmetic Dentistry Center NYC, it “has the strongest engine on the market,” effectively removing more plaque than a string of floss could ever hope to.

Celebrity Shopping

“Growing up, I was obsessed with Pottery Barn. I always wanted to go in, but my parents were like, ‘It’s so expensive—what’s the point of paying all this money for bedsheets?’ So when I moved into my apartment as an adult, I was like, I’m gonna get a Pottery Barn beanbag chair. This is my childhood dream come true. It’s incredible.”

“Pendleton’s shirts are classic. I got my first one when I was around 16 years old. These shirts were very important to my look as the character Sen Dog.
They helped us stand out from a lot of other hip-hop acts at the time. Now,
I own maybe around 40 or 50 of them.
It’s stylish and gangster all in one.”

“When I was pregnant, every lotion made my skin feel like it was on fire. I didn’t know what beef tallow was, but this brand reached out. This in particular was a game changer. I used it on my my belly. After I gave birth, I used it on my stitches, which may be TMI, but it’s versatile and amazing.”

Saw Something, Said Something

New York’s Culture features editor Madeline Leung Coleman first tipped us off to the beautiful bedding in Passages, the new film by Ira Sachs: “Everyone who sees the movie, the sexy adult movie of the season, comes out raving about the movie’s bed linens.” Specifically, there’s a blue set everyone is obsessed with. As someone who worked in the film industry (and is currently the Strategist’s de facto bedding expert), I called up Passages’s production designer, Pascale Consigny, to find out exactly where the sheets in question came from. “I didn’t buy them for the film,” she told me. “They’re my own. I use them all the time.” The linen sheets are from Merci, a concept boutique in Paris—and are actually a rather striking pale green. Lauren Ro

Please Advice

In his latest column, Chris Black responded to a reader wondering how many folds were acceptable in a wallet. His answer: None. Instead, Black says, the only real option is a “slim and straightforward” cardholder. A few of his favorites.

“I have used this cardholder for a few years, and it has proved sturdy and understated. It has plenty of space, and the subtle pebble leather is a nice touch.”

“If you want a statement piece that screams ‘I’ve got it’ when the check hits the table, this lime-green croc-effect leather card holder from the GOAT, Tom Ford, is perfect.”

“If you drive a late-model Ford F-150, prefer brown leather, or watch every episode of Yellowstone, this one from Polo Ralph Lauren is for you. The ornate logo embossing makes it look pricier than it is.”

“The navy leather with a tasteful white contrast stitch feels classic, and it’s a subtle change from the standard black. The iconic grosgrain stripe is a nice touch.”

Ask the Strategist

A soon-to-be-wed reader wrote in asking for a dishware recommendation for their registry that would satisfy
a fairly long list of criteria. The set needed to include a dinner plate, salad plate, and bowl and be fluted, dishwasher and microwave safe, durable and lightweight; have a glossy finish and high odds of being in stock for a while so a replacement can be found if one breaks; and be affordable.
Our kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman found several dishes that fit the bill, but she felt this set from Food52’s in-house line checked the most boxes. They’re created from a handmade mold that gives them ever so slightly varying shapes. They’re stone but also glazed, which gives them a slightly glossy surface. They’re safe for the dishwasher and microwave, and while the bowls lack fluting, there are mugs, a serving dish, and plates available that all have the ribbed detail. Best of all, 12-piece set is under $200.

I Keep Seeing This

Last spring, a friend surprised me with a Uniqlo mini tote bag with my dog’s name printed on the front in lilac lettering. What I initially thought of as a gag gift quickly became my go-to bag. Unlike a cavernous tote, the mini keeps everything closer to the surface and within reach while still being sizable enough to hold a significant amount. I grab it for walking to my local Pilates studio, when all I need is a water bottle, wallet, phone, and keys. And based on the many others I’ve seen of late in New York and beyond, I’m not the only one with mini-tote mania. Below, my tote and a few others I’ve spotted around town. Sophie Vershbow

This Thing’s Incredible

While browsing for coffee last year in a supermarket, one bag popped out at me. The animals were unmistakable, what The New Yorker once described as “the usual Boyntonian menagerie.” Hippos in old-fashioned bathing suits, elephants on seesaws, terriers in pajamas. Sandra Boynton, the legendary children’s book author, is known to kids and parents of the last four decades. Moo, Baa, La La La!, The Going to Bed Book, But Not the Hippopotamus—these are staples of the bedtime routines of little ones nationwide. Some of the Boynton-themed coffee bags were named for her classics (1977’s Hippos Go Berserk!), but the rest had silly names like Woodland Dance and Cows and Holly.
I bought a bag of Not a Morning Person breakfast blend. It tasted like I’d gone to heaven and heaven turned out to be a diner. It was a normal cup of coffee in the best sense. It was perfect.Audrey Gelman

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

From Sexy Sheets to Sandra Boynton’s Coffee