Tag Archive | 2019

Modern Art Monday Presents: I Saw It in a Dream By Saber

I Saw It in a Dream
Carved 323.5k Moon Gold Leaf on Molten Black Encaustic Bees Wax (Photo By Gail)

Ryan Weston Shook, also known as Saber, titled I Saw It in a Dream (2019) after a quote by Abstract Expressionist painter Jasper Johns and created the piece via an encaustic wax process, its layers creating a textural surface. The flag symbolism has evolved with the artist over the years, with him questioning its meaning for  broad swath of people. Saber’s paintings borrow elements, techniques and materials that he once used as a 21-year-old, rising to international fame in 1996 after painting the world’s largest graffiti piece on the bank of the Los Angeles River. Eight years after the fact, the LA County Museum of Natural History commissioned him to paint a miniature version of his piece on its riverbed diorama. The visibility of this 250-by-55-foor work (documented by satellites in space) and his years of press coverage for other creations shined a glaring public spotlight on the form. The artist’s studio work exemplifies his further exploration of movement and energy.

Photographed as part of Beyond The Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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Photo Highlights From NY Now, Summer 2019!


Vitra Booth Display (All Photos By Gail)

Do you like shopping? I sure do. Imagine that you own a store, maybe one that sells neat things like those you find on this blog, and you had to shop for cool inventory to sell in your store. Where would you go to find those neat things? Well, one place you can go for your one-stop shop shopping is the Retail Renaissance NY Now wholesale gift trade show, which features thousands of handmade, home, and lifestyle gift items  all under one roof. NY Now takes place at the Javits Center twice annually, in the winter and summer, and it gets exponentially better with each passing seasonal edition. I always have a fun time at NY Now, but the Summer show that just happened in August was mind-blowingly great. Really. Wow.

Vase Display With Protea

I tend not to recap my visits to NY Now because it’s massive, and I just end up blogging about a handful of the coolest items spotted on the show floor. But because I had so many great photos this time, I feel compelled to share them with you. Don’t expect much commentary, because this post is mainly about taking you on a little visual journey, but if you have questions about anything in this piece please speak up in the comments and I’ll be sure to address your inquiries!

Pink Venus Demilo

Glazed ceramic Pink Venus Demilo Statue. Yes, Please!

Humorous Coffee Mugs

Exhibitors flaunting their Humorous-Saying Coffee Mugs can be found around the show floor in abundance.

Mugs of Famous People

Or maybe, rather than a snarky-saying-emblazoned mug, you prefer a mug with the mug of a famous person on it? Well, here you go then: check out these awesome designs by The Found, Gifts and More!

Cat Dishes

The Cat Pals Collection by Miya Japanese Tableware features assorted Cat-Shaped Dishes with cats on them. These make the purrfect gift for the cat fancier who has other cat-shaped stuff with cats on it, but not this exact stuff.

Greeting Card

Who else besides me can totally relate to this funny greeting card from Pretty Alright Goods?  #SleepingRules!

Love Bubby Onesie

“Speaker of The House” — HAHA! Check out this hilarious Baby Onesie by Love Bubby, a brand that is unique because everything they design is unisex and is available only in the colors Black, White and Gray. Clothes for the modern baby! Yay!

Illuminated Bunny

This is no mere six-feet high Illuminated Bunny Lamp:  Meet Miffy, the Dutch storybook-character-turned-pop-culture-icon, created by Dick Bruna. You know you want to own him.

Tea Towels from Mexico

Do you enjoy being bilingual? Then you might want to own these fun and colorful Tea Towels by Valentine Viannay that help to augment your Spanish vocabulary while you wipe your hands or dry your dishes! #Multitasking!

Frida Kahlo

If you dig the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, you can find her  lovely image on everything including jewelry, bags, pouches, scarves, ornaments, mugs and so much more. Frida Lives!

Beaded Flamingos

These fabulous beaded Flamngoes, Palm Tree and Penguin are from Beadworx by Extol Accessories, Ltd. I wanted to use the photo, because it’s cool., but their representative was rude to me when I was in their booth, so I am not hyperlinking them. #SorryNotSorry!

Tissue Up Girl By Spextrum

Tissue UP Girl tissue box cover by Spextrum — for the girl who has everything!

Rite Lite Ad

Rite Lite is a Wholesale Judaica company with a great sense of humor!

Food Ornaments

Do the holidays remind you of Bacon? No matter what type of crazy and obscure ornaments you wish hang on your Christmas Tree, you will no doubt discover that the things you love are all made by Cody Foster & Co..

Asian Orb Ornament

Love Dishes

I love these Letter-Shaped Candy Dishes by Inspired Generations.

Colorful Things

This colorful lucite Jumbling Tower (Jenga knock-off) game and lucite Chess Set are by Sunny Life Lucite Collection of puzzles and games!

Graziani Candles

Graziani is a very well-known Italian luxury candlemaker looking to expand their business in the US. Aren’t they simply gorgeous? Available in the full spectrum of colors, these long-burning, lacquered orbs — called Meloria — are white on the inside and they burn hollow (rather than melting downward) to cast a warm, colorful glow in your home. Graziani candles are always hand-finished, for a bespoke touch. The Meloria line is currently available only in Italy, but thanks to the exposure garnered at NY Now I am sure we will be seeing them in stores stateside by the end of the year.

King Neptune Statue

Before I wrap this up, I really want to give a shout out to a selection of my favorite displays at the show, because visual marketing is everything!

Favreaulous Factory Booth Display

Favreau Design by Steven Favreau (aka Favreaulous Factory) went all out for their booth, incorporating a vintage Carousel Seat into their whimsically-themed display! Simply Favreaulous!

Passion Mural By Jason Naylor

Artist and Designer Jason Naylor live-panted this Passion mural onsite to promote his public and site-specific artwork, which you can see all over the country, including NYC’s Pier 17 at South Street Seaport.

Sparkle Booth Entrance

What’s in here? OMG! Two’s Company Home Design recreated an entire store with multiple storefronts right on the show floor.

Too Glam

Too glam to give a damn, indeed!

Chinese Lanterns

Chinese Lanterns

Twos Company Home Design

Who wouldn’t want to shop there? I want to live there!

Thanks For The Inspiration, NY Now! See You Next Year!

Favorite Products, Packaging and Booth Displays From The Summer Fancy Food Show 2019!

SFFS19
Prepare To Be Wowed! (All Photos By Gail)

Food Glorious Fancy Food: the most-anticipated annual food show is now behind us, and  I must say that nobody has their act together quite like the Specialty Food Association does when they take over the Javits Center for the annual Summer Fancy Food Show here in NYC. Cheese whiz, what a fantastic show!

There is so much ground to cover when attempting to distill the Summer Fancy Food Experience, and it’s a monumental task because, as the largest show of its kind, there are literally thousands of participating exhibitors! This year, I was fancying a wide variety of sweet treats and snacks. Let’s go to the photos!

Cest Gourmet

Mmm, don’t these look delicious? C’est Gourmet makes exceptional artisanal pastries – in both sweet and savory varieties – that arrive frozen so that customers can bake fresh pastries at home easily and conveniently. C’est Gourmet selects only the finest ingredients, including organic fruit and artisan cheeses, and they have mastered their own European methods of laminating and resting dough, which results in flavorful pastries with crispy, flaky texture, and a memorable eating experience. C’est Gourmet’s newest offering is the Croissant Muffin (pictured above). I could eat a dozen of them!

Bakerly Crepes to Go

Bakerly Crepes To Go are authentic French Crepes rolled with delicious fillings and packaged individually for bakery-fresh, grab-and-go snacking! I discovered Bakerly crepes a few years ago and they are now one of my very favorite snacks! Fillings inside each impossibly flaky crepe include Chocolate Hazelnut, Crunchy Chocolate Hazelnut, Crunchy Caramel, and Strawberry. Take one bite and you will understand immediately why Bakerly’s website is loaded with glowing five-star reviews of these extremely yummy crepe treats!!

Sugar Bowl Bakery Signage

Sugar Bowl Bakery makes tiny snack-sized cakes that are instantly addictive, but my favorites are their Duet Bites.

SugarBbowl Bakery Duet Bites

Duet Bites are two treats in one, combining a luscious almond-flavored Madeleine cake and a moist chocolate Brownie in one tiny cake. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Sugar Bowl Bakery Duet Bites

Resistance is futile.

Deweys Bakery

By the time you say the name of Dewey’s Bakery Donut Shop Soft Baked Cookies Collection, your mouth will be watering, just imagining the dream-like idea of cookies that taste like donuts.

Donut Shop Soft Baked Cookies

Choose from Old Fashion Glazed, Cinnamon Bun, Chocolate Glazed, Apple Fritter and other luscious varieties. Best served warm!

Too Good Gourmet Donut Hole Cookies

And while we’re talking about Donut Cookies, check out these Donut Hole Cookies, which are brand new from Too Good Gourmet.  Enrobed in a sense-tempting glaze and colorful sprinkles, they look as amazing as they taste.

Tru Fru Display

If you seek a sweet snack that manages to be both indulgent and healthy, you may flip for Tru Fru; 100% frozen fresh (aka freeze dried) fruit — cherries, strawberries, raspberries and chunks of coconut — encased in white, milk, or dark chocolate. Mmmm.

Tru Fru Raspberries

I sampled Tru Fru’s Whole Raspberries in White & Milk Chocolate and they were just insane. Unlike dehydrating, the process of freeze-drying locks in the majority (97+%) of the vitamins, nutrition, taste color and texture the fruit. Tru Fru is a unique fruit-based snack that lives up to its name.

Candy Pop

Behold, an idea whose time has come: Candy Pop popcorn (by Nestle) is Butterfinger candy-coated popcorn drizzled with peanut butter. Please pass the dental floss!

Funky Pretzel Truffles

Socado Funky Pretzel Truffles have successfully harnessed the power of the sweet and savory combination. Individually wrapped for extra fanciness, these crunchy, sweet morsels of endless goodness take the Milk Chocolate Truffle experience even further, adding a creamy filling studded with salted pretzel bits. Kill me.

Hands Off My Chocolate Truffles

Hands Off My Chocolate truffles are made with the finest fair Belgian chocolate. They not only come in unique flavors such as Strawberry Meringue and Cinnamon Cookie, but some varieties also embrace interesting shapes, like these highly-Instagrammable truffles that look like a sunny-side up egg. Fun! Hands Off My Chocolate‘s packaging illustrations are also very whimsical.

Hands Off My Chocolate Birthday Cake Truffles

Remember the popular Birthday Cake flavor profile from SFFS18? Hands Off My Chocolate is keeping it on-trend!

Witches Finger Cookies

Halloween is not too far away to make you aware of this Witches’ Finger Cookie Kit from The Invisible Chef! Bake up a batch to keep the little Goblins happy!

Fiasconaro Dolce Presepe

Inside this classy-looking, cylindrical red box, there lurks one of the most unique food products I saw on the exhibition hall floor. Let’s see what’s inside!

Fiasconaro Dolce Presepe

Well, it’s Fiasconaro Dolce Presepe, a traditional Italian holiday cake made with fresh candied orange and raisins, and flavored with Marsala and Zibibbo (I had to look it up; it’s an Italian white wine) that surrounds a nativity scene carved from white chocolate. Holy Italian Cake! It is almost too fancy to eat. Almost.

Waffle Shot Display

Eventually, someone had to invent the Waffleshot: a edible cup made from an ice cream waffle cone, coated inside with Belgian chocolate and, depending on the variety you choose, possibly hiding a filling at the bottom. I mean, it was only a matter of time.

Waffle Shot Product

Look at these cups. Just look at them, ready to be filled with hot coffee, cocoa or espresso. Or whatever.

Waffle Shot Packaging

Created by Los Angeles-based sisters Doris and Naomi, Waffleshots come in a variety of exciting flavors and can be purchased at This Link, just in time for the Holidays!

Parmela Creamery Aged Nutcheese

If you like nuts and you also like cheese (because who doesn’t) you may be intrigued to know that nuts are now being used to make cheese. Yes I just typed that. Parmela Creamery Aged Nutcheese is traditionally cultured from creamy whole cashew milk. OMG.

Quesadilla

This quesadilla was made with Parmela Creamery’s shredded, sharp cheddar variety artisanal nutcheese and it tasted as delicious as you would expect any quesadilla to taste! What a welcome product for the lactose intolerant, or anyone who cares about reducing greenhouse gasses caused by cattle farming. A delicious product with a conscience deserves our support!

Milkadamia Products

Nuts are also getting into the world of dairy with Milkadamia products, which are derived from the finest raw macadamia nuts — because plant-based dairy is officially a thing.

Milkadamia Buttery Spread

Milkadamia Buttery Spread, a heart-healthy, reduced calorie alternative to butter and margarine, was a new product at SFFS19. This spread has a fantastic buttery taste and a light, creamy texture. Milkadamia also has an extensive line of macadamia nut-based milks and creamers. At the show, I was given a 32 oz carton of their Unsweetened Vanilla Macadamia Milk to take home, which I enjoyed on cereal and in my coffee over the course of three weeks. I emphasis three weeks because a message on the carton recommends consuming the milk within seven days after opening, but it tasted very fresh and delicious for three times that long. Worth noting!

Cauliflower Chips and Snacks

Another trending ingredient among a more health-conscious consumer base is Cauliflower. Not surprisingly, we saw new products at SFFS19 using this versatile vegetable in innovative ways. From the Ground Up makes familiar savory snacks, with a plant-based twist, with their line of Cauliflower-based Tortilla Chips, Stalks, Pretzels and Crackers. Yummy.

Egg Thins Cauliflower Crepes

Crepini brand Egg Thins crepes, made with cauliflower, are a carb-free, gluten-free, paleo-friendly bread alternative.

Egg Thins Cauliflower Crepes With Turkey

I sampled Egg Thins cauliflower crepes rolled up with a slice of deli turkey at the show, and it was a super tasty snack. These crepes would be a great starting point for creative party snacks to impress even your most finicky guest. I definitely will be following up with Crepini post-SFFS!

Terrapin Ridge Farms Bacon Sauces

The Summer Fancy Food Show is an place ideal to discover a vast selection of gourmet variety jams, dips, spreads and sauces. A leader in this category is Terrapin Ridge Farms, who were one of the first outlets I know of to market several kinds of Bacon Jam!

Terrapin Farms Margarita Jelly

Terrapin Ridge Farms products allow the home cook to redefine his or her approach to food, entertaining and cooking. One jar of their sauces eliminates the need to buy multiple ingredients and spend hours in the kitchen, leaving you more time to spend with your guests! Margarita Jelly, which can enhance the flavors of meats or sweets, is one of their new products on the shelf!

Apple Blueberry Salsa Bacon Queso

Stonewall Kitchen, unique not just for the distinctive hand-written-look of its labels, but for the culinary innovation that goes into all of its sauces, jams, dips and spreads, always has dozens of delicious new products to sample SFFS. This year I especially loved the Apple Blueberry Salsa and Bacon Queso!

Bitchin Sauce

The memorably-named Bitchin’ Sauce took home a pair of Sofi Awards for its delicious Almond Dip! Congratulations!

Freak Flag Kale Pesto

Freak Flag Organics, possibly the best-named product in the sauces category, makes a healthy Kale Pesto that tastes great on pizza or pasta, or used in dips. Let your Freak Flag fly in the kitchen!

Crazy Go Nuts Walnut Butter

Crazy Go Nuts Walnut Butter not only has a funny name and a wacky label, but it also tastes amazing! Co-owned by friends Courtney Carini and David Wolfe, Crazy Go Nuts is a small business dedicated to environmental advocacy as they turn the superfood that is the walnut into a delectable, wholesome spread that tastes great on bread, fruit, or just eaten by the spoonful from the jar! You can buy Crazy Go Nuts products on Amazon!

ODang Hummus Dressings

O’Dang Hummus makes a line of flavorful and low calorie chickpea-based bottled Salad Dressings.

Funny Farm Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese from a box, despite its crave-able taste and comforting mouth feel,  can get a bad rap for being a convenience food that’s perhaps not so good for you. Funny Farm Macaroni & Cheese Dinner mixes (by LaLoos) challenge that notion, appealing to ‘kids of all ages,’ as they say, for its use of lower-in-fat goats’ milk-based cheese and its absence of preservatives, artificial flavors and synthetic dyes. I tried Funny Farm Mac & Cheese at SFFS and can conclude that it is one of the best-tasting dinner mixes I’ve encountered. They also make a version with the same enriched pasta, but in the shapes of little goats, pizza slices and ice cream cones, to get the little ones on board.

Cheese Shaped Mardi Gras Beads

Funny Farm also had these Cheese Wedge-Shaped Mardi Gras Beads as giveaways in their booth!

Princess Shaped Mac and Cheese

Also getting into the game of healthier Mac and Cheese in fun shapes is Pastabilities (bonus points for getting to that name first), who make this organic Mac ‘N Cheese dinner with pasta in the shapes of princesses, crowns and castles! Why didn’t this exist when I was a child?

Moon Cheese

Moon Cheese (Cheese That Crunches) has all the flavor and nutrition of real cheese because it is really just 100% delicious cheese that has been made into little crunchy nuggets. Without additives or preservatives, crunchy Moon Cheese is a perfect on-the-go healthy snack that needs no refrigeration! They also gave my first-ever fidget spinner! Yay, Moon Cheese!

Check out these random products that made it into the recap for their funny names or eye-catching packages!

Smooth Caffeinator

Kudos to Java Factory for its Smooth Caffeinator medium-roast Keurig pods. You know you hear Sade crooning in your head right now. You’re welcome.

Tea Pigs Display

I love this name: Tea Pigs. Because pigs. Tea Pigs is a UK-based small company dedicated to the enjoyment and worshipping of tea. Tea Pigs is a high-quality, whole-leaf tea that, rather than a standard tea bag, comes in a roomy, biodegradable mesh bag that they call a tea temple. I love it.

Tea Pigs Cold Brew Box

Wouldn’t this Lychee & Rose cold brew tea taste refreshing on a hot summer day? You know it would. Tea Pigs teas are available in the US via Amazon.

Mrs Muffin and Mr Brownie

There is so much more to and Mrs. Muffin and Mr. Brownie than set of adorable names. These individually-wrapped mini snack cakes are so delicious, you really should read the brand backstory for yourself!

Uglies Potato Chips

Uglies Kettle Cooked Potato Chips are delicious chips crafted from potatoes with minor cosmetic imperfections. This includes potatoes that are too large or too small; those with the wrong color or the wrong sugar content. Some of the potatoes are slightly blemished and, of course, some are just farmer surplus. Until now, these orphaned potatoes were destined to become food waste. Uglies has helped to reduce food waste by saving over 1,500,000 pounds of potatoes since 2017. Uglies for the win!

King Floyds Bitters

King Floyds Bitters: Bitters are not my thing, but the name made me smile!

Joe Tea

Joe Tea and Joe’s Lemonade: Because these label are works of art!

My favorite product that isn’t exactly a food product, but is nevertheless edible, goes to Gerrit’s Top This! Edible Cake Toppers, made by retro and nostalgic candy company Gerrit Verburg! These take me back.

Now I’d love to pay homage to the exhibitors who went the extra distance to guarantee that the Summer Fancy Food Show is Instagram-able for more than just the food. Check out these creative displays, fun use of props and outstanding booth designs!

Goodie Girl Signage

Goodie Girl, makers of  gluten-free cookies in both creative and classic varieties, got a brand new sign this year: a Pink Neon glow encircling their Giggling Goodie Girl logo! Distinctive and fitting!

Goodie Girl Animal Crackers Box

Goodie Girl Magical Animal Crackers are new on the shelf now!

Salsa God Booth Display

Salsa God, makers of delicious spicy salsa varieties, earns a mention in our recap each year, because skulls! I love these little Day Of The Dead skulls!

Salsa God Chips and Salsa to Go

Salsa God’s new product on the shelf is this Chips & Salsa Combo Pack, so that you can enjoy crunchy tortilla chips and fresh hot salsa as a grab-and-go snack any time! Salsa God!

Attitude Vodka Dragon Booth

Got Attitude Vodka made the most of a less-than-desirable end-of-the-aisle booth location by bringing in a mechanical Fire Breathing Dragon! Every few minutes, the dragon’s mouth would open wide, its eyes would begin to glow red, and smoke would emerge from its mouth, along with a mighty roar! You had better believe everybody stopped by for a sip and a snap!

Attitude Vodka

Got Attitude Vodka is smooth and sassy, and tastes great with any mixer, or on the rocks with a twist. It’s a party in a bottle!

Got Attitude Vodka Dragon

Here’s a close-up of the dragon’s glowing-red eyes (which I imagine would be more impressionable in the dark)! Still, it provided show-goers with a memorable Game of Thrones-style moment!

Jelly Belly Booth Mascot

Over at the Jelly Belly booth, there was a photo op with Mr. Jelly Belly, who is the brand’s official mascot! He is all kinds of cute.

Jelly Belly Cupcakes

Jelly Belly Candy Cupcakes, a non-jelly bean candy similar in texture to candy corn, is new on the shelves now!

Maud Borup Organic Cotton Candy

Maud Borup is known for providing retailers with unique flavor profiles and confectionery gifts that include candy, snacks, baking kits, and beverage mixes, which often come with a reusable collectable item that is sure to be remembered. Check out this sweet and simple display they created to show off their Organic Cotton Candy treats!

Maud Borup Paper Flowers Detail

It was so festive! You really felt like you were at the Fair!

Coco Well Booth

Coco Well 100% Pure Coconut Water constructed its booth from clear lucite panels filled with fresh whole coconuts. What a clever idea, and there was no confusion as to what their product is all about!

Coco Well Product

We know that coconut water is super health and hydrating, and Coco Well produces the freshest tasting coconut water possible by packaging its beverages in Tetra Pak, an eco-friendly and socially-responsible form of packaging based on the use of a sustainably-sourced wood fiber. Coco Well is good for your body, and the planet!

Greenpoint Trading Cart

Greenpoint Trading Co (based in Brooklyn) brought in this a bike-driven cart as part of their booth display for its line of Spices, Herbs and Seasonings. It definitely relays the message of freshness!

Pop Art Popcorn Booth

For SFFS19, Pop Art Gourmet Popcorn made good on last year’s promise / threat to retire their fabulous Mirrored Disco Ball Booth, only to debut a new booth design that is equally distinctive; being comprised of multi-colored, stacked LEGO bricks, making it a work of Pop Art itself!

Pop Art Popcorn Signage

Pop Art also replaced their famous Neon Popcorn Kernel signage with this stunning new sign, which is also made of LEGOs. Well played.

Pop Art Gourmet Popcorn

New flavors of Pop Art Popcorn include Dill Pickle Ranch (which tasted exactly like what it says it is) and Cheddar Jalepeno!

Belgian Boys Pink Booth

The Pinkest Booth at the Summer Fancy Food Show award (which is a thing that I just made up) goes to Belgian Boys European bakery! Beyond the pink plush carpeting (which was very comforting to our tired feet), let’s take a look at some of the awesome pink things found in the Belgian Boys booth!

Pink Recycling Waste Bin

Put It Here: Pink Recycling / Waste Bin!

Pink Smeg Refrigerator

Keeping It Cool: Pink Smeg Brand Refrigerator and a Pink Plant!

Belgian Boys Bakery Booth Display

The booth’s central display was a counter comprised of colorful dessert packaging, stacked high and topped with a Pink Sand Beach, which included a Pink Pineapple!

Belgian Boys Treats

Alongside the Boys‘ best-loved product line such as their famous Mini Cookie Stash (#rockthatstash), authentic Stroopwafels and assorted Liege Waffles and Waffle Chips, SFFS19 launched the debut of a full line of gourmet single-serve Mini Cheesecakes and a Dark Chocolate Lava Cake – super decadent. These treats are imported from Belgium and come two to a pack, with a premium presentation in a re-usable glass ramekin!  Begian Boys new desserts are Non-GMO and made with premium ingredients, no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and are kosher certified. Crave-able flavors include Key Lime, Cookies & Cream, and Raspberry. Yum!

Niman Ranch Booth

Niman Ranch, purveyors of humanely-raised quality meats, went all out with their idea of a Summer BBQ, bringing the free spirit of outdoor entertaining inside the Javits Center for the debut their new line of sustainably raised products featuring New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire Amber Ale!

Fat Tire Neon Sign

Grilled tastings and samples of the meats were an instant hit! The Niman Ranch booth also included a living plant wall with  bicycle tires, and with a bar serving freshly brewed Fat Tire Amber Ale. The joint venture of one of the most recognized names in the craft beer industry and a highly-regarded meat company brought show attendees a fresh idea on how to reach millennial audiences — who are concerned with how their food is produced — while supporting value-driven brands.

Niman Ranch BBQ on the HighLine

For fans who longed for an expanded taste of the new line, Niman Ranch hosted a BBQ Party at Hearth restaurant, located on NYC’s High Line Park, after the Monday evening of the Summer Fancy Food Show, where I was able to enjoy all five items that make up their complete BBQ collection. I hope my photos of the event will inspire you to include Niman Ranch products in your next summer BBQ! Let’s eat!

Beer Brautwurst

Fat Tire Beer Bratwurst, served here on a potato roll with sauerkraut and German-style mustard.

Cheddar Brauts

Fat Tire Spicy Cheddar Beer Bratwurst served with pickled mustard seeds. Little bits of cheddar cheese locked inside the sausage become melty and extra flavorful when grilled!

Pulled Pork

Niman Ranch Pulled Pork with Fat Tire BBQ Sauce show here alongside all the fixings — including crunchy coleslaw and crisp fried shallots — to make an amazing sandwich!

Pulled Pork Sandwich
Pulled Pork Sandwich. Mmmm.

St Louis Style Pork Ribs

St. Louis-Style Pork Ribs with Fat Tire BBQ Sauce. Unbelievable!

Shredded Beef and Pork Rib

Shredded Beef with Fat Tire BBQ Sauce on a potato roll, sharing the plate with one of those tender, meaty pork ribs. Outstanding!

BBQ Spread with Ribs

All items are uncured and fully cooked, making the line perfect for anyone looking for easy-to-prepare meals without sacrificing quality and taste. The new Niman Ranch New Belgium line will be available in specialty stores across the country beginning in August. The complete selection will also be available on Niman Ranch’s new digital storefront powered by ButcherBox.

Sofi Award

And that wraps up our recap of Summer Fancy Food 2019! Congratulations to all of the SOFI Award winning brands and thanks to the Specialty Food Association for another fantastic show! See you back here in 2020!

Five Points Festival 2019: The Photo Recap!

Clutter Booth Display
Clutter Magazine Booth Display (All Photos By Gail)

I feel no shame admitting that I had stuffed animals on my bed into my thirties. Despite being a grown adult with a day job, I still love and collect toys, and I especially have a sick fetish for Designer Art Toys. This is why the annual Five Points Festival is my jam. Thanks to this awesome blog, I was able to score press passes once again to this year’s Five Points Fest, which took place the first weekend in June. Since Geoffrey is no longer on-the-scene, so to speak, I brought along my Partner in Squee, Jamie, and we spent about  5 or 6 hours trawling through hundreds of tiny toys and using the words “Cute” and “Adorable” about one hundred million billion times, each. Just being serious.  While many designer toys are limited editions that can sell for hundreds of dollars, it is also possible find dozens of captivating art toys at Five Points Fest that can be yours for as little as $10 each. Please enjoy my photos of some of the toys that we found to be most squee-worthy, and you will see how easy it can be to build an affordable toy collection that adds joy to your life.

Buff Monster Cone

Do you like Buff Monster? I sure do. This Hot Pink version of his Mister Melty creation is a limited edition that was selling in the Clutter Magazine booth for about $275, I think. That sounds like a big chunk of change, but consider that this piece is also a highly-collectible work of art. Clutter is a  generous sponsor of Five Points Fest so I want to give them a big Shout Out, right now!

Squash Buddies

These cute little guys are called Squash Buddies ($8 each) and, yes, they are scented! Top Trenz is the manufacturer and they were found in the PIQ booth.

Meowchi Cats

PIQ is also where I discovered this shameless Pusheen rip-off series of Fat Cats called Meowchi, by Tasty Peach Studios of Japan. Don’t be fooled by imitations! Demand Pusheen!

Sushi Cat

Why did I take a picture of the box but not the toy? Clever Idiots, indeed. Sushi Cat sells for $7.99.

Vivicat

Hey look; more cats for you Cat Lovers! This slothful feline is part of the Lazily Sitting Cat Series by Vivi Cat. There are nine different poses to collect (9 Lives = 9 Cats) which sell for $12.50 each, and they are from Pop Mart toys.

Hello Kitty Buddha

3D printed Hello Kitty Buddha comes in two sizes and is from our pal Mucky Chris.

Hello Kitty Custom

Hip Hop-style Hello Kitty TEQ63 custom vinyl figure by Sanrio in collaboration with Quiccs, offered by Kid Robot, sells for $74.95.

Pop Mart Mascot

Are you read for more cuteness? Here it comes.

Boo Bear Pink Edition By Mighty Jaxx

Boo Bear Pink Edition by Andrea King, sold by Mighty Jaxx for $40!

Shark Tooth By Momoco

Shark Tooth (Hammerhead and Regular) resin figures by Momoco, just $15!

Popsicle Mon

Popsicle Mon Popsicle Cart Set by 16M is a limited edition designer toy selling for $150.

Cube Whale By Sank Toys

The Cube Whale by Sank Toys sells for $115. Here’s a closer look at this very unique and clever designer toy!

Cube Whale By Sank Toys

Cube Whale, Bitches!

Bobo and Coco

Bobo and Coco Blind Box Series by Pop Mart sells for $11 each. The Cuteness.

Pink Dolly Oblong

Hot Pink Baldwin character ($85) by Dolly Oblong. The Pinkness.

Tara McPhersons Dream Scouts

Speaking of Pinkness, take a peep at Tara McPherson’s Stellar Dream Scouts vinyl mini figure series for just $12 each — very affordable! These figures are sold by Kidrobot.

Croconana by Sorbet Jungle

Check this guy out: He’s called Croconana (half Crocodile, half Banana Split Sundae) by artist Deanne George for her brand, Sorbet Jungle. Really clever!

Croconana

The Croconana comes in a variety of ‘flavors’ and sells for $65 each.

Eric Althin Sad Salesman

Here is friend-to-the-WorleyGig Eric Althin of Sad Salesman toys. Cute is his middle name!

Symbiosis Vinyl Figure

Eric’s latest creation, Symbiosis limited edition vinyl figure ($85) revisits Sad Salesman’s previous Symbiosis figure, but this time he has three different interchangeable ‘head symbionts,’ for hours of crazy head-swapping fun!

Cranston Junior

Monsters can be cute as well as scary. Check out the Cranston Junior Vinyl Bat Toy series ($70 each) by Lou Pimentel, whose is a fine artist as well as toy designer!

Cranston Junior Stickers

Lou’s booth had little stickers as well. So darn cute. Enjoy more cute monsters coming up right now!

Pink Bruno and Mini Lil Franky

Meet Bruno (Pink Version, $110) and Mini Lil’ Franky ($30) by Knuckles’s Custom Monsters! Scary cute.

Little Hut Set

T9G and Shoko Nakazawa, two artists living in Tokyo, collaborated on this mini  Sofubi (a soft vinyl figure) set of three monsters from The Little Hut, which is priced at $45. Left to right, the creatures are named: Rangeas, Rangeron and Byron, who appears to be possibly modeled after This Guy.

Mayor McBlob

Meet Mayor McBlob, a sculpted resin figure from LoveCats Collectibles. I can’t even stand how cute he is. Mayor McBlob was created by a fantastic lady artist named Sciamellis, and this size figure sells for $25. I believe the green one also glows in the dark!

Donut Girls

This delightful trio of Donut Girl figures come from The Coven of Cuteness, makers of ‘creepy cute’ art dolls. These little gals are meticulously hand-sculpted by artist Jennifer Liceaga and sell for $100 each. Worth it.

Mushi Bros Toys Guumon

I have no idea what these fanged, winged figures  are called, but I found them in the booth shared by Mushi Bros Toys and Guumon. Lots of fun!

Housegoth Curiosities

These little demons are called Wundertakers and they are from Housegoth Curiosities by artist Mandy Szewczuk. I don’t know the exact price point of Mandy’s adorable creations but I do expect that  these were in the priced-to-own category.

Wundertakers

I am dead now, from the cuteness.

Karoshi San

Speaking of being dead, the Karoshi San: Model Employee Edition by Dead Zebra, Inc. (designed by Andrew Bell) comes with his own Death Certificate inside his tiny briefcase! This $65 limited edition figure can still be purchased on line at This Link!

Jellykoe Grim Reaper

If there is one exhibitor who has the horror/cuteness mash up down, it’s Jellykoe, who were one of our very favorite vendors from last years show. A Cute Grim Reaper, please, I am literally dying. Jellykoe’s framed original drawings sell for just $25! What a bargain!

Jellykoe Hellraiser

These big-eyed Cenobites (from the Hellraiser franchise) will melt your Hellbound Heart (see what I did there).

Jellykoe Stabby Bear

I need one of these for my desk!

Urban Devil

Apparently, Satan is a little Skater Boy, don’tcha know? The Urban Devil figure by PepperJerry for Tenacious Toys comes in two versions: Red ($60) and Gray ($80). Adorable.

Five Points Festival is really about so much more than toys. Events at the show included  live painting competitions by popular street artists, plus booths selling food, clothing, comics, action figures, jewelry, pins and lots of original artwork. I covered all of that in last years’ post, and this year I wanted to tighten my focus on a Toys recap, but I’ll be writing a few individual posts on super cool items spotted at other booths that were not included here, so stay tuned to Worleygig.com for continued coverage!

See You Next Year

Bye, See You Next Year!

Shark Attack Lobby Display!

47 Meters Down: Uncaged
Photos By Gail

I just got back from a vacation trip to Chicago, where I had all kinds of crazy fun, but also found lots of cool stuff to put on this here blog. Once such cool thing is this lobby standee for an upcoming thriller/horror film called 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, which is due to open in theaters on August 16th, 2019. You can infer that it stars a Really Big Shark and assorted unsuspecting victims, but you may not realize that it is also a sequel to a 2017 film also called 47 Meters Down. So clever.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

Take a closer look at the lobby standee and you will see there is a place for your two feet marked right in from of the shark’s gaping maw, so that you can stand there and your friends can snap a pic for The Gram of you looking like you are about to be shark food. Shark Attack in the Lobby!

New U.S. Postage Stamps Honor American Minimalist Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly 2019 Postage Stamps
Images Courtesy of USPS

America artist Ellsworth Kelly (19232015), whose work I have often covered here on ‘The Gig, forged a distinctive style of abstraction over his seven decades as an artist. On May 31st, 2019 Kelly was commemorated with 10 U.S. Postal Service stamps highlighting his work.  Amazing!

The Ellsworth Kelly Forever stamps were dedicated at the Ellsworth Kelly Studio in Spencertown, NY. News about the stamps is being shared on social media using the hashtags #EllsworthKelly and #EllsworthKellyStamps.

Ellsworth Kelly honed his artistic voice as a soldier during World War II when he created camouflage patterns and designed posters for the U.S. government,” said USPS Marketing Vice President Steve Monteith, who served as the dedicating official. “Today we celebrate the American master of abstract painting with these dynamic stamps that truly capture the creative talent of Kelly that will be seen by millions as Forever stamps on cards and letters.”

Characterized by precise shapes rendered in bold, flat colors, Ellsworth Kelly’s art and minimalist / color field aesthetic encompasses painting, sculpture and works on paper, drawing on careful observations of light and shadow, negative space, and line and form. In painting shapes — like a tennis court, a smokestack on a tugboat, or the roof of a barn — as flat planes of color, Kelly removed their dimensionality and turned reality into abstraction. He was also one of the first artists to create shaped canvases and to integrate art with modern architecture, taking great care in the decisions he made about the size of a painting, its boundaries, and its placement in relation to walls and floors.

Even late in his career, Kelly continued to refine his vision, constantly returning to his notebooks and earlier works to further develop ideas and explore new directions. Fittingly, his last work, an ambitious free-standing building titled Austin, seamlessly melds color, sculpture and architecture into a single experience.

Ellsworth Kelly received the National Medal of Arts in 2013. Today his work is in the permanent collections of major museums in the U.S. and around the world.

Ellsworth Kelly 2019 Postage Stamps

The 20 stamps on the pane feature 10 of Kelly’s artworks, each represented twice in the following order: top row, L to R: Yellow White (1961), Colors for a Large Wall (1951), Blue Red Rocker (1963), Spectrum I (1953), South Ferry (1956); and second row, L to R: Blue Green (1962), Orange Red Relief for Delphine Seyrig (1990), Meschers (1951), Red Blue (1964), and Gaza (1956). The selvage features a detail from Blue Yellow Red III (1971), as well as Kelly’s name and the years of his birth and death.

Ellsworth Kelly’s name appears at the bottom center of each stamp in bold black type. “USA” and “Forever” are printed alongside each artwork. Derry Noyes served as art director and designer for this stamp sheet. The Ellsworth Kelly stamps are being issued as Forever stamps, and will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price. The Ellsworth Kelly Forever Stamps can be purchased at at Post Office locations nationwide, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and  from the USPS official website/ online store at This Link.

Lastly, contrary to what our Idiot president would have you believe, it is worth noting that The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Frieze 2019: A Photo Recap of The Fair’s Best Art!

Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden
Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden Sculpture/Installation Paired With Chris Ofili’s Painting To Take and To Give (All Photo By Gail)

On a very rainy Sunday in NYC, the ideal indoor activity turned out  be a ferry ride over to Randall’s Island for the Frieze Art Fair! Because what’s a little mud on your shoes compared to the joy of browsing for hours through thousands of prohibitively expensive artworks?

Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden
It Isn’t an Art Fair Without Yayoi Kusama!

Looking back through the digital archives, it appears that my previously most recent Frieze recap dates all the way back to 2015 — wow — for reasons that take too long to talk about. One thing that is abundantly clear though is that my skills as a photographer have improved greatly in the last four years! Let’s take look around this year’s Frieze Art Fair and check out a selection of my favorite art!

Carlotta

Carlotta (2017) is monumental 3D-effect stiles steel sculpture by Juame Pensa, found at Richard Grey Gallery. That’s an Alex Katz abstract painting at the left.

Colored Mirrored Circles

It didn’t take me long get distract by shiny things, because I neglected to note the artist of this installation of Colored Spherical Shaped Mirrors, which is just fantastic.

Metal Weed

It might look like a weed has sprouted up though a crack in the wall at the booth for the Marlborough Gallery, but that weed is actually a metal sculpture. Clever!

Quartz Eroded Newspaper Machine

Quartz Eroded Newspaper Machine (2019) by Daniel Arsham.

Quartz Eroded Newspaper Machine

Here’s the view of another side: Coffee Cup included! Spotted at Perrotin Gallery.

You Drive Me Crazy.

Two colorful, feathered bears wrestle playfully in this sculpture by Paola Pivi entitled You Drive Me Crazy, also at Perrotin Gallery.

Numbers

You know how it is when you have to wait so long for all of the people to clear out of the shot that your forget to make note of what you were photographing? This is one of those times.

Untitled After John Singleton Copley
Untitled (After John Singleton Copley) By Ewa Juszkiewicz

Mermaid Sculptures By Olivia Erlanger

Mermaid Sculptures by Olivia Erlanger at And Now Gallery sell for $8,000 each!

Back and Forth May Marilyn Lerner
Back and Forth (2016) By Marilyn Lerner at Kate Werble Gallery

Alyson Shotz at Derek Eller Gallery

Alyson Shotz created this iridescent suspended soft sculpture made from interlinked, dichroic-dyed aluminum discs, found at Derek Eller Gallery. Check out two detail views of this work, below.

Alyson Shotz at Derek Eller Gallery

Surface of Discs. Exterior.

Alyson Shotz at Derek Eller Gallery

Surface of Discs, Interior.

Gabriele Beveridge True Bone

Here’s a unique blown-glass work by Gabriele Beveridge called True Bone. It’s so lovely I am compelled to offer a side view from which you can see how the glass ‘weeps’ over the chromed Steele frame, or bone.

Gabriele Beveridge True Bone

Men Who Cannot Cry

Men Who Cannot Cry (2018) Neon Sculpture by Alfredo Jaar.

Mark Thomas Gibson The Snowman

Mark Thomas Gibson, The Snowman (2018) at Fredericks and Freiser.

Seung-Taek Lee
Stainless Steel and Urethane Vinyl Sculptures and Drawings by Seung-Taek Lee at Gallery Hyundai.

Alex Da Corte Orb Weaver Weft
Alex Da Corte, Orb Weaver Weft (2019) at Karma Gallery.

Indigo Illusions
Indigo Illusions (1991) By Betye Saar at Roberts Projects.

Empowered Women
Empowered Women (2019) By Andrea Bowers at Andrew Kreps Gallery

This neon sign switched up its timely message by having the “ed” in “Empowered” flicker off and on. Nice.

Metaphysical Leg Pull By Duggie Fields
Metaphysical Leg Pull (1976) By Duggie Fields, at The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd.

You Should Be Dancing (2018)
You Should Be Dancing (2018) By Jim Lambie

This reflective wall sculpture made from the lenses of sunglasses was also spotted at the both for at The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd.

Mirror Balloons By Jeppe Hein
Mirror Balloons By Jeppe Hein (2019) at 303 Gallery of New York.

Sculptures By Marta Chilindron

Colorful Acrylic Sculptures By Marta Chilindron (Above and Below).

Sculpture By Marta Chilindron

My Life As A Tree
My Life As A Tree By Edouard Duval-Carrie (2019) at Lyle OReitzel Gallery.

Shiatsu
Shiatsu (2019) By Max Hooper Schneider

Now here’s a modern sculpture that has everything! Max Hooper Schneider’s Shiatsu takes a custom acyclic vitrine  — that an observer might easily mistake for an ordinary household aquarium — and creates a surreal habitat filled with hand tools scattered among the lush terrarium plant life and accented with a vintage neon sign! Let’s take a closer look.

Shiatsu Detail

Spectacular! Hooper Schneider’s work is represented by Maureen Paley Gallery of London.

Gate By Tony Cragg

Avid readers of The ‘Gig might recognize this freeform abstract sculpture as the work of sculptor Tony Cragg from This Post, though the one above, entitled Gate (2017) is of a much, much smaller scale!

Sound Suit By Nick Cave

Look Up: It’s one of Nick Cave’s Sound Suits!

Raked Leaves (Apparition)

Raked Leaves (Apparition) (2019) by Patrick Jacobs is a tiny diorama that was embedded into the wall of the booth for Pierogi Gallery of New York.

February (2018) by Devan Shimoyama

Check out this fabulous silk flower and bead-embellished hoodie sculpture, February (2018) by Devan Shimoyama. I would wear it.

Well that about wraps up this year’s Frieze coverage. If you dig the photos in this post please share the love and share the link on your social media! Art!