If you love whimsical jewelry, you can soon go to SoHo to check it out. That’s because Michal Negrin is opening a boutique location in the SoHo area as of August 15th, along with about two dozen US boutique locations in the next few years.
A native of Kibbutz Na’an in Israel, Michal was always encouraged by her mom to “create her own world.” She “always wanted to think differently,” as she told JNS.org.
In 1988, she launched her first official jewelry collection and her first retail store on Shenkin Street in Tel Aviv. The designs for her first jewelry were taken from her Russian grandmother’s jewelry collection.
Interestingly, the Israeli jewelry industry has moved from the male-dominated world to one focused on women. As Negrin said, “I consider it very good that women have taken the lead in the industry and can express their creativity. Everyone can follow her own design. Israeli women are creating a new language of beauty.”
Negrin’s company includes 60 stores in two dozen countries around the world. You can get your Michal Negrin products in Japan, Israel, Italy, Russia, France, the US and beyond. And now soon in SoHo.
Noam Hanuka, Michal Negrin’s CEO said, “The Israeli shops [in SoHo] are kind of a symbol of Israeli-Jewish entrepreneurs doing business in the city. We are trying to bring the same giving Israeli spirit to the United States. Everything is done according to the ideas of thebrand: open-mindedness, love, tolerance, and respect for other cultures. They say that there is no household in Israel without some piece of Negrin jewelry or some household items—a menorah, earrings, linens—something.”
It’s not always easy to figure out how to preserve a lifetime of talent. The Soho Photographer, D. James Dee, has been working from the redbrick building at 12 Wooster Street since 1981. He’s been working in the New York area since 1974 photographing artwork for galleries and artists – and he’s soon closing up his shop.
Saying goodbye wouldn’t be so painful, if it weren’t for the 250,000 photos, slides and transparencies of artwork that he has in the building. The boxes are a glimpse of New York history from the 1970s to the present. These profiles in history by everyone from Apple to Shapell capture a piece of the city that could be lost. He worked with Soho galleries like Holly Solomon, Paula Cooper, OK Harris and others. He’s had many take a look at his archives including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Getty in Los Angeles and Fales Library at New York University. So far no one has jumped.
As D. James Dee explained, “I just don’t know the right person. It goes in a Dumpster sometime in July if nobody takes it. And I’d hate to see that done, because it has to be useful to somebody.” Time will tell if anyone takes this slice of history.
Charlie Bird, the new Soho restaurant, from Robert Bohr and chef Ryan Hardy is ready to impress. It just opened a few days ago and shows an amazing food section that is split into five categories. These include Raw, Pasta, Small Plates, Vegetables and Large Plates. They focus on Italian flavors as they describe on their website, they have an “Italian influenced, American executed, and entirely New York.”
They are a very inexpensive place to enjoy, with only one dish over $30. Their win list includes a section called “Shameless Plug” which features wines made by sommeliers who are friends of the house. These include Aldo Sohm of Le Bernardin and Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food & Wine, in Colorado.
As they describe on their own website,
“The menu comes from New York’s farmers markets, Long Island fishing boats, country fields and the wondrous meanderings of spirited travelers with passionate palates. We’ll be crushing seafood, roasted meats, crazy good wine and creamy espresso. We’ll present a wine list broad enough for you to come by and enjoy wine with us every night or, you can be a baller and order something you can’t get anywhere else in the world. We’re Italian influenced, American executed and entirely New York.”
The bikes are ready and the stations are in place for the bike sharing program to start in SoHo. But, some people in SoHo aren’t taking to the new Citi Bike racks well.
There are now two bike racks in Lt. Joseph Petrosino Square at Lafayette and Kenmare streets. And, as Sean Sweene of the SoHo Alliance said, “The people of New York will have to view this ugly Citibank advertising in a place formerly reserved, and preserved, for art.”
There have been complaints all around from people saying that the bike stations are on landmark blocks and others arguing that there will be lost parking spots. Recently, people in Greenwich Village were given tickets after a new bike stand was installed.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, blowing off the criticism, said on WOR Radio on Friday that the anti-bike criticism “makes good theater.”
9000 bikers will start riding on Monday who have signed up already and the bikes will then be available to the general public starting June 2. An annual membership costs $95 and a day pass is $9.95.
If you’re in the market for a place in SoHo, New York, you just might want to check out Jon Bon Jovi’s pad. Purchased by the famous rock star in 2007, his SoHo duplex is now on the market for $42 million.
It’s located at 158 Mercer Street and is 7452 square feet of pure bliss. It includes five bedrooms and 5.5 baths. As The Corcoran Group’s Deborah Grubman site said, “The journey begins when you step off the elevator into the lower-level foyer.”
There is a modern chef’s kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows and 360 degree views of SoHo and beyond. As part of the for-sale listing it says, “This one-of-a-kind apartment is for the discerning buyer who can appreciate fine craftsmanship and all the modern conveniences.”
Bon Jovi was said to have purchased the home for $24 million.
If you’re one of those people who just doesn’t want to travel without her dog – you’re in luck. The Soho Grand not only welcomes guests with their pooches, but they are now creating an outdoor area especially for dogs. As explained in Luxury Travel Magazine,
“This deluxe lifestyle will be reflected in the beautiful design of the space, which will have an old Soho charm to it, incorporating the wall of St. Alphonsus Liguori Church into the landscape, which stood long before the Soho Grand. Cherry trees, boxwoods and ornamental kale will provide foliage for a verdant and natural environment, while overhead string lights, bespoke benches and fire hydrants will be a witty reminder to visitors that they are in one of the chicest establishments of the world’s most cosmopolitan city.”
Watch for this addition in May and enjoy taking your dog to New York with you. Now, if only they would let them into the Broadway shows…
Soho has many great restaurants, but up until now they really haven’t been a hot spot for sports bars. Enter Zarsha Leo. Located right in the heart of the district, Zarsha Leo has already shown itself to be quite popular in downtown Manhattan. Now, they are venturing well below that comfort zone.
As CEO Evan Burschkopf explained, “We figured that Soho residents like sports just like residents in any other area, and we wanted to bring a bit of our flavor to the Soho experience. We are eager to see the locals coming out and enjoying what we have to offer.”
And offer they do. They includes 10 enormous, flat screen television sets blaring the latest sports news and activities. They have great food from their ribs and chicken wings to their sweet potato fries. And they even have a dart board and pin ball machine for enjoyment!
Whether you really love expensive tea or you just want to brag to those around you about your expensive tea – have we got a spot for you! The new loose-leaf tea store in Soho called Le Palais des Thes has the most expensive tea around. You, too, can purchase the 3.5 ounch pouch of handpicked, black, South Korean jukro for the pice of $130 a bag!
This tea will make you approximately 20 cups (yes, that’s over $6 a cup). Never fear, however, because general manager Emery Cooke says it’s worth every cent. As he recently said, it’s “absolutely exquisite.”
It certainly better be for that price!
Whether you love to juggle or just want a great location for entertainment in Soho for a day, the Dube Juggling Equipment Store is the place to be. On the third-floor in Soho and owned by Brian Dube, this company has been around since 1975. Mr. Dube dropped out of NYU years ago and stumbled into the business when he became a juggling addict. As he said, “I was eating, drinking, thinking juggling every minute of my life.”
He’s actually the son of a Maine lumberjack who started building juggling clubs for himself when he heard that it would take six months to have them custom made. At his first juggling convention in Delaware, he sold out of his wares instantly, and a business was born.
Now, he employs nine people in the 5000 square foot loft that he’s been using since 1991. Only 10% of the space is used for sales and walk-in customers, while the other 90% is for manufacturing, storage and office space.
His equipment has been used around the world by professionals by: Cirque du Soleil, Penn and Teller, David Blaine, Ringling Brothers Circus, The Big Apple Circus, Philippe Petit, Viktor Kee and many others.
It’s certainly worth a peak if you happen to be in the area! Or, you can buy from them online.
Boom, located at 152 Spring Street, is going out of business. And with it will be a little piece of Soho history. Unfortunately, Boom isn’t alone in the Sandy aftermath that has left us all reeling with water, debt and debris; but they have certainly been one of the hardest hit in the area.
Boom had a flooded basement kitchen as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and over $100,000 worth of damage. They are closing for other, perhaps more disturbing, reasons which include their inability to keep up with the $150,000 a month rent. Certainly, Boom symbolized the changes in Soho when it started twenty years ago, moving from an industrial district to a hype place to eat, enjoy and be seen.
As former Boom partner Rocco Ancarola told the Post, “The rents are just ridiculous. It has become really hard for smaller restaurants and shops to survive when big luxury brands want flagships in Soho, the Chanels and Louis Vuittons of the world, even though there are never people in those stores. It’s just too costly to fix things up from the hurricane and fight the high rents.”
Goodbye Boom. We certainly hope it’s not goodbye to the boom in economy we’ve seen in the Soho area as well.