Design, Made in Brooklyn

The Charted Cheese Wheel


Words cannot express how much I love The Charted Cheese Wheel from Popchart Labs. This illustrated collection of 66 cheeses is broken down by animal and texture. In addition to just being wonderful to look at, it's a great idea-generator for future wine and cheese parties. I'm getting mad cravings for Pont-l'Évêque and Pecorino Sardo just glancing at the chart.

The brilliant designers over at Popchart Labs never stop coming up with infographic prints I want to buy. Thinking this Cocktail Chart of Film & Literature would also look nice in the office or living room.


I Love Boston Map


Anyone who visits my apartment is able to tell immediately that I'm a little obsessed with maps. I have maps everywhere: framed and hung on walls, on postcards tacked to my office bulletin board, even as Jenga tile magnets on my fridge. And if my map-making design class in May goes well, I'll have a few hand-drawn ones to add to the walls too.

This embroidered map is a recent addition to my map decor, to show a little love for my hometown in light of recent events. It's from Vintage Refashioned on Etsy, who is donating part of the proceeds to the Red Cross.

Right now the hearted map is just propped up on the bookcase unframed, but it might move around a bit. And I may need to get the matching Brooklyn one too.

Boerum Hill, Shops, Design

Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap

Growing up, I loved visiting Vermont. Not so much for the skiing, but for all the general stores. Every time I went on a road trip with friends or family, we'd always stop at a roadside general store that sold an assortment of nice things: candy in glass jars, flannel shirts of all colors, tools of all stripes, apothecary items, and cider made right down the road. Maybe the general stores were aimed at tourists, but I didn't care. There weren't really any places like that in the Boston suburbs where I grew up, at least not by the 1990s.

Dry Goods on Atlantic Ave is a modern day interpretation of an old-fashioned general store. It's a fun place, with the slightly cluttered but carefully curated feel of many Brooklyn shops. A good portion of the products are imported from Europe, from brands and makers that have been around for generations. Scattered throughout the mix are a few vintage collectables from the shop's owners.

Design, Made in Brooklyn

Food-Inspired Tote Bags


1. Let’s Make Thai Food Tote, Brooklyn Brainery  2. Momofuku peach tote  3. Pasta Bolognese and Salad Nicoise totes, One & the Same  4. Tiki Bon Shopper, Kate Spade  5. Cheese Survival Kit tote, Brooklyn Slate Co.  6. “Delicious Ices” tote, Gillian Kyle

It’s hard to have enough tote bags, especially if you do as much grocery and food styling prop shopping as I do. I’ve been on the hunt for a cute tote bag designed for chefs and food writers, especially since picnic season is starting up. There are some of my favorites. Now to choose one…


Inspiring Cookbook Cover Designs

While working with my publisher on the jacket of my upcoming cookbook, I spent a lot of time browsing in bookstores for inspiration. There are many cookbooks that do well with a single closeup photo of a dish on the cover, but I wanted something that stood out graphically. I'm happy to report that we have finally settled on a clean yet fun design, which I can reveal soon. In the meantime, here are some cookbook covers that I've found inspiring.

1. The Meatball Shop Cookbook - My publisher (Random House/Ballantine) did this book as well, and I love the vintagey cover. The meat grinder illustration is from the Meatball Shop menu.


New York Neighborhood Plates from West Elm


I recently saw these New York neighborhood plates on West Elm’s site and fell in love immediately. The whimsical black-and-white line illustrations, drawn by artist James McNally, depict Dumbo, Coney Island, Central Park, and Chelsea. They remind me of both old Saul Steinberg illustrations for the New Yorker and vintage children’s books.

If he does a part II series with Park Slope and Red Hook plates, I would seriously consider using them as wall decor.