Over the summer I had fun exploring my neighborhood, Crown Heights, with photographer Jono Bernstein for Racked.com. Unfortunately, despite all the work put into the piece on our part, the great writer that interviewed me for the piece and the amazing businesses that opened their doors, unfortunately, with edits I guess, by the time it was ready, the site’s direction changed and the story was no longer a regular series they were going to do. Hopefully you’ll see Jono’s amazing* images in another publication but in the meantime, in honor of Small Business Saturday, I thought I’d highlight a few of the amazing small business in my neighborhood and give you a sneak peek — and trust me, I was really hard pressed not to pick my favorites but we’re still shopping the story around…
764 St. Johns Place
I am terrible at keeping a manicure and I feel like when I go for cheap, quick manis, I chip them the next day hauling a garment bag, to dragging luggage through an airport. I was so excited when Elements Spa opened in my neighborhood. When I’m really in the mood to treat myself, I spring for the Milk & Honey Pedicure — it’s a milk bath, natural honey mask, organic coffee scrub and organic shea butter; it leaves your skin feeling baby soft.
1451 Bedford Ave.
If you’re a foodie, this French Senegalese restaurant is an absolute must. I prefer to go on weekdays as it’s definitely a destination restaurant and a weekend night is absolutely packed. But quite honestly, every night there is pretty bustling. They manage the perfect balance of being a local neighborhood place, and high quality, amazing destination restaurant. I also like to pop in during the days sometimes and work from there. Really yummy great juices and a wide variety of teas. One of my first times here a few years ago, I lost my Kindle and now the bartender calls me Kindle girl.
1453 Bedford Ave.
Right next to Cafe Rue Dix, this amazing store is so well curated with such an airy vibe, I was shocked when I realized the clothing was all vintage. Beautiful high design with an great selection of jewelry, accessories, teas, candles it’s my favorite place to stop after a great brunch at Cafe Rue Dix. It’s definitely more under the radar as it’s on Bedford and Park Place off of the main drag of Franklin Ave.
1413 Bedford Ave.
I’m in trouble. Since it opened, I found Abigail’s Bakeshop is the PERFECT place for an afternoon delight. I’ll often take a little work break by strolling over there, chatting with Abigail and ordering one of their delicious cupcakes. My favorite is the chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. However, I definitely recommend trying the bread pudding. It’s made with the bread from the cinnamon buns. HEAVEN.
Calabar-imports on Franklin Ave.
This is a fun shop to pop into as they usually have some pretty unique jewelry items that are great statement pieces. The woman who owns it is so ridiculously intelligent and well traveled; she lived in Nigeria for many years… Most of the pieces are imported from different African countries. And it’s nice to find things you won’t find anywhere else.
This store is my go-to for unique gifts and fun personal chachskies. Everything is fun, very boho of great quality and best thing under $100! Suzette just had a very cool fashion show so I’m excited for her picks for this season, especially holiday.
Brooklyn Bell’s The Local “Ice Cream Made in Crown Heights”
843 Classon Ave.
I have a major sweet tooth and during the summer, I feel like an ice-cream a day is pretty much mandatory. It’s a family run place and their inventive flavors are pretty incredible. My mouth is still watering over a rum flavor I tried two summers ago. My current favorite? Honey It’s Thyme.
619 Vanderbilt Ave.
Whether it’s gold foiling a table, finding new rugs, I’m always in the process of decorating my apartment. I don’t think it will ever be done. I love heading into One of a Find Vintage for inspiration. The way they stage thing is so beautiful and I love that every piece you get there has a history and a story.
600 Vanderbilt Ave.
I love sitting in this bookstore browsing their selection. In the age of Amazon, it’s actually a pretty great feeling and special to spend time in a book store. I love discovering new books on topics that I might not otherwise have read up on.
ALL PHOTOS BY JONO BERNSTEIN
**I loved working with Jono. These photos were unedited, no retouch and are among my favorite photos of myself. I hope to work with him again soon. Check out his work.