I loved my college boyfriend’s Mom. She was the best thing about that relationship. I remember her as this eccentric, warm, and above all hilarious woman who had a hardscrabble upbringing but had managed to pull herself up by her bootstraps, get an education, and eventually become an English professor. She had some weird habits. She used to buy mannequins and dress and stage them in her living room. The first time I stopped by her place I was greeted by a young boy who was crying into his mother’s skirt. It really scared the bejesus out of me, and at the time I thought it unforgivingly bizarre. Over time, I began to appreciate that she let her freak flag fly. Too many of us pretend we are normal when we clearly are not. One habit I picked up from her was never buying the same pattern of plates or glasses. She always said that if you bought a whole set and broke one, you would be upset. But, if you bought only one or two wine glasses, bowls, or plates at a time, you never had to worry about ruining a set. It allowed her to create memories, always have her eye out for something new, and throw dinner parties where no one accidentally drinks out of the wrong glass. I now do the same – I never buy sets of glass or plate ware, which is fantastic because it allows me to return to Fishs Eddy as often as I like. This store, located in the Flatiron District, has the perfect gift for any person on any occasion. My friend Janine once gave me a mug with little runners on it from there on the eve of a half-marathon we ran together. They have all these great glass storage jars and bottles, kitschy glasses, vintage plates from once-loved NYC restaurants that are no longer in service, and ceramic dish ware to store your eggs, berries, milk – you name it. They even have a cute NYC section that appeals to the tourist and local alike. For a city full of people with tiny kitchens and no storage space, it is amazing how many of us show up there on any given day for something we just can’t do without.
Where It Is and Why I’ll Miss It: Manhattan, Flatiron District, 19th Street and Park Avenue; Endlessly Appealing Kitchen Stuff that Will Lighten Your Outlook.