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Those who geek out over fabrics, knits, and mills owe themselves a short jaunt to Columbia Road in East London, where Aya Nakagawa’s designs are on dazzling display at her shop, Colenimo. After graduating from Tokyo Mode Fashion University and spending eight years working as a designer in Japan, Nakagawa relocated to London, where she was able to channel her love of artisanal English crafts into a minimalist collection of hardworking classics. Nakagawa recently released an irresistible collection of sweaters, created in collaboration with the Scottish brand Inverallan. Our current favorite is a hand-knitted vest in the cheerful shade of blueberry. It’s an indispensable layer—it doesn’t bulk up underneath coat sleeves, but it manages to keep one’s trunk nice and toasty. ($295, —Ashley Baker


Amor y Amargo

A syrupy mojito or sweet piña colada isn’t for everyone. For those who prefer a no-nonsense cocktail, check out America’s only bitters-based bar. Restaurateur Ravi DeRossi and bartender Sother Teague opened the East Village watering hole Amor y Amargo in 2011. Now they have a bitters tasting room, on Sixth Street, and a general store around the corner, on Avenue A. Our recommendation is the tasting room, where the lights are low, the jazz is playing, and patrons speak in subdued tones over their Negronis. Don’t you dare try ordering an Aperol. ( —Elena Clavarino


Laetitia Rouget

There is a time and a place for kitsch. Just ask the French-born, East London–based artist Laetitia Rouget, whose witty ceramics and textiles induce social-media hysteria and draw waitlists. After graduating from Central Saint Martins, in 2010, Rouget began handcrafting colorful vases, mugs, serving platters, and place mats. There is an energy to her work—see her cotton-candy-colored plates emblazoned with slogans such as who said I can’t cook and you are on my naughty list, or her voluptuous, woman-shaped candleholders and fantastical folk-inspired flags. Brands from Anthropologie to the Conran Shop, and taste-makers like Camille Charriere, similarly love Rouget’s feel-good style and have lined up to collaborate with her on capsule collections. ( —Bridget Arsenault


The Old Man & the Pool

About halfway through Mike Birbiglia’s latest one-man show, The Old Man & the Pool, he tells the audience that his father indulged in chicken Parmesan for dinner the day after having his second heart attack. Birbiglia suggests his dad abstain from a second helping; in turn, his dad reminds him of his diabetes and refusal to exercise. The father eats another serving, and Birbiglia shuts up. The show, the comedian’s second on Broadway, is largely about his fear of death and his inability to do things that will delay it—such as swimming five days a week. For an 85-minute monologue about visiting doctors and contracting various ailments, the show is remarkably light. It’s hard to say which jokes made me laugh the hardest, but Birbiglia’s taunting of the two elderly audience members who arrived 10 minutes late to the Lincoln Center theater was definitely up there. ( —Jensen Davis


Mayflower Inn & Spa

I credit Rebecca Gardner, the interior designer and entertaining maven behind the store Houses & Parties, for making me reconsider ruffles, chintz, and florals. Done in her idiosyncratic, slightly madcap style, the result is never granny chic but rather the décor of someone’s fabulous Great-aunt Mimi, who doesn’t believe in such a thing as “too early for champagne.” Gardner recently packed up her bag of tricks (literally) and went to Connecticut’s Mayflower Inn & Spa. There, she crafted a six-course private-dining experience, boldly entitled “A Room of Joyful Pursuits.” The name may conjure up notions of a panic room on uppers, but thanks to her Southern charm and wicked sense of humor, a smashing good time is guaranteed. There’s more than just Cubans in the cigar boxes, and she tucks conversation cards into the decorative library books to ensure guests never lack good fodder for chatting while eating. Chef Cortney Burns’s menu is full of seasonal produce, all slow-roasted, pickled, and charred to perfection. Grilled short ribs, whole branzino, and a procession of sweets will duly prolong the evening’s fun. ($1,350 for two; —Laura Neilson



At some point in the winter, you just give up. You accept the early bedtime, the reliance on carbohydrates, and even the need for long underwear. Welcome! It’s not so bad over here. Especially because Hanro offers an easy answer for what to wear, with an entire collection of silk-cashmere undergarments. These Swiss knitters have been at it since 1884, and they have it down to both an art and a science. There’s no reason to brave the outdoors without these leggings, and why not add on a turtleneck or scoop-necked long-sleeved shirt for good measure—unless you’re willing to drink an entire gallon of glogg to keep the blood circulating to your extremities. What the hell—be safe and do both. (leggings, $278; long-sleeved shirt, $298) —Ashley Baker

Issue No. 180
December 24, 2022
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Issue No. 180
December 24, 2022