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Morgenstern’s Bananas

In 2018, Nick Morgenstern and his 88 flavors outgrew the Lower East Side location of Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream. Five years later, on May 1, the old Rivington Street haunt will finally reopen its doors. This time, it’s as Morgenstern’s Bananas, a dairy-free-soft-serve spot offering eight flavors, including banana caramel, salted peanut butter, matcha mint, and prickly pear. Everything (including an array of crunchy toppings and boba) is made in-house—without stabilizers or preservatives. The final results are creamy and delicious. ( —Clara Molot


The Language of Trees

The word “book,” Ross Gay tells us in the introduction to The Language of Trees, is derived from the word “beech-tree.” There is something in this simple fact that gets to the crux of Katie Holten’s mission—to provide her readers with a new vocabulary to read and write about the natural world. She does so by first creating a delicately illustrated alphabet (A is “apple,” B is “beech,” et cetera), and then by compiling contributions by everyone from Plato to Zadie Smith to Radiohead. Holten has printed all the text in forest green and included corresponding illustrations for each letter. Whether presenting a recipe for acorn bread or an ode to a 3,500-year-old cypress tree, The Language of Trees is touching without ever feeling daunting. Take one step back and the shape of the collection becomes clear—it’s an ode to literature, language, and nature that intertwines and loops like branches of a tree. ($26.95, —Paulina Prosnitz


About Borromini

Art critic Jed Perl and artist Deborah Rosenthal spent the spring of 2005 at the American Academy in Rome, immersed in the architecture of the 17th-century father of Baroque architecture, Francesco Borromini. Captivated by buildings such as Chiesa di San Carlino alle Quattro Fontane, Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, and Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, the pair found personal ways to respond to Borromini’s oeuvre. Perl turned to prose, scripting poetic text that now accompanies Rosenthal’s abstract prints in one single, magnificent volume. About Borromini offers readers a rare glimpse inside the minds of two great artists as they work to explain the perplexities of a third. ($65, —Clara Molot


Broken Theater

Following in the grand tradition of cultural exportation from Paris to New York (or, let’s be honest, to Brooklyn), many masters have cut their teeth in the Baroque performance halls of the City of Light before packing up and shipping their productions wholesale to New York’s surely far dingier stages. The latest not-to-be-missed import is Bobbi Jene Smith’s Broken Theater, which has just arrived at La MaMa, in the East Village, from a wildly successful run at the Opéra de Paris. A mélange of live dance, theater, music, and cinema, Broken Theater examines 12 artists who meet in a ghost theater, where they grapple with love, humiliation, and loss, often at each other’s expense. Smith asks us: When the script has disappeared, when the audience is gone, where is the line between the part you play and the person you are? Run, don’t walk, to catch this haunting performance before it flits back across the pond. ($40, —Harrison Vail



Designer Stephanie Suberville has seen a lot. Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, she has spent the past 15 years working in fashion, first at Rag & Bone, then Elizabeth and James, and most recently overseeing all product design at La Ligne. Now she and Jeffrey Axford have launched their own brand, Heirlome. Each season, they partner with an artisan from Mexico or other parts of Latin America and incorporate his or her work into skirts, dresses, and tops through print, pattern, and embroidery. There’s a lot to love, but we’re especially transfixed by this Jose Pajarito dress, which features a print based on the work of the artist Nicasio Pajarito González. Its A-line, button-down silhouette gives it a dressier feel than the traditional caftan, while the extra-long sleeves add a touch of dramatic flair. ($1,690; —Ashley Baker


Au Départ

Au Départ was founded in Paris in 1834, which has given this leather-goods house a long runway (so to speak) to perfect the art of handbag design. As one of France’s oldest malletiers, it specialized in leather trunks and travel boxes; among discerning collectors, there is a rather robust and competitive market for vintage pieces. But those of us who frequent the streets and subways as well as the railways and airplanes will find plenty to love among Au Départ’s handbag collection. For example, the Madeleine bag, made of coated canvas and smooth leather. With two internal pockets, suede lining, and a monogram print, it has functionality as well as style. Those who prefer an all-black-leather version will have to wait until new stock arrives, but for spring we’re partial to the house’s signature monogram print. ($3,200; Baker

Issue No. 198
April 29, 2023
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Issue No. 198
April 29, 2023