Crafty fun in the Big Apple! January 28, 2018 19:43
I'm back from my trip to NYC! Here's what I found for the keen crafter. This is by no means a complete list because we had such a short time there but it's a good start.
Brooklyn felt a bit like East London - bits were super-cool, some were full of young mums, and some bits still felt a bit in need of some TLC. The Brooklyn Craft Company was full of cute things like pins and kits, and runs sewing classes in a bright colourful shop. My favourite places was the Brooklyn General Store which was a treasure chest of yarn, and had great quality stuff and knowledgeable staff, great for the serious crafter! I couldn't get to String Thing but it looks great. Walking about in Brooklyn in the Park Slopes are felt a lot like being in later episodes of Sex and the City, with brownstones and boutiques everywhere.
I went to a Michael's! It's like their Hobbycraft, and I thought Hobbycraft stood up pretty well. But you don't find Hobbycraft anywhere other than out of town shopping parks, and there were a lot of Michael's bang in the middle of New York. I also went to Paper Source, which was great! If you like Paperchase you'll love Paper Source, and they had similar trends to us. Apart from the Sloth thing. They are HUGE on sloths. Sloth everything! I wanted to go to Barrel and Crate and ABC Carpet and Home but ran out of time.
Mood Fabrics and the Garment District
Oh my god Mood! Just that one shop alone was too much to comprehend. I suppose if you went every week you'd start to get a feel for what's there and be able navigate it, but for the first timer it was overload. The whole area has that insider's feel that Berwick and Broadwick Street in our Soho used to have years ago, except on a vast scale. Amazing trimming and hab shops, with MJ Trimmings being the highlight.
Indie Yarn shops
I couldn't persuade Mr Craft Club to go to many more craft shops so I missed Purl Soho. It appears to be the Gucci of craft shops, and it's in Soho so not far from the designer shopping and smart restaurants. Knitty City looks fantastic, and the Brooklyn General Store had amazing yarn. Lion Brand came highly recommended too.
We went to Chelsea Market which was great fun, a mix of shops and Artists and Fleas, which seems to be a shop full of little indie shops. It's a short nip to the Whitney and the High Line too. The Canal Street Market in Soho was similar, and full of nice bits to buy from smaller brands. We weren't there at the weekend so we missed a lot of the other markets
I tried to get to the Ink Pad, which amazingly specialises in ink pads! And Blicks art supplies was great, like our Cass Arts.
That should be plenty to see you through a few days as you have to see the Museums and the Sights too, and it's a bit tricky getting about.
Right - the stuff no-one tells you about navigating around the subway!
- Lots of stations have the same name even if they are totally different. check out Spring Street. Two stations, both callled Spring Street, on Spring St, not close to each other and not on the same lines. But exactly the same name.
- Often you cannot get to the opposite platform without leaving the station, walking 50 yards up the road and then going in another entrance. Which is a problem becasuse....
- you can only use your weekly pass every 18 minutes. So if you are on the worng platform and you go up above ground in order to go be the other way, you have to wait 18 minutes before you can get back in to platform you want.
- Some stops are local stops. Only local trains stop at them, and the express trains seems to just magically skip them out, you don't even see them. Look out for that!
- They hate signage in NY. Nothing is signposted. When you get back to London, you really notice how well everthing is signposted. TfL, finally I appreciate you!
- try this post for more help!
- I didn't even bother with buses. If the subway is this hard I could end up in a different state if I try the bus...
I always think the best way to see a city is to get a paper map and walk everywhere that can be walked in less than an hour. I make coasters out of the maps we use at each place we go like this Berlin one
Have you been to NYC, or anywhere else that has great craft? I'd love your tips!