Okay, enough of this facile irony! (See below.) Now let's get serious about gift-shopping. This weekend and beyond, the fabulous female artists of Brooklyn have solved your shopping problems: You can hang around fascinating, cool places and buy totally unique gorgeous stuff for people! Or even for yourself! Here's a round-up (with a bonus: an opportunity to tango for hurricane victims. Only here, kiddies, as Cindy Adams might say...read on.)
Books you will not...ever...find in Barnes & Ignoble. Check out the Independent and Small Press Book Fair this Saturday, Dec. 1 (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday, Dec. 2 (from 11 to 5), at 20 West 44th St. Come to the second floor, where the mistress of the CrazyStable--also the artist and sole proprietor of Tenth Leper Press ("Book Arts to Refresh the Spirit")--will be offering a limited edition of my new book-art work, "Transformation Psalter." It's a set of four gorgeous little accordion books in a slipcase (all handmade and archival), with images from nature and texts from the Psalms, celebrating the theme of growing and changing into wondrous new identities. There will be lots of other nifty handmade books at my table, too--with a little discount if you mention CrazyStable! The rest of the book fair is also fascinating, with some great panels, readings, and programs, and a host of indie presses selling a cornucopia of offbeat reading. See you there! (Architecture lovers, take note: It's worth the trip just to glimpse the gorgeous landmarked interior of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, which includes a wild two-story balconied library.)
But wait! There's more!
Billyburg baubles. Want the anti-mall-experience? How about a Hipness Trifecta: Williamsburg, crafts, and a venue that calls itself an "arts lounge"! Jewelry designer Sam Tomasello will be among those offering their affordable locally-made wares (that's under-$100-affordable) at the "Dirt Cheap Crafts Fair" at Stain Lounge, this Sunday Dec. 2 from 2 to 8 p.m. It's at 766 Grand St. (L train to Grand, walk one block west). Sam's stuff is maddeningly collectible, including Ming pottery shards, medieval-looking beads, and magical charms.
Artist's trove on sale. Karen Friedland is opening her house-tour-star home to the public for a home studio art show and sale on Dec. 8 and 9 from 1 to 6 p.m. It's a great chance to own one of her dazzlingly colorful original paintings, prints, collages, giclee prints, notecards, and jewelry at gentle prices. (Look for her lush Moroccan paintings if you want a quick cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder.)
Tango for humanity. Finally, this one sounds intriguing: Garden designer Evelyn Tully Costa (who worked marvels of hardscaping for the CrazyStable some years ago) is hosting a five-course feast followed by a tango party at her Union Street home on Sat., Dec. 15, to benefit the victims of Hurricane Noel in her beloved Dominican Republic town of San Jose de Ocoa, where she worked as a journalist. (Evelyn does a lot of interesting things.) The requested admission of at least $25 sounds like a good ticket to a great party; RSVP to her at 718-778-0022.
Now that's holiday preparation, Brooklyn style!