Nolita, which stands for north of little Italy, neighbors Soho, yet they have a completely different vibe. As you cross Lafayette Street and head east, you leave the land of the main brands, and enter the world of small, independent stores and loads of restaurants. I have a particular route that I always enjoy.
As I cross into Nolita from Soho on Broome Street, I take a left on Mott and wander up the street, taking in all the storefronts, both new and veteran. On my most recent visit, I stopped in Wendy Nichol for the first time. This woman does it all – fine jewelry, leather bags, clothing, and even fragrance. She has such an incredibly distinct point of view, that I feel like I know her, even though we’ve never met. The essence combines goth, femininity, and self-confidence. Truly unique.
Nolita, which stands for north of little Italy, neighbors Soho, yet they have a completely different vibe.
A short way up the street, Eli Halili is a must-see. Not only does he look like he could be in a magazine spread in GQ, but his jewelry crafted in 22 and 24 karat gold are museum worthy. He utilizes artifacts such as ancient Greek coins, Roman stones, and trading beads to creates something so contemporary, yet it links you to the past as well. (This store closed summer 2020, but it will be moving to California.)
I continue up Mott St, cross Houston (pronounce HOW-stun) and land on Bleeker St. On this block, there’s three shops I adore. First is Zero + Maria Cornejo. This incredibly responsible line resonates with various personal styles and body types. Architectural features, unique seaming, and draping make for solid additions to your closet. This particular visit, I was taken by the metallic shoes. Which style do you think I left with?
A few doors down is the recently relocated Anna Sheffield jewelry store. This is one of two stores, the other located in Los Angeles. While she does a booming business in the bridal market, don’t let that reputation stop you from going in. I’m still dreaming about these turquoise, gold and diamond earrings I tried on. Never have I seen such interesting juxtaposition between the earthy feel of turquoise and the clean modernity of metal and gems. They are definitely on my jewelry lust list!
To complete the trio on this block, head into Ulla Johnson – it’s their only store, although they are sold at many stores and boutiques around the world. It’s a bohemian woman’s dream. The riot of prints and colors can’t help but put a smile on your face. Also, don’t let the fact that they stop at a size 12 deter you from trying things on. I’m currently a size 16, and I found a perfect maxi dress that’ll be a staple this summer.
Onward with the walking tour. Take a right on Elizabeth Street, and head back across Houston into the heart of Nolita. Shortly down on the righthand side, you’ll encounter Love Adorned, one of my absolute favorite stores. While it’s a full lifestyle store, complete with an in-house piercing studio, I must say that the fine jewelry is the big draw for me. You’ll find a wide range of contemporary designers, vintage and antique designs. This visit, I fell in love with an Arcadia ring from Margaret Cross. The black enamel detail sets off the rose cut diamonds, and I didn’t know at first if it was an antique or a new piece. Totally my vibe.
As you continue along Elizabeth Street, take a moment to enjoy the statuary in the one-acre Elizabeth Street Garden. It’s amazing a place like this exists in such a bustling city. Take some deep breaths and enjoy the serene experience. By this time, I’m always ready for a gelato – because what else would be the perfect indulgence in this neighborhood? There are numerous options, so enjoy the sweet treat!
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