9/11, A Day I Will Never Forget

If you ask your parents or grandparents, they can tell you exactly where they were when JFK was shot....same thing goes for MLK, Jr. For my generation, September 11, 2001 is one of those days that can never be forgotten. Every New Yorker has a story, whether they escaped the carnage covered with soot from the burning towers, or they walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to finally make it home hours later.

At the time, I was working for an early morning news program which meant I needed to be at work at 4am. I was not at work that morning because I went to a concert the night before, and took the day off. The plan for the day was to meet up with my mom, a relative from out of town, and my brother for a day of sightseeing. September 11th is also my brother's birthday, so a day of celebration was planned.

I had the TV on while I got dressed and prepared to leave my apt in Hell's Kitchen (just west of Times Square.) I saw the second plane hit the towers, but the enormity of the situation didn't really dawn on me. In my mind, we were planning to go to the Empire State Building, so our sightseeing plans would not be affected by what was happening downtown.

As I sat on the 42nd street cross-town bus on the way to grand central terminal, I heard people speaking of a plane crash in Washington. I thought that was a strange coincidence, but continued on to meet my mother and visiting aunt. Once I got to the train station, there was mass chaos. Police where evacuating the building, and I actually stood there and refused to leave because my mom (who is not very city-savvy) wouldn't know what to do once her train arrived. A policeman finally told me that all trains were stopped, and would not be coming into the city. I walked outside of grand central, and I have never seen so many people just walking around in the streets...unsure of what to do.

I started to walk home, as I passed through Times Square reality started to set in. The jumbo screens were broadcasting the nightmare that was unfolding in downtown New York City. I glanced up to see one of the towers collapsing. That's when I started running, and I didn't stop until I got home. I just couldn't believe what was happening.

Once home, I was able to get my brother on the phone. He hadn't left Brooklyn, and planned on staying put. I called my dad, and left numerous messages. I was getting a little irritated that he wasn't returning any of my calls. NYC was under attack, and he couldn't bother to call me back! Later on, I realized that the phone lines were all screwed up, and he couldn't reach me. My mom and aunt eventually made it back to White Plains....walking most of the way home.

As the day wore on, I was glued to my TV, and watched and waited to see if anything else was going to happen. I watched the firefighters and police at the scene. The news reports soon focused on crying relatives gathered at hospitals, and near the site. It was a horrible day, but I was thankful that nobody I knew died that day. I was thankful that I lived in mid-town, nowhere near the towers.

NYC is the city that never sleeps, but there wasn't a soul outside when I stood on the corner the next morning, looking for a cab. It was very unsettling. After a few minutes, I watched the slow approach of headlights, and thankfully it was the cab that would get me to work for my 4am shift.

At work, I watched more footage of those who jumped to their deaths, distraught relatives holding up pictures of missing loved ones, volunteers and first responders working long into the night trying to find anyone who might still be alive. It wasn't until almost a week later that I sat down and cried. The 24/7 news coverage got to me, and I cried for the city that I loved, but would never be the same.

As each year passes, it seems as though the rest of America has moved on. For myself, and other New Yorkers it is is hard to forget. I can only imagine the pain of those who lost someone they loved. I got a little teary-eyed today, as I always do, but hopeful that something like this will never again happen to my beloved city.

Until next time....




The New Market in Town

Living in NYC, I can tell you that peeps love their flea/craft markets. I am here to let you know that there is a new market in town (variety is the spice of life!) The LIC Flea & Food opened it's gates on June 15th to much fanfare. Located in Long Island City, Queens, it is a hop, skip, and a jump from Manhattan, and also a quick train ride from Brooklyn. I have been a vendor there on Saturdays since opening day, and I am having a great time. I always ask anyone that stops by my booth if they live in the neighborhood. Surrounding the flea are many new luxury high-rise apartments, and some more are in the midst of construction. Just about all of the neighborhood folks that stop by are really happy to have a new market nearby. They often show their support by coming out and shopping!

Now, I am going to be honest...I don't like the word flea. I sell handmade goods, and many folks approach my booth and try to haggle with me about prices. I understand, that's what you do at flea markets, but I am firm on my prices, so I don't play that game. I will say that this market has a nice mix. Not too many "junky" looking booths. The market itself does not promote food over crafts, or vintage over handmade (not like another market which shall remain nameless....)

Here is just a sampling of the wonderful artists who show off their wares every weekend:

Tree-D Patchwork are beautiful works of 3-D art using different mediums, including fabric. Contact owner and creator, Meryl Thurston if you want your own personalized piece made from sentimental blankets, clothes, or any other fabric.

Maarte by Iza

Designer Annaliza Pasaylo-Huffnagle uses her native Filipino culture as inspiration for her Maarté by Iza collection of "Eco Friendly Jewelry", that makes a statement without saying a word.

Janet Belden is a life-long ceramicist that has a wide variety of beautiful pieces. She has also shared her expertise and knowledge by teaching classes at the West Side YMCA for over twenty years!

Donna Levinstone

I am always impressed with artists like this. Drawing and painting is a talent that you are born with (I don't think I could teach myself...you either have it or you don't) My photo does not do true justice to her beautiful work with pastels.


Need to adopt a robot? This dynamic duo will help with that. Wonderful and whimsical pieces would be right at home in any decor!

Ice Riders NYC

I have to say that these guys have saved my life every weekend. It has been HOT in NYC, and there is nothing better than shaved ice! This friendly bunch shave the ice using bike power! I have tried many different flavors including green apple, watermelon, lemonade, and dreamsicle....yum!

I hope you get a chance to stop by and check out the market. Located in LIC, Queens (46th ave & 5th street) the market is open every Saturday and Sunday (10a-6p) and should be open through October.

Until next time....happy crafting!

Nordea nordeasoaperie

DIY metro card holder (vs.2)

In my last blog post, I made a metro card holder, but it wasn't the one I REALLY wanted to make. I actually wanted to make a type of billfold with two pockets. This is similar to the plastic case that I had been using since the early 90's (which understandably was on it's last leg.)

This one takes a bit more time, but I like the results a lot better. I started with two pieces of denim about 6"x5" Again, I am still working on the huge pile of old jeans I have stashed in the corner of my bedroom.

I pinned the pieces together with the right sides together. Then I sewed around 3 sides, leaving one side open.

After turning the denim pouch right side out, I cut out a piece of stiff paper (like a file folder) and cut it to size, and tucked the paper inside the pouch. Then I sewed up the open side, and folded the pouch in half.

Then I cut out two pieces of fabric and sewed it to the inside of the pouch to create pockets. I like two pockets...metro card on one side and a bit of cash (or credit cards) can be placed in the other pocket.

For a bit more security (especially if I am storing cash) I added a bit of velcro on the sides. I cut out a small square, glued it in place, then gave it a quick stitch, just to make sure it stayed in place. This way, when I close the billfold...it stays closed!

That's it...quick and easy!

Until next time....happy crafting!

Nordea  /  nordeasoaperie

Workspace Wednesday: the {NewNew} team features Meli Anna Anastasiadis

Welcome to another installment of Workspace Wednesday! This is where we take a peek into the workspace of an artist living and working in the New York City area. Most of us don't have basements or attics or sheds or spare bedrooms to turn into craft rooms. Many of us live in less than 1000 square feet, so we need to get creative with how and where we make our Craft.

Today we'll sneak a peak into the workshop of Meli Anna Anastasiadis, the proud owner of the unique modern vintage jewelry shop MeliAnnaA and paintings on wood shop PrettyLovelyPainting. Meli Anna sells gorgeous wire wrapped jewelry that she makes by hand. But wait, there's more. She also creates and sells hand painted wooden jewelry holders, too! Bonus!

Here is the sweet Meli Anna, in here Hell's Kitchen apartment-- her artist studio is in the 'spare' bedroom. Her 5-year-old daughter "loves it and plays with everything. My husband is exasperated by it but he loves me so much he handles half the house being living space and half being workspace" she says. (her husband and mine should go have dinner together) Here is the sweet Meli Anna, I love her work apron and her owly jewelry holder!

In addition to jewelry holders, she makes key racks, coat racks, running medals displays, personalized family name signs and writing journals. Whew! You've got to go check out both of her Etsy shops, her work is fantastic and so creative.

Now, let's see where she gets all that work done. Meli Anna and her family live on the 14th floor so they have a fantastic view and lots of sunlight. And she has different areas for making her work, photographing it and shipping it out. Take a look

And now you have a better idea about where this gorgeous jewelry is made by hand in New York City.
And you can hang them on one of my favorite jewelry holders handmade by Meli Anna:

Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park

On the far west side of Queens, overlooking Roosevelt Island and Manhattan, is a very special, and dare I say, magical place, located in my very backyard of Long Island City/Astoria.

It’s called Socrates Sculpture Park and it is one of the best spring and summer destinations in NYC for families, couples or to wander around on your own.

Once upon a time, Socrates Sculpture Park was an abandoned riverside landfill. In the 1980’s it was transformed into an outdoor exhibit space and studio by a group of artists and members of the community. Today it serves as a world renowned outdoor museum and artistic workspace, as well as a multifaceted activity park.

The best part about the activities on offer is that they are all free of charge and available several times a week during the spring and summer, with some continuing into the fall.

There are educational art workshops, a film series, and a weekend fitness program including yoga, capoeira, pilates and more!

It’s all just a short hop from Manhattan on the N or W subway lines to Broadway, and then a 10 minute walk.

For more information on all the Socrates Sculpture Park has to offer, please visit: http://www.socratessculpturepark.org/

At a Glance:

PARK HOURS: Socrates is open 365 days a year from 10am until sunset. Click here for sunset times



ADDRESS: 32-01 Vernon Boulevard at Broadway, Long Island City (Queens), NY 11106

by Lorina Pellach-Ladrillono of The Original Beadscarf &

Rollerblading in the City

Springtime is here, and now is the perfect time to dust off the rollerblades and go for a spin! I purchased my first pair of rollerblades back in 1994. I absolutely loved them, and they soon became my primary source of exercise. The problem became finding “blade friendly” places to go in the city.

I have never lived more than about 20 blocks from Central Park, and used to escape the city streets by heading to the park. Unfortunately, the park is also home to horses & carriages, crazy bikers (going 100mph training for the Tour De France or something,) and “newbie” rollerbladers who tend to grab onto anyone and anything passing by if they find themselves losing their balance or unable to stop.

Luckily…I discovered the bike path that runs alongside the West Side Highway. This path stretches from Battery Park and goes all the way up to Fort Washington Park in Washington Heights. Best of all, there are no horses, very few crazy bikers, and wonderful scenic views of the Hudson river.

I have always considered the path split into two sections, above and below 59th street. You can start out on the path heading south, passing the Intrepid, skating through Chelsea Piers and down through the west village into Battery Park City. There are wonderful scenic areas, but there are also places where you will have to cross a few traffic intersections, and areas that are heavily populated w/tourists and pedestrian traffic….especially near 42nd street and Chelsea Piers.

Above 59th Street, the path weaves around basketball courts, small parks along the promenade that take you past Riverside Park, and further uptown passing Fairway near 125th street (if you need to pick up a bottle of water.)

I love skating along this path because most of it is off the street, it’s smooth and paved, not as busy as Central park and very few hills!

Nordea's Soaperie