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What's New

This week we’re highlighting 3 cool new shops, sharing our Portland, Maine travel guide, and introducing you to two cool new friends: Kim & Vanessa of Omsom.

Culture Corner

COOL NEW THING(S)

For those of you who love finding new well-curated shops in the city…look no further. We’re sharing our 3 favorite new spots to shop right now:

The Six Bells

This new shop on the border of Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill is self-described as, “a new old country store,” and is perfect for all of you cottagecore Brooklynites. Think whimsical pottery, American-made quilts, and wicker lighting from British designer Matilda Goad. The Six Bells is open daily at 221 Court St.

Sabah House NYC

Cool friend Mickey Ashmore (of Sabah) just opened up the leather shoe company's new NYC storefront in NoHo. The cozy (but v big) space features a giant wall full of Sabahs in any color you could imagine & a chic bar where you can sip natural wine or tea while you peruse the store. Stop by at 56 Bleecker St. and grab your summer pair.

Departo

Eco-conscious home shop, Departo, is having a brief stint in the city with a pop-up in SoHo at 57 Lispenard Street. The store features “design objects of performance” like beautiful cereal bowls, cotton towels & the candle holder of ur dreams.

Departo is currently hosting events every Tuesday (like cocktail hours, floral arranging classes & custom embroidery) so head here to stay up to date on that front!

And another cool new thing because we love you…

The River, a bar by Bode & Green River Project

HOT OFF THE PRESSES - downtown darlings Emily Bode (of the eponymous menswear label) and her husband Aaron Aujla (of design studio Green River Project) have branched into the nightlife scene. Tucked away on Bayard St, nextdoor to Dr. Clark House, The River is ready to serve great drinks in their beautiful interiors from 6pm-2am daily.

SIP

Our pals over at Cowboy Coffee are popping up at LES’ Colbo this Sunday 4/24 starting at 11am. The pop-up will be featuring burgs from Shy’s, clothes from Colbo &&& more. Stop by at 51 Orchard. 

SHOP

Ridgewood furniture shop, Lichen, kicks off their new monthly market series this Saturday 4/23 with a DJ set by Stonie Blue from 3-5. Head to 564 Woodward Ave and keep up with Lichen on instagram.  

LOOK

Friend of coolstuff, Claire from Subway Social Club is sharing a v special earth day round up of all of her favorite eco-related artwork in our very own NYC subway.
 

Hi! I’m Claire, the Founder of the Subway Social Club.

The Subway Social Club brings together friendly New York commuters on a mission to spice up our daily commutes by infusing a sense of discovery and adventure. We believe that our fellow commuters often lead us on our best experiences, so we strike up conversations with strangers. The subway also has fantastic permanent art, and for earth day, we wanted to celebrate nature in the NYC subway.

Travel Guide: Portland, ME

One of the first features we ever shared in coolstuff.nyc was a travel guide to Portland, Maine. Well ,we’ve grown a lot since then, and so has Portland! It was only fitting for us to update our guide after a weekend up in the great north. If you’re thinking of a summer getaway (chic!) checkout this guide to our favorite city in Maine.

PORTLAND MAINE GUIDE
Cool Friends: Kim & Vanessa of Omsom

Meet Kim & Vanessa, sisters and founders of Omsom - a culinary company bringing Asian flavors to the home kitchen. We caught up with Kim to hear how their childhood led them to launch their tasty and beautifully designed line in 2020.

Interview answered by Kim Pham, co-founder of Omsom :)

Headshot by Deanie Chen
Product shots by Mischelle Moy & Jenny Huang

How did you start Omsom, your company bringing Asian flavors to the kitchen?

As first-generation Vietnamese-Americans and daughters of refugees, food is not just a love language for us, it’s a way for us to re-engage with our identities as WOC and “third culture.” My sister and co-founder Vanessa and I have long wanted to start a business together - we’re best friends. Growing up, we never felt represented by the “ethnic” aisle in mainstream grocery stores (why do they even still exist?!) - so we wanted to build a company that reclaims and celebrates the multitudes in Asian flavors and stories. 

Vanessa and I launched the business in May 2020 on this mission and it’s been bonkers ever since. We’ve sold out 11x (the first time within 72 hours!), launched inbound partnerships with household names like Instant Pot and Disney, and have built from the ground up this incredible digital community of folks who ride for Asian communities + issues. It’s the greatest privilege.

We partner with iconic Asian chefs to craft our products, which we call starters (essentially pantry shortcuts with all the aromatics, spices, and seasonings needed to cook a specific Asian dish). These starters provide the foundation for home cooks with a level of cultural integrity that has been, disappointingly, hard to achieve until now. Omsom has your back on flavor, but also leaves room for flexibility and creativity – you bring your own protein, vegetables, and starches to the party. We want to celebrate these flavors, but also empower folks to actively engage with them. 

What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?

The sheer number of weirdos here. I’m obsessed with all the unique ways that the creatives here approach the world. It’s been beyond inspiring to learn from and alongside creatives who work in wildly different industries than me. Even if their work isn’t “directly applicable” to mine, there is something for me to learn about their approach, their mediums, and the way their work comes together.

What's inspiring you right now?

I’m deeply inspired by the kink and BDSM communities. There is really incredible art and community being made “in the shadows,” and I love how folks are finding community, solidarity, and joy through the innately human joy that is play and pleasure. Lots for me to learn from as a queer, sex-positive WOC navigating a world not made for her.

Follow along:

Omsom: @omsom 
Kim: @kim_tpham 
Vanessa: @vanessatpham 

www.omsom.com

Read more Best Of articles, Cool Friends interviews, and past Newsletter editions on our website: www.coolstuff.nyc 

Want to contribute to coolstuff.nyc? 
Send your suggestions to hello@coolstuff.nyc — don't worry, we always give credit where credit is due :—) 

This Week's Contributors:

Claire Feuer
Kassie Reyna

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