Gabrielle Carlson Studio 501 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10017

Gabrielle Carlson Studio

501 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY  10017

(917) 514-4433


When I was exploring the Turtle Bay neighborhood for my blog, “” when rounding the corner by the Roger Smith Hotel  I was greeted by the beautiful vibrant colors of clothes in the window of Gabrielle Carlson Studio, which at the time was on East 47th Street and has now moved to 501 Lexington Avenue in the Roger Smith Hotel’s shops facing Lexington Avenue.

What attracted me to the store was the vibrant colors of the clothing and uniqueness of the styles and designs. Clothes were hanging from the racks in vibrant deep greens and purples and various hues of blue. There were different types of clothes to choose from including dresses, skirts, tank tops, tee-shirts, scarfs and sheen coverings in various colors and sizes. The store’s motto is “Beautiful Clothes in Your Size” and it fits the bill.

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A beautiful top accessorized by jewelry

When I walked into the new store on Lexington Avenue, I was lucky enough to talk to Gabrielle Carlson, the designer herself about her clothing line and the customers she caters to in New York. Ms. Carlson is originally from South Africa and is now living in New York and discovered a niche in the boutique market for a mature woman who likes to try her clothes on and find the right fit. Most of Ms. Carlson’s line in manufactured here in New York City’s Garment District and some clothes are actually made for the customer whose measurements don’t fit traditional sizes of the department stores.

Ms. Carlson explained to me that she has an excellent turnaround time with her clothes as she works with people in the Garment District whose craftsmanship is excellent and can tailor her look for her customers for that reason. She also works with jewelry designers and manufacturers who produce her accessories that her clothes nicely.

Her jewelry lines are also made here in New York and these beautiful pearl and bead necklaces and bracelets can match all wardrobes. These elegant pieces can be worn both dressy and casual.

The store tailors to that customer who still likes to try her clothes on for the perfect fit and likes to mix and match looks. The looks can go from business casual to dressy evening ware and never loose sight of the woman wearing them.

Also her prices are very fair for the quality of clothing that is not only American made but New York made.


Gabrielle Carlson Studio

A proud customer in a Gabrielle Carlson jacket


A History of Gabrielle Carlson Studio:

(This write up is from Ms. Carlson’s website)

About Gabrielle, Fashion Designer & Dresser Extraordinaire

Gabrielle designs beautiful, elegant clothes in vibrant colors and exquisite fabrics. Wearing her pieces, you look and feel beautiful-your very best self.

Gabrielle’s style is timeless and well-worn by women of every age and size. Stepping into her shop, you see an array of vivid color-and fabrics you want to touch: intriguing that combine creating endless ensembles.

Gabrielle’s day into evening pieces are there too. And there are the jackets-slipping into a Gabrielle jacket has you ready for unexpected moments. There are ‘one of kind’ pieces, a mix of beautiful pieces. It’s a question of where to look first.

Professional women who have little time to find clothes that flatter and fit are happy with Gabrielle’s expertise; she will dress you for the courtroom, conference room and cocktails. “Beautiful clothes in Your Size” is absolutely what’s available.

Stepping into Gabrielle’s studio, you’re surrounded by color, texture, fun styles and you want to play. Gabrielle loves dressing her customers creating with you, choosing pieces that best enhance you, flatter your figure and satisfy your longing for beauty. It’s an infectious experience that has women returning and bringing other with them.

I give full credit to Gabrielle Carlson Studio for this information.



Royal-Athena Galleries 153 East 57th Street New York, NY 10022

Royal-Athena Galleries

153 East 57th Street

New York, NY  10022

(212) 355-2034

Fax: (212) 688-0412

Open: Monday-Friday 10:00am-6:00pm/Saturday & Sunday Closed


I visited the Royal-Athena Galleries when I was touring the Turtle Bay neighborhood recently and it is an interesting mix of gallery and museum. The ancient art pieces are items that you would see in major collections and in the halls of well-known museums. Inside each of the cases and art that lined the tables were from Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Italy.

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Museum quality art work lines the cases and tables of the store

There was everything from large statues to small items like idols, coins, figure heads, bowls and vases. Each case told a story of a collection and each piece was marked with what the piece was, where it was from, sometimes a previous owner and the price. It was like going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and seeing price tags on all the works. Items range from $100.00 on up. The most expensive thing I saw in my time in the store was about $15,000. The items are all authenticated by experts and there is a history to where they came from. There are a few gallery employees dotted through the store that are available for assistance.

Background on the store:

The Director of the Galleries, Mr. Jerome M. Eisenberg, has been specializing in Ancient Art for over 60 years and has extensive lecturing, teaching and writing on the subject. He has sat on many panels sharing his expertise on Ancient Art and on the movement of items through the art world recently lecturing on the looting of works through the Middle East (Store Website).

All the antiquities in the catalog and in the New York Gallery (there is one in London as well) is the largest and most extensive collections of the ancient arts ever exhibited for sale. In addition to the many masterworks of ancient art, there are a wide variety of fine items on display priced from $100 to $1000 and up including Greek and Roman coins and Old Master prints and drawings, perfect for the beginning collector or for that very special gift (Gallery catalog).

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The Greek and Roman collections at the gallery

Every object purchased by the galleries has been acquired legally. If imported by them into the United State, they have done so in compliance with all federal regulations and have given full consideration to all international treaties governing objects of cultural importance. Antiquities priced at $5,000 or more are now checked and registered with the Art Loss Registry in London (Gallery catalog).

All of the objects are clearly labeled with complete descriptions and prices. Condition reports on all the objects are available upon request. We encourage browsing and are happy to assist and advise both the amateur and the serious collector. Appointments can be made outside of regular gallery hours for clients desiring privacy (Gallery catalog).

The catalog is available at the gallery or online.



Azalea & Oak 5 Tudor City Place New York, NY 10017

Azalea & Oak

5 Tudor City

New York, NY  10017

(212) 922-0700



I came across Azalea & Oak when I was walking around Tudor City in the Turtle Bay neighborhood in New York. This unique and quirky store specializing in Women’s Accessories, jewelry and children’s clothing, gifts and stuffed toys was beautifully displayed and wonderful stocked with all sorts of handmade items. It is somewhat hidden in the Tudor City complex. I love their displays as well.

I was talking with one of the salespeople and she was telling me that the store had just been renovated from a flower shop into this new concept of a gift store. The owner is a former buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue and it shows in the selection of merchandise. Everything here is high quality.

The owner herself was the designer of the most of the jewelry in the shop and all over the front cases and tables there were beautifully designed baubles with pearls, colorful stones and sterling silver settings. Some of the standouts were the initial braid necklaces ($78.00) and bracelets ($68.00) and her jeweled lettered brooches in gold and pearl ($48.00).

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The displays of Women’s  Jewelry

What I thought was the standout of the store were the items that catered to young women. There were wonderful stuffed animals Miss Rose Sister Violet ranging from $24 to $48 in the shape of lambs, rabbits and swans with big smiles on their faces and super soft to touch.

Their dress up items also by Miss Rose Sister Violet were detailed without being over the top and were embellished with sequins and jewels. There were tops, bottoms and cover-ups in all sorts of designs ranging from $24.00 on up.

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All the cute children’s plush and dress up

There were neat little necklaces by Meri Meri in all sorts of designs that would make the perfect gift for the child at Summer Camp. These little necklaces come in all sorts of designs. Another child’s accessory were beautifully crafted handmade crowns and masks studded with beads, sequins and feathers perfect for the child going out for a night in costume. They have the cutest little baby clothing also from Oh Baby with designs of happy animals in light colors at various prices.

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Necklaces by Meri Meri

They also have an assortment of vintage Gucci and Louis Vuitton purses sold second hand at various prices. You can check the website for these.

The best part of the Azalea & Oak is the comfort and the warm welcome you get when you enter the store. The young woman working with the owner could not have been nicer and spent the time going over the merchandise with me explaining that the store was looking for unique brands that were from vendors specializing in more handmade items.

The store is beautifully merchandised with small tables and shelves showcasing each item whether it be jewelry, stuffed animals or a small kit to grow plants. Each was given much care to show them off.

The service could not have been friendlier and it is nice to meet salespeople that take the time not only to learn the merchandise but take the time to explain it to you. That is becoming rarer when you shop.

Lester’s 1534 Second Avenue New York City, NY 10021

1534 Second Avenue
New York City, NY 10021
(212) 734-9292

Open: Monday-Friday 10:00am-7:00pm/Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm/Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm

Five Locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Greenvale, Rye Brook and Westport, CT

I came across Lester’s, a clothing store for children’s, teens and adults when I was walking around the Upper East Side on ‘Day One Hundred & Four’ on my blog “MywalkinManhattan” when I walked this section of the Upper East Side. I saw crowds of school kids coming in and out of the store with their parents and stopped in for look.

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Don’t miss the children’s section

What I discovered was a store that almost sets the tone for what most people would think the Upper East Side teen might want for school, summer camp and casual wear. The store was stocked with all sorts of jeans, tops and shoes for the toddler to teens alike. There are Layette sets for infants and all sorts of accessories around the counters.

Even though the store marks itself as being trendy, I saw most of the clothing look more classic and items that did not go out of style by the next season. The latest styles often revisit older looks in clothing.

What I thought was nice was that they have a complete section for kids going to summer camp along with a registry to fill the orders of each child. You can even order customized stationary and bedding with name-labeling services, including free taping or sewing that is offered on site (Lester’s promotional).


Lester’s is a true neighborhood clothing store for the Upper East Side child

On the side of the store, there are even trendy looks for the ladies with blouses, skirts, jackets, slacks and jeans all beautifully displayed.

The Fall Fashions have hit the store in November 2019 and there are some interesting items at Lester’s. There are logoed tops from vendor Hot Candy that are pretty interesting all done in mute colors. There are colorful bottoms in red, black and grey that caught my eye. The Layette sets for babies are very nicely set up and I watched as one sales associate was personalizing it for a customer.

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Lester’s has many looks and styles

The prices vary by items by season. The styles and label’s also change season by season. The customer service at the store I have noticed is very personal and a lot of the salespeople know their customers by name.


History of Lester’s:

The company started in 1948 by Lester and Lillian Kronfeld on Avenue U in Brooklyn in a tiny 300 foot shop. The current owner, Barry Cohen, who is a nephew of the Kronfeld’s, along with partners currently own the store.

Mr Cohen said, “It was a neighborhood business stocked from floor to ceiling with brand name clothing at discount prices. The owners knew everyone by name. They used to hand deliver items to people’s homes. It was all about customer service.” (New York Family Magazine 2010)

The store’s Manhattan outpost opened in 1992, after the Kronfeld’s noticed that many of their customers grown children were moving from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side with their own families. (New York Family Magazine 2010)

More and More Antiques 378 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10024

More and More Antiques

378 Amsterdam Avenue

New York, NY  10024

(212) 580-8404

Open: Monday-Friday-12:30pm-7:30pm/Saturday 12:00pm-6:00pm/Sunday-11:00am-6:00pm

I have visiting More & More Antiques at 378 Amsterdam Avenue when I was walking the neighborhood for my walking project, “MywalkinManhattan”. The one thing about More & More Antiques is the window displays. They really stand out.

When I first passed the store in early October, the windows had Halloween Ornaments hanging down from the ceiling with small figurines on all the side boards and the whole store glittered in black and orange. All over the store there were items for parties and decorations for the home and the perfect host gifts when arriving at someone’s home.

The store is currently decorated for the holidays and Christmas is in the air. In the windows now are all sorts of Christmas decorations and ornaments that show the creative side of decorating a tree. All sorts of Santa’s and Angels abound the store along side the gifts of candy, small silver pieces,cards, wrapping paper and bows. I even found a tape dispenser in the shape of a cat ($6.50) that I had to buy for a friend.

The store’s owner is a friendly woman dressed to the nines for the Christmas holiday and still hand writes the receipts. She is engaging with the customers and compliments your purchases. The buying she does for the store is a combination of American and European antiques with modern novelty items and creative gifts. Her and her partner could not have been nicer when wrapping my gift.

Her choice of merchandising the store is whimsical without being gaudy and when you walk inside the store now for Christmas you feel like you are inside a giant Christmas tree.

More & More Antiques is fun to just walk past and look at the window displays. The store harks back to a time when there was competition between stores for the most innovative displays and the most engaging service.


more and more antiques

You can’t find a store like this on Amazon.



Icon Style by Lara Kornbluh 104 West 70th Street New York, NY 10023

Icon Style by Lara Kornbluh

104 West 70th Street

New York, NY  10023

(212) 799-0029

Open: Wednesday-Friday-11:00am-8:00pm/Saturday-11:00am-7:00pm/Closed Monday & Tuesday

I came across this unique jewelry shop when walking the lower section of the Upper West Side for my blog, ‘’. This interesting store is on a beautiful tree-lined street studded with brownstones and right near the Broadway shopping district and was founded in 1997.

The store was once upon a time a pharmacy that must date back to the last 1880’s as all the original woodwork and shelving were still intact and incorporated into the design of the store. It is now being used as the display cases for the all beautiful and interesting fine, vintage and costume jewelry that span the decades.

What attracted me to the store was the welcoming entrance and the fact that when you walk into the store, you are greeted not just by the friendly sales people, who could not be more inviting but also by the amount of jewelry and baubles that line the shelves that are displayed as if you were in a jewelry museum.

Items here are reasonably priced for what the item is in way of look and age. Two items that popped out at me was a costume jewelry octopus pin studded with red and green gems ($325) that almost smiled at me to take it home. The other was a multiple colored costume pin ($375) from the early 1900’s that looked almost like a flower with its colorful gems and interesting metal work design and the way it dazzled in the light of the store.

I even got to meet the owner, Lara Kornbluh, an artist who showed in galleries in the 90’s and who held one woman shows in Chelsea. She told me on my latest visit to the store that started to get an interest in jewelry as a way to earn extra money while she was showing her work at the galleries at the time. She even told me the story of how her contractor wanted to rip out all the wonderful turn of the century shelving that gives the store it unique look. She was right when she said that it represented ‘Old New York’.

All along the display cases are lined with all sorts of styles and colors of rings, bracelets, necklaces and pins of all shapes, size, designs and colors. If you are looking for that different style to mix and match with clothes, this is a good store to start in. If you are look for a complimentary piece of jewelry to something you may have inherited from your mother, grandmother or aunt, this is the perfect store to look for something to match or add to the look.

There is also a small array of vintage clothes, hats and purses in the back of the store that are unique and beautifully displayed for the customers.

Ms. Kornbluh has opened a store for those who are looking for the unique and one of a kind and makes an effort as a shop keeper to engage her customers in the pride of her store, the jewelry itself.  This is not a service you would see on Amazon but she is now working on a new website herself so that the beauty of these items can be seen all over the world.

Still come into the store when you are on the Upper West Side just to enjoy that store and atmosphere of being in a jewelry palace.

Mahir Floral & Event Designs 156 West 28th Street New York, NY 10001

Mahir Floral & Event Designs

156 West 28th Street

New York, NY  10001

Phone: (212) 686-1999

Open: Monday-Saturday-7:00am-6:00pm/Sunday: 8:00am-4:00pm


I was passing this unique little flower shop in the middle of the ‘Flower District’ in New York City right near the Fashion Institute of Technology campus. What attracted me to the shop was the beautiful and colorful displays of plants and potted bushes on the store’s sidewalk  and stylish bouquets of flowers they had for sale outside the front door. That lead me to want to walk in and see what the store was all about.

Mahir Floral & Event Design is more than just commercial and event planning although they do both. Their retail aspect of the store is quite unique in the display merchandise they carry, all the stones, shells, glassware and pottery that they use for display and for holding the flowers. It is not the run of the mill vase they use. It could be a stone sculpture to hold one flower, a multi-color hand blown vase to arrange a centerpiece or a large floral display to cascade down a table with shells and glassware.

Their services include corporate displays, weddings, office displays on a rotating basis and will even do store window displays. Check out their catalog on the front desk to see some of the designs that they have created in the past for company events and their online pictures.

What really attracted me when I got into the store is all the elegant and contemporary merchandise that lines the shelves and walls of the store. From an juxtaposed vase with many colors to crystal rocks of all shapes, sizes and colors to hold flowers or decorate a place setting to special candies and candles for host presents each gift had a certain special touch to it. The way they display items makes you want to buy.

Some of the picturesque touches around the store are the cherry blossom displays from floor to ceiling in the front and back of the store, the way they mix and max their smaller and larger gifts so that you see where you can give add on or multiple gifts in the future. Their display case of fresh flowers is just as nicely set up with colors, sizes and types of freshly cut flowers ready for them to add their magic to a bouquet to take home.

Take time to look at all the items in the store as there are many gift ideas for everyday and for the holidays. From potted plants to cactus in its own display case you will find the unique gift here.

This is not a store of the old “Flower District”. Mahir Floral & Event Design showcases flowers and plants like jewels  at Cartier. It shows them at their colorful best.

The flowers do change with the season so ask for assistance in the store. The people who work here are very nice.