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.


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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.



Bon Vivant 231 East 58th Street New York, NY 10022

Bon Vivant

231 East 58th Street

New York, NY 10022

(646) 481-4044

Open: Sunday and Monday Closed/Tuesday-Friday 9:30pm-7:30pm/Saturday 9:30am-6:30pm

My review on TripAdvisor:


I thought Bon Vivant was such an interesting little pastry shop to come across when I was visiting the Turtle Bay neighborhood for my blog, “”. It is so unassuming from the street but such a little delight from the inside.

The store is a small pastry shop specializing in Petit Fours of various flavors in two different sizes and small pastries. The small cakes look like works of art in small cases. There were a few decisions that I faced between the Lemon or the Lavender cake, a few small ones ($3.50) or one large one ($6.50) but with the help of the woman at the counter I decided on the Lavender.

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Tiny Lavender Cake

The Lavender cake was sweet without being overwhelming. The light white cake was filled with a combination of Lavender flower and Lavender flavoring. It had a perfumed sweetness in that you could taste the Lavender but it did not taste like the usual artificial flavorings that you might be used to in these cakes. She told me that it was the use of the Lavender leaves infused into the filling that gave it the intense sweet flavor. What ever it was it was delicious.

On my second trip to Bon Vivant on an extremely hot day, I cooled down with one of their Lemon Zest Petit Fours ($6.20) which was a small cake with a lemon juice infused center covered with a lemon icing and a small purple flower on top. I was it down with a Sanpellegrino Limonata ($2.00). The tartness of the drink mixed nicely with the sweetness of the cake and really brought out the lemon flavor in each bite. It was the perfect pick me up after lunch.

On my third trip to the pastry shop after a large Chinese meal, I finished off lunch with one of their Rose Petit Fours ($4.50). This delightful little pink cake was infused with Rose extract and topped with a sweet sugar rose. With each bite, you could tasted the Rose flavoring and the cake even smelled like a rose. The gentleman working there that afternoon said the real rose petals were too strong for the American customer and they might not like that strong flavor. Still it was perfumed and had a nice sweetness to it.

The store itself it beautiful. It is a small space with a few tables with clear chairs to match the tables. The cakes are displayed on a side board where they are lined like colorful jewels each with a small place card and tiny flowers displayed on top. Going up the stairs to where you buy your food is a small chandelier that gives it that extra touch that you feel like you are in a tiny French tea room. It is fun to sit at the top of the stairs and people watch.


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The cakes in a gift pack displayed beautifully

There are many flavors of cakes to choose from and it will be interesting for future visits.

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)

Folly 157 East 71st Street New York, NY 10021


157 East 71st Street

New York, NY  10021

(917) 751-7293


Hours: Monday-Friday-11:00am-7:00pm/Saturday & Sunday-11:00am-5:00pm

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Folly is a cute little gift shop on the Upper East Side

I came across the gift shop, Folly, when I was walking the lower part of the Upper East Side for my blog, “” and visited it a couple of times when I was in the neighborhood. It is a elegant and beautifully designed shop by owner, Emily Hottensen. Ms. Hottensen runs  this delightful shop at the lower lever of an Upper East Side brownstone, which adds to the uniqueness of the design and makes it very welcoming to the customer.

When you walk through the door, you are greeted by her partner, her little dog whose charm adds to the customer service experience. Her dog knows how to charm a potential customer by licking your leg and expecting a belly rub. I could not resist and fell in love with the dog! The owner says that every customer who walks in becomes the dogs new best friend.

The design of the store is done in cool clean lines and displays the merchandise on shelves in a juxtaposed way. Candy is mixed in with books and lamps are by pillows all displayed in a way to show off the individual merchandise by color and design. Beautifully boxed chocolates ($40.00 for large/$10.00 for small) with motives of buildings and of horses make the perfect house-warming or host present along with items as decorative bottle openers (various prices) to add to a bottle of wine or for gourmet sodas that one might bring as a gift for dinner. Sets of colorful napkins both cloth and paper are the perfect party gift.

There are various pillows, lamps, candy dishes and bowls (various prices) that would add that extra touch of color or personality to a room as well as books of many subjects that would accent any coffee table for a reader of design and county living. The pillows come in various sizes and colors and the designs would cheer up the gloomiest couch.

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Smaller gifts such as napkins, place settings and napkin holders are placed on the table in the middle of the store to show off how they can be used in a setting. There are also beaded purses and clutches and a variety of modern jewelry for sale.

Here and there there are many items, large and small, to admire and the best part of the shop is that is small and intimate so that you can see the whole store from one location and zero in on the merchandise that you most admire.


Folly is a great store when you need to pick up a last minute gift for a party or just want to add a little splash to your living space. Just to see her dog again is a pleasure and a reason to enter this wonderful little shop housed in a small brownstone with unique merchandise at very fair prices for the Upper East Side.

The owner informed me that more merchandise for the holidays will be coming in soon.

Cotelac 983 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10021


983 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY  10021

(212) 288-0400


Monday-Saturday: 10:30am-6:30pm/Sunday: 12:00pm-5:00pm

I came across this unique clothing and accessories store when walking the lower part of the Upper East Side for my project “”. I was attracted by the beautiful clothing designs in the windows. It just lured me in with classic tailored look and vibrant colors and patterns to the clothes.


Clean elegant store with vibrant colored clothing

When I walked into Cotelac, I was taken by the clean lines and elegant displays that I thought was unusual for this part of Lexington Avenue. I thought this shop would be located on Madison Avenue or maybe in SoHo. The clothing had a sporty, casual elegance to it and the motives of the clothes were different from the other stores in the area. The prices were also not outrageous as they might be on Madison Avenue. Blouses and skirts start between $85.00 to $245.00 US dollars. By wearable and very affordable. The store is for the woman who likes an elegance classic look without being too dressy.

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Cotelac Fall 2019

When I talked to the saleswoman there, she said that the designer was from France and the store was part of a French chain that is located all over the world, it made more sense to me. I was attracted to a sporty blue and white nautical looking lightweight jacket and top combo that would not look out of place on a teenager or an adult. After two years in working at Macy’s Juniors Department, this look belonged on a active individual who dressed for the office and for going out for the afternoon or evening.

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Cotelac Fall 2019

They have a very striking Fall 2019 collection in the stores.

History of Cotelac:


The Cotelac brand includes two lines: woman and man, designed by Raphaelle Cavalli and her internal style office. Her clothes are characterized by a sustained attention to the textile material as well as a meticulous work, close to the crafts, on the treatments of tissues. Cotelac often uses several types of fabrics for the same garment.

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Cotelac Dress Fall 2019

In the ready-to-wear sector, the brand is positioned on the high-end, all generations. For her designer, Cotelac, “Dresses an active woman, a little bohemian, who likes beautiful clothes, not complicated, easy to live and wear.”

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Cotelac Fall 2019


Cotelac was founded by Raphaelle Cavalli, a stylist and Pierre Pernod, previously creator of the brand ‘tehen’.

Raphaelle Cavalli studied in the textile section of the Beaux-Arts in Lyon, where she already worked on fabric. She completed her research with a training at the School of Textile Engineers of Lyon. In the late Eighties, she joined ‘tehen’, directed by Pierre Pernod. She deepened her work on the subject, especially mesh. This fabric is the centerpiece of the first collection, launched in 1993.

The name, ‘Cotelac’, comes from its creation, near Lake Nantau. In 2010, the brand built a new site in Amberieu-en-Bugey, bringing together production and the company’s headquarters. In 2004, Cotelac launched a new line, ‘Acote’, intended for a younger audience. His style is entrusted to Baptiste Viry, in tandem with Raphaelle Cavalli.


The Amberieu plant remains at the heart of the production process and the Cotelac ‘trademark’, including the famous pleating machines. Its creators also consider their activity and the know-how oft he brand on the mode of ‘industrial crafts’.


In 1993, the year of its creation, Cotelac opened 8 stores in France, Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Annecy, Aix-en-Provence and Bordeaux. It now has 56, including 11 Acote stores, in 47 cities. Since 2004, the brand has been setting up abroad and already has some 30 points of sale in Europe (Spain, Germany, and Switzerland), the United States and Asia (Taiwan, China, Japan and Korea).


Cotelac has entrusted its image to several renowned artists, such as Ellen Kooi and Sarah Moon.

For several years now, the brand has also been involved in promoting young, unsigned, independent artists as part of a partnership with the Roy Music label. Each year, its creators select a ‘coup de coeur’, which they publish a CD with four titles, distributed free in the store. The brand has produced four artists (Jil Is Lucky, Onili and Hangar and Olivier Marois), many of which have since been successful.

In addition, in partnership with Kiblind magazine, Cotelac offers young graphic designers and illustrators the opportunity to interpret the brand artistically. An original creation is thus diffused in each number. Since 2009, several artists have participated in the operation, including Bettina Henni, Domitille Leca, Brecht Evens or the Montreal collective Chateau-Vacant. Cotelac regularly organizes exhibitions in its stores.


Check out their website for all locations.

Disclaimer: This information comes from both the Cotelac website and Wiki. Please check their website at for the full line and prices.


Tiny Doll House 314 East 78th Street New York, NY 10075

Tiny Doll House

314 East 78th Street

New York, NY  10075

(212) 744-3719

Hours: Monday-Sunday 11:00am-4:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

I discovered this store for the first time on my walking project, ‘’, when I was walking the Upper East Side. Coming from the Toy Industry (I worked for FAO Schwarz for four years in both main New York store on Fifth Avenue and the Minneapolis store for four months in 1987), I recognized the beauty and fun of the Tiny Doll House.

When I walked in I was greeted by a woman who explaining the store to another customer. One side of the store has all sorts of things to decorate a dollhouse that were all handmade like dolls, food, furniture and accessories that would be the envy of any home. Even the paints to put over a doll house mantle were hand painted (or at least looked that way).

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The walls are lined with all sorts of treasures for the home

Each of the handmade cases of merchandise are done by theme to decorate the dollhouse to make it a home for the holidays. There were specialty cases for Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter and Christmas. There were even cases dedicated to food, dolls, toys, cooking, gardening and Victorian furnishings and items from later years like books, records and radios. Admire each little case for the detail work.

The other side of the store had behind it’s cases the more commercial items that come from well-known vendors in the industry. They have their own unique look to them. Here the furniture and accessories have their own beauty and detail to them.

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Beautiful handmade furnishings

You will find small candlesticks, furniture for every room in the house, every type of food and dishes to line the dining room and kitchen tables, tiny pillows, small portraits, wash basins, TV’s and radios and every type of decorative item so that no two houses are ever the same.

The back of the store is dedicated to more commercial furnishings that are factory made but no less impressive and you can find working lamps and clocks. It really is a store to explore and you can furnish your dollhouse to your own taste.

The store is also lined with dollhouses in all shapes and sizes to fill with items from the store. You can go for a modern look or a Victorian design depending on the house and your own imagination. These houses can go anywhere from $300 to $1200 US dollars.

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The dollhouses range in size and design

As the woman behind the counter told me, this is the last of these type of stores but I am glad it is here. Who would not want a dollhouse of their own? The people that work here you can tell have experience as designers as well and it shows when they have you furnish this second home for your enjoyment.