Friday, August 6, 2010

Love and Other Fabrics

"Love is a fabric that never fades, no matter how often it is
washed in the water of adversity and grief."

Dear Friends: Zoe and I were looking through our superb collection of clothing (to find more and more things to put on our phenomenal sale...thanks to all of you who have been emptying our sale racks and making it possible for us to have room for all the great new finds...) and it made me think of my deep and long-standing love affair with fabric. And that, of course, made me look around for some wonderful fabric quotes, like the one above. I do not know who said it originally, but I'm sure that the person knew a bit about fabric, not to mention love, adversity and grief.

Here at ArtsEcho Galleria, we believe in wonderful fabric. Some of the clothing we have here in our charming little shop is made from fabric that almost makes me want to weep, it is so beautiful. I have been searching for great fabric for almost 40 years...all over the world. I had the privilege of traveling widely while performing in places that most (normal) people never get to go to, like Isfahan, Mashad & Khorramshahr (in Iran...pre-Khomeini), Dubrovnik (on the Adriatic coast in the former Yugoslavia), Vishakapatnam, India (on the bay of Bengal) Gauhati & Shillong (North-Eastern India, past Bangladesh), not to mention towns in Thailand, South Korea, southern Taiwan and many, many more places. For a long time, I was performing a program for the US State Department all over the world that traced the story of American history through our wonderful folk songs (from songs like "Greensleeves" that pre-date Columbus' voyages to "Pollution" by Tom Lehrer...still, unfortunately, very current).

When I wasn't onstage or out meeting the incredible people in these countries, I was searching for fabrics to use in making my contemporary art quilts.

Here are a few of the pure silk quilts that I've made over the years:

sandra blue quilt s green quilt

And here I am with a quilt that I made for my son, Roy, called "Sinister Beauty". It reflects the exquisite sunsets in times of war, when bombs raise huge quantities of dust and the light at sunset turns bright orange/ that the skies are painfully beautiful and horrifying at the same time.

Now, just so you don't think I've used all of our qorgeous fabrics in my quilts, here are a few photos of our wonderful clothes that are all ready to be purchased and worn. That's Zoe in a Dotted Swiss Eyelet dress from about 1952 (this is a real "I Love Lucy" dress):

And here is Laura in a vintage Silk & Sequin green top (with the ubiquitous jeans):
laura green sequins

And here is Laura again in a Cotton Eyelet lined and floral printed jacket:
laura eyelet

Our wonderful sale, 50% - 70% off, is going on! We are adding more and more things every day (including some amazing fabrics) so stop by to check it out...

Warm regards,
Sandra and the marvelous people who spend a good part of their week here at ArtsEcho Galleria, Zoe, Liana, Yara, Laura (back to college this week!), Nao, Heather, Sylvia, Shenella & Lina.

PS: DEXTER LANE!!!! is that phenomenal Weehawken photographer who exhibits some of his incredible NY scenes here at ArtsEcho Galleria. Well, Dexter's amazing panoramas are now on display in a HUGE new display area in Port Authority (the 9th Ave side). Dex is the FIRST artist to exhibit his work in the new P. A. Gallery. Go Dexter!! Check out Dex's work here.

PPS: Our summer hours are M-F 12-7 and Sat 12 - 6. I'll be here all day tomorrow if you want to stop in and say "hi". Yes, still at 3809 Park Ave, across from the Pathmark parking lot and still at 201-617-1110.

PPPS: Make sure you visit our website! It's getting quite edgy...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Modern Women...Vintage Clothing...S(ECO)ND chances...

Dear Friends:
We women at ArtsEcho Galleria are all modern women (yes, even me...).  We're all whizzes on computers...we all earn money (well...), we all text (most of us...), we download cool apps...and we all LOVE vintage modern can you get?

Lately we've been getting a lot of "real" vintage clothing (as our connections continue to widen).  We have stunning flow-y 1980's polyester dresses and secretary blouses with ties, amazing 1970's cowgirl and square dance dresses (from Kentucky and other Appalachian hotspots), and here is a truly lovely 1960's Kennedy-era wedding dress in the classic "shift" style with all its buttons and lace...held by a very modern Yara (notice the cool tattoos...).

yara and wedding gownBut (lest they feel left out) we also love our "near-new" items...that perfect white Banana Republic shirt, the Gap linen pants, the gorgeous (and exquisitely crafted) Tahari blazer.  They mean a lot to us and we work very hard to find them.  We hand pick every piece, check thoroughly, replace or change buttons, repair, clean and do whatever needs to be done.  And sometimes you can buy the piece of your dreams for as little as $4 - $6 (if it's on sale or you know the secret word).  You get a fabulous, wearable item of clothing, we get your support (for the wonderful artistic things we do), and the planet gets to breathe a little easier.
The concept of recycling textiles is just over 200 years old and began in England (shortly after they lost the Revolutionary War to us...maybe it had to do with all those Red Coats).  
Now, you're probably reading this sitting down.  If not, please sit for the next bit.  More than ONE MILLION TONS of textiles are thrown away every year!!!!!!!!!  That's TWO BILLION POUNDS of clothing!!!!  That's 909,090,909 kilos!!!!!!  And soooo much of it is in near-perfect condition and could be used again (and again).  So, aren't you glad to know that we modern women at our charming little shoppe are doing our bit to save the planet?  And so are you!

Warm regards,

sylviaSandra and the valiant ArtsEcho Galleria team: Yara, Zoe (back from Nova Scotia), Liana (styling a photo-shoot tomorrow with some 2d4 (told you I was modern) vintage clothes & lingerie), Sylvia, Heather, Lina, Laura (who already has a remarkable collection of vintage clothing and a great eye), Shenella, Claude (pronounced Clau-day...our Math intern for the show "Arithmetickles") and Nao.  
PS:  Speaking of modern young women who love vintage clothing, here is the delightful Sylvia, in a blue & black jumpsuit...vintage, of course.

naoPPS:  And here is Nao (pronounced "now") who is working hard, updating our website with all of the cool things we have.

PPPS:  Our summer hours are 12-7, M-F and 12-6 on Saturday.  We're at 3809 Park Avenue and you can reach us at 201-617-1110.

PPPPS:  We have been SOOOO busy today!  Must be the lovely weather!  Tomorrow is going to be beautiful, too.  Hope to see you here.

PPPPPS:  You can also sign up for ArtsEcho on Twitter and we will (pardon the expression) TWEET YOU!

Friday, July 23, 2010

WOMEN (and the vote!) and MEN (and jewelry!)

Dear Friends:

Well, the weather is still not cooperating.  My friend Google told me that the temperature tomorrow is going to reach...are you ready?...100 degrees!!  (However, it's very pleasant and quite cool here at ArtsEcho Galleria, so don't be afraid to come on in!)  There's a wonderful song called "We're Havin' A Heat Wave" by Irving Berlin made famous by the phenomenal Ella Fitzgerald.  The lyrics and tune have been in my mind for about 10 days now, and I think I'll be hearing them for quite a while longer.  Ah, summertime... (oops, that's by George Gershwin with lyrics by his brother, Ira Gershwin).

It was a bit of a gamble to schedule a concert for July and SUCH a disappointment to have to postpone it (Diego Garcia &amp) but Diego emailed me from Madrid and promised that he will save a date for ArtsEcho Galleria as soon as he is back in the States...I'll let you all know.

In the meantime, I want to announce an event on August 18!!

In addition to being the 2nd birthday of my adorable grandson Matthew Charles (lucky brother of the charming 4 year old, Gracie), August 18 is also the 90th Anniversary of the day we women in the US got the vote!  NOW THAT IS A REASON TO CELEBRATE!! We will be having a HUGE SALE and I, personally, will be glad to lecture anyone about women's rights and the history of the feminist and suffrage movements in the US.  OK, OK, if you promise to come, I won't lecture. Everything in the shop (other than antiques and artwork) will be on a HUGE 35%-70% discount!!!   In the photo is Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who wrote the Declaration for the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848.  We owe a lot to her and to other women like her.  I don't know if I would have had the nerve to do what they did.  I hope so, but I'm not so sure.


We have a TON of fabulous new jewelry and clothing here at our charming little shop AND the great sale continues on summer things that are 50-70% off!  (Thanks to all who have braved the weather, including that refreshing rainstorm today, and came in to shop!)  That's Liana by the jewelry pyramid, and also with Raquelle (who is wearing a new beaded orange necklace, lacy blouse, black/white skirt and huge linen hair clip).

  liana with pyramidLiana and Raquelle

Oh yes!  Here is our new MEN'S DEPARTMENT for all of you who have been requesting it for the past two years:

 men's jewelry

I know, I know, not exactly what you were expecting...but these are really cool stainless steel bracelets (...the latest thing for guys...) and we couldn't resist them...

Warm regards,
Sandra and the wonderful young women who work at ArtsEcho Galleria...Liana, Yara, Zoe (returning from Nova Scotia this week) and our volunteers and interns, Shenella, Nao, Heather, Claude, Sylvia, Lina, Laura and Mey.

PS:  And thanks to Ben, my husband/partner and Artistic Director of ArtsEcho.  Ben is currently booking "Arithmetickles", (our amazing interactive math assembly show) throughout the US for all of the next school year.  Please pass this info on to all who many be interested as dates are going fast!  You can find info on the show at

PPS:  Our summer hours are M-F 12 - 7 & Sat 12 - 6.  We're at 3809 Park Ave and you can reach us at 201-617-1110.

PPPS:  We need MODEL TYPES of all sizes to dress up fabulously and parade on Park Ave and Boulevard East to promote our wonderful store and artistic mission.  We'll give you ARTSECHO FUNNY MONEY to spend here for an hour or two of your time!

PPPPS:  Here's me on the phone as usual (under some photos of actors who have performed "Arithmetickles" over the years):

PPPPPS:  And for those of you who need your Guy-fix, here he is with Martha:
guy and martha

Friday, July 9, 2010

Living a Frugal, Eco-Cool (and Happy) Life

Dear Friends:
I always thought that my parents should I say this...CHEAP...that's the word.

That's what we use to call people (in the olden days) who reused things or used them up.  When I was a kid I thought this was not cool.  I grew up in the 50s and early 60s when gasoline was forever ( was 32 cents/gallon in April, 1965, when I got my driving license) and nothing could possibly happen to air and water...they were infinite and would always stay clean.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

That was my parents' motto.  They had gone through the Great Depression and then World War II and were simple, honest, hard-working people.  They managed to buy a small house and save money so their 2 daughters could go to college.

Nowadays, we call people like my parents eco-savvy or green, and it's very fashionable.  Today people in the know are eco-friendly and eco-conscious and dress with eco-chic.  They use green design and green technology and even green toilets (as in low-flush...not that awful avocado color so popular in the 60s.)

I am thrilled that I live in this eco-world and, in addition to the little poem above, my own motto is "make it better and/or make sure someone else can use it"...and there you have recycling and the specialty of the house at ArtsEcho Galleria, UPCYCLING!

Maybe that's why I have always been drawn to making and creating things to wear and use and saving money for really important things, (like opening our charming little store).  Without this philosophy, we wouldn't be celebrating two years in our lovely little enclave today and you wouldn't get to buy things that are of the highest quality (and often cost more than 10 times what we sell them for).  Not to mention the jewelry...

Warm regards,
Sandra and the lovely, friendly and dedicated ArtsEcho Galleria team, Zoe, Liana, Yara, Ben and our interns and volunteers, Lina, Laura, Claude, Shanella, Sylvia, Heather, Nao, Mey and Sophia.  What a wonderful crew!  Here are a few new photos:

zoe at market
Zoe at the Jersey City Hamilton Park Festival and Market.

liana pink dress
Liana in Pink Vintage.

PS:  If you get this in time, please come on over to ArtsEcho Galleria to have a piece of birthday cake.  It has purple and yellow roses on it!  We are at 3809 Park Ave, as always.

PPS:  We have SUMMER HOURS!  We'll be open from 12-7 every day (except Saturday, which is 12 - 6) until Labor Day.

PPPS:  Remember the Diego Garcia concert on July 22 at 7.  I, personally, cannot wait.

PPPPS:  Here is a smiling Guy for all of you who need the weekly fix:

Friday, July 2, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US...and the return of DIEGO GARCIA, the magnificent!

Dear Friends:
I often wish that I were a "planner"...that I could schedule our concerts and events at least two years in advance, have all the dates in a calendar, advertise well ahead of time, and prepare everything beforehand. Alas, this quality has eluded me. Instead, I tend (ready for some cliches?) to fly by the seat of my pants, play it by ear, and occasionally even go with the flow.

diego rivera
Makes life a bit difficult but really much more exciting. An example: last winter, when our Zoe said that her husband (bassist extraordinaire Nicholas) worked with an incredible guitarist from Madrid who was in NY for a little while, we jumped on a date to host this amazing musician here at the Galleria. Many of you remember the concert that Diego Garcia performed and the many encores he had to play to a very excited audience here.

Well, Diego is back in the States for a few days in July and will be playing a repeat concert (by huge popular demand!) right here at ArtsEcho Galleria, this time together with Nicholas. Thursday, July 22 is the date, at 7pm...brilliant music, food, neighbors...and all of us!



Next Friday we hope that you'll all stop by (and have some birthday cake!) to wish us YOU-KNOW-WHAT. We are turning TWO YEARS OLD! And, thanks to your support (not to mention your many purchases from our wonderful collection of jewelry, bags, accessories, clothing and artwork) we are looking forward to an even more exciting YEAR THREE here in our charming little enclave on Park Avenue. Here are some examples of fabulous new jewelry on new (to ArtsEcho) vintage sewing forms...

Warm regards,
Sandra and the ArtsEcho Galleria team, Zoe, Liana, Ben, Yara, Claude, Shanella, Sylvia, Lina, Laura and Nao...all good, hard-working, positive-thinking, fun-having people.

PS: Many thanks, as well, to the wonderful folk at the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs for their continuing recognition, friendship and support.

PPS: And thanks to the Hudson Reporter and Palisade Magazine and the other print and online magazines who have been so kind and generous to us over the past two years. We are thinking up lots of new (and terrific) ideas that we hope you won't be able to resist publicizing!

PPPS: Have a happy and safe July 4th!! Congratulations to this incredible country now celebrating its 234th year of Peacefully Passing Power! That is quite an accomplishment.

PPPPS: We are, of course, at 3809 Park Ave in UC across from the Weehawken Pathmark parking lot. You can reach us at 201-617-1110. We're open on Monday!

PPPPPS: Guy (who finished Liana's lunch when she was busy helping a customer) says hello and woof-woof to his many fans...(although possibly not Liana...)

Friday, June 11, 2010

When You're Having This Much Fun, TIME SOARS (or) We Are Almost 2 YEARS OLD!!

Dear Friends:
I know, I know...I missed a week.

Well, I was really busy buying wonderful new jewelry, LOTS of great clothing, ordering zebra gift boxes, visiting with family, learning new software, watering the flowers, tomatoes & avocado plants in front of our charming little shoppe, taking my visiting sister-in-law to see Cape May, and also, I got a little...(how should I put this?)...lazy... Ah well...

I was also planning our 2nd BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!! Yes, July will be TWO YEARS that we are here in Union City!! You will all be invited to celebrate with us (an ArtsEcho zebra pinata...with Hershey's kisses perhaps?) and any other good ideas that we can steal (I mean appropriate). Here's what a quick Google (a quoogle) turned up:

The Swedes are are served breakfast in bed on their birthdays. (We don't have a bed here...cake on the pink couch?) In Scotland, kids get a smack on the bottom from everyone at the party for each year. In the Niger Republic, there are huge birthday parties hundreds of guests and everyone eats rice mixed with tomatoes, red peppers, onions and cassava.

China is big on symbolism so extra long noodles for long life are served. Malaysians get small red packets filled with money (that sounds good) ...better than in Nepal where a rice/yogurt mixture is smeared on the forehead for good luck. The Vietnamese celebrate birthdays in the Kentucky Derby fashion...everyone's birthday is on New Year's Day. The Germans light birthday candles in the morning and keep them lit all day long while the Irish lift the poor kid up in the air, turn them upside down and bump their head on the floor. In Argentina they pull on the earlobes for each year, and in Ecuador guests receive recordatorio which loosely translates into "goody bags".

But my all time favorite so far: in Nova Scotia, (where our Zoe hails from), the birthday kid is ambushed and his or her nose is rubbed in grease for good luck. Now THAT's what I call a fun birthday celebration!

Don't worry...we won't be greasing anyone's nose here (I'll make Zoe promise to restrain herself)...but we will have lots of fun. Actually, we always have fun here...seriously.

Don't miss the FABULOUS article by Lana Rose Diaz in the Hudson Reporter this week about our Sustainable Fashion show with lots and lots of great photos. It'll shortly be online as well at the Hudson Reporter.
Warm regards,
Sandra and the friendly, fun-loving, hard-working ArtsEcho Galleria team, Zoe, Liana, Yara, Ben, Claude, Lina, Shanella & Laura.
PS: If you're in Jersey City tomorrow, look for us in Hamilton Park at the 25th Anniversary Festival!
PPS: We're at 3809 Park Ave in Union City right across from the Pathmark Parking lot (between 38th and 39th).
PPPS: Guy on an antique, hand painted wooden Chinese horse:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Creativity...(sometimes known as getting off your backside & doing something interesting.)

Dear Friends:

You may have noticed the change in our lovely little windows recently.

A while ago, when I felt like I was chained to this computer for far too many weeks, I took 1/2 a day off. (I can hear the cries of shock resonating throughout the neighborhood from those of you who think I live here and sleep on the pink couch...) I took what we used to call a "busman's holiday" and went to the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum in NYC. Among the amazing gowns displayed there by designers such as Ralph Rucci, Charles James, Yeohlee, Claire McCardell and many others, I noticed that all of the mannequins have movable wooden arms and hands. Talk about cool!

ArtsEcho Galleria has become home to two of these mannequins and here is the result:
The marvelous people who work here are amazing stylists...edgy, thoughtful, knowledgeable, fashion-conscious and also fashion-wise (we don't do "fashion victim" here). Which means that we can help you achieve the look you need, whether for a wedding (as the bride or a guest), a prom, a party, work or fun. Especially fun! It seems like everything we do here is fun. That's good.

Back to Creativity. You'll notice (hopefully) the two bags in the window in the top photo. They are a result of a wild burst of creativity on my part (and Zoe telling me that she wanted to buy a cross-body bag in NY the other day but it was hundreds of $$$'s and "not even leathuh!" (to quote Joan Cusack in "Working Girl")). I have a huge collection of silks and gorgeous leathers in all colors. This is the basis of the "Sustainable Couture" line that we are working on. I took some of the soft Nappa leather and made these sweet little bags. I had so much fun doing it that I hope to have several more done by Tuesday. They are priced at $48 and are TOTALLY ONE-OF-A-KIND-YOU-WILL-NEVER-SEE-ANOTHER-ONE-LIKE-IT-ANYWHERE-IN-THE-WORLD-ON-ANYONE-EVER (since they are all based on my imagination and sewing skills):
blue bag in window

Speaking of Tuesday, we are closed on Monday, Memorial Day, in honor of those who died to keep the people of this amazing country free, united, and protected by a Constitution. I am against Memorial Day Sales. I think there should be at least one day a year in which we are more important as citizens than as consumers.

Warm regards,
Sandra and the hard-working, talented, fashionable and knowledgeable people who work, intern and volunteer here at ArtsEcho Galleria, Zoe, Liana, Ben, Yara, Lina, Claude, Shanella, (and Crystal, working from Maine, and whom we all miss terribly, especially me).

PS: Volunteers! We need you!! You will get great "Funny Money" that you can spend here on our wonderful collection, even our spectacular and unique silver jewelry. We have a lot of new things as we sold almost everything last week at a wonderful flea market in West New York...yay!!!!)

PPS: As always, we're here at 3809 Park Ave from M-W 11-7, Th-F 11-8, Sat 10-6. You can reach us at 201-617-1110.

PPPS: Don't forget that you can host an ArtsEcho Galleria Jewelry Party (with all your friends or co-workers...or both) and have lots of fun and also make 10% IN CASH of everything sold! We will come to you...

PPPPS: Here's a photo of Guy for all who asked:
guy with einstein

PPPPPS: If those links above don't work, just Google!!