Saturday, December 26, 2009

An (Almost) End-of-Year Letter From Your Favorite Local Boutique/Art Gallery/Cabaret ( who else could it be?)

Dear Friends:

Art will get you through times of no money
Better than money will get you through times of no art...

Have you ever thought what our lives would be like without the arts in all their vast and varied glory?

There would be no Mozart, no Phoenix, no Beatles, no Abba
There would be no film or Gone With the Wind, no MadMen, no Friends
There would be no Meryls, no Denzels, no Carys, no Audreys
There would be no oral history, no creative use of language
There would be no Jane Austen, no Pablo Neruda, no Mark Twain
There would be no jokes, no Chris Rock, no hilarious stories
There would be no painting or Monets, no DaVincis, no Kahlos
There would be no useful objects, beautifully made
There would be no warm and inviting houses to shelter and form us
There would be no lovely fabric or jewelry with which to adorn ourselves
There would be no paella, no sushi, no ArtsEcho cheesecake!

Art is all of the creative accomplishments that have been achieved by ourselves and the twenty billion people who have gone before us on this planet. Art is of the highest importance in making our lives livable, enjoyable, meaningful, understandable.

This is our (possibly not too subtle, but only once a year) way of asking you to make an end-of-year, totally tax-exempt contribution to our extremely worthy non-profit organization, ArtsEcho. We use our charming, neighborhood-uplifting and warm little shop to present the most marvelous artists in our gallery (and sell their work with no commission). And as many of you know, we convert ourselves into a cabaret every so often to produce and present fantastic concerts right here since we believe that there is great value in experiencing superb live music in a close and intimate setting (for FREE)! All of this is done on the proverbial shoe-string budget by good people who care a great deal about art, community, our neighborhood, and the future. And just so we never get bored (LOL) we also produce and present the math show "Arithmetickles" for school assembly audiences thoughout the US.

If you want your donations to have a STRONG LOCAL IMPACT and to go to an organization that will use EVERY SINGLE PENNY of your contribution to promote its mission (and not to fly its Executive Director off to a meeting in the South of France...hmmm, that doesn't sound too bad), please consider making a donation to ArtsEcho. We are a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and official New Jersey charity, and will IMMEDIATELY provide you with a lovely letter (for Uncle Sam) signed by me (the one who's not going to the South of France...darn).

Here are a few pictorial reminders of who we are, how hard we work, and how much fun we have doing it:


That's Karina after dressing her BFF, Raquelle, in a perfect-for-New-Year's-Eve-outfit; a surprised Arianna putting a scarf on the "lady lamp"; me at my desk after I cleaned it (!), and Ben F. demonstrating a new, handmade feather headband.

We wish you all a delightful Holiday season, a productive and healthy New Year (more on that next week) and time to relax and enjoy the good things in life.

Warm regards, Sandra and the ArtsEcho Galleria team, Lil (returning from Florida today), Crystal (snowmobiling in Maine), Ben, Arianna, Karina & Lina.

PS: Oh yes, "ArtsEcho" goes on the dotted line...and the address is 3809 Park Avenue, Union City, NJ 07087.

PPS: All this week our wonderful collection of clothing is on a TWOFER sale! That's TwoFer One Price!

PPPS: This week we're open M-W 11-7, Thurs 11-whenever (New Year's Eve...), closed Friday (January 1st...sleep, sleep, sleep!) and open Saturday 10-6. You can reach us at 201-617-1110 if you are as confused as I am.

PPPPS: More soon about the ArtsEcho Galleria exhibit in the Brennan County Courthouse Rotunda Gallery (this is a BIG honor for us!) opening on January 11. It's called "ART VIVO! A Wealth of New Jersey Artists" (and truer words were never spoken).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Why Are We Smiling At ArtsEcho Galleria?

Dear Friends:

Question: Why is our Arianna smiling in the following photo?
Answer: Because she is wearing one of our new, handmade white MINK headbands (you can't see the jewels and feathers on it, but they are there...) (Also, she's glad that she is standing next to peacock feathers and not the whole peacock.)

Question: Why is our Lil smiling in the following photo?
Answer: Because that ArtsEcho Gift Certificate says $1,000,000! (And, as you all know, Lil is worth every penny.) You, too, can get an ArtsEcho Gift Certificate (in a lovely envelope and adorable gift bag like the one in the photo) for $25 or $50 or $100, that the special person(s) in your life can choose from among our amazing collection of gorgeous things like some of these great bags and scarves...(or even that vintage Sputnik lamps from the 60s!)

Last one:

Question: Why are we ALL smiling at ArtsEcho Galleria this week?

Answer: Because our wonderful new neighbors, the "Touch of Spice" Indian Restaurant is opening today! We are very excited about it since the owners, Prevan and Pepita (and all of Pepita's sisters) are among our favorite ArtsEcho friends. Last year they came into our charming little shop and asked if we thought an Indian restaurant in the "Watertower District" (that's our slice of Park Avenue heaven) would be a welcome addition. Well, after we finished jumping up and down and screaming "yessss" for 15 minutes, they got the idea. Yesterday Lil and I had the honor of being in the ribbon cutting ceremony (with the charming (and surprisingly funny!) Mayor Turner and Weehawken Councilfolk) and then SAMPLING THE FOOD. OMG...very, very delicious.

Merry Christmas to all, have a lovely week, stop by and see us, get a kiss (Hershey's, that is), soak up the warm and inviting atmosphere, buy some lovely gifts and try to RELAX!

Warm regards,
Sandra and the delightful ArtsEcho team, Lil, Crystal, Ben, Arianna, Karina, Lina & Dina.


PPS: We are at 3809 Park Ave, lest you forget, and we're open from 11-7 M-W, 11-8 Th (Friday is Christmas!!!!) and 10-6 on Sat.

PPPS: You can see lots more on our Facebook page. Please become a FAN! We're at "ArtsEcho". (I love Facebook...)

PPPPS: Please forward this to all of the trendy and cool people you know (and a few who aren't but could be if they shopped here!)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thank Goodness for Heads...Without One You Can't Wear A Headband!

Dear Friends: It is a cold and blustery Friday eve but inside ArtsEcho Galleria it is warm and inviting. We have had lovely people here all day long (but you know we think that all the people who come in here are lovely, and, well, they are.) Many men were her today buying presents for...guess who? You! We are so delighted when guys come in here saying "My wife (fiancee/girlfriend/daughter/significant other/all of the previous) told me to come here and buy a ring (necklace/bracelet/bag/scarf/all of the previous). (Don't worry...for the truly clueless, we have Gift Certificates in adorable gift bags...). Ah, the joys of December!

Speaking of December joys, we had a huge joy on Wednesday evening. The velvet-voiced Jennifer Lampert was here with two superb musicians, Gary Schreiner on accordion and chromatic harp (...a fancy harmonica) and Jeremy Beck on piano and vocals. Here's the beautiful Jen with Gary, and that's Jeremy in front of our gallery wall.

jen and garyjeremy beck

What a wonderful evening it was. New Jersey is so incredibly rich in music and musicians and singers and songs. The final song of the evening, "Slip Slidin' Away" by Paul Simon (born in Newark) has been playing in my head since then; while I was listening to Jen and Jeremy sing it, I almost felt like I was in a trance. There is something about hearing wonderful music being performed live in a small and intimate space that is an incomparable experience. We had a full house of happy people who also gazed in wonder at Dexter Lane's huge (shot in Weehawken...oooh, sorry, that sounds like Alexander Hamilton...) panoramas of the New York skyline. Dexter's photos are on exhibit here for the month of December. They are also on sale and are priced from $30 (for a 4" x 30" panorama) to $700 for a 17" x 112" panorama! All are original signed photographs, of course. Now that's a gift!

So...where were we? Oh yes, headbands! Feathers! Jewels! Silk! Feathers & jewels! Jewels & silk! Even zippers. These new, absolutely must-have fashion statements dress up any outfit immediately. And can, of course, be matched to bags, scarves, pins and tops. Here are a few modeled by some ArtsEcho favorites:

These headbands won't keep you warm, but they sure do look cute (even on one of our Chinese, wooden, hand-painted horses). If you want to keep warm, come visit us. And while you're here shopping you can munch on Oreo cookies, our "treat of the month"... (they were invented in Hoboken in 1912 and 362,000,000,000 (that's BILLION!!!!) have been eaten since then).

Happy Weekend, Happy Chanukah, warm regards,
Sandra and the ArtsEcho Galleria team, Lil, Crystal, Ben, Arianna, Karina & Lina

PS: Here are Lil, Arianna and Karina, three of the most charming (and hardest working...they turned the Galleria into a cabaret with 60 seats and back again into a shop) young women you will ever meet:

PPS: We're here M-W 11-7, Th-F 11-8, Sat 10-6; call us at 201-617-1110.

PPPS: ON SALE THIS WEEK!!! Our adorable headbands and our fabulous, you-won't-see-anywhere-else jewelry is 25% off this week (and that's off our already ridiculously low prices...)

PPPPS: There will be a surprise BOGOHO (BUYONEGETONEHALFOFF) sale on our delightful clothing collection this week. (OK, I'll tell you when it's on Tuesday and Thursday but don't tell know what? Tell everyone!)

PPPPPS: Oh yes...there is a FANTASTIC FOUR PAGE article about ArtsEcho Galleria coming out this week in PALISADE MAGAZINE! Don't miss it!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009



Wednesday, December 9 at 7pm
ArtsEcho Galleria
3809 Park Ave
Union City

"The Sound..." is by Jennifer Lampert, an extraordinary singer who will be presenting an entirely new and delightful show of music from New Jersey. Not only our favorite Frankie, but perennials like Leslie Gore, Whitney Houston, Jon Bon Jovi and of course, The Boss, will be making musical appearances in spectacular new arrangements.


"The View..." is by Dexter Lane, the amazing panorama photographer who often gets up before dawn (!!) to photograph the skyline across the river that can only be seen from guessed it, NEW JERSEY! You've never seen anything like Dexter's huge panoramas.

Other than serving superb music and art, we will also be serving OREO COOKIES (invented in Hoboken) and homemade delights made with M&Ms (invented in Newark)...a real New Jersey FEAST for the ears, eyes and palate.

We'll all be here and we look forward to seeing you all here tomorrow night!

Best regards from Sandra, Lil, Crystal, Ben, Arianna, Karina and Lina

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wrap It Up! Scarves Have Yards and Yards of History

Dear Friends:
I have been trying to write about our beautiful scarves for several weeks now, but everytime I try to, I find that we are almost all sold out! Well, it is December, and that makes it classic scarf weather and now we have a good stock of beautiful scarves in our charming little shop.

Scarves are so ubiquitous that it's hard to think that they actually have "history" but they do. Scarves date back at least as far as ancient Rome where they were called sudarium. They were originally used by the ever-pragmatic Romans to wipe their necks and faces. But, of course, they soon became a fashion accessory and both men and women wore them draped around their necks (the Romans loved to drape everything) or knotted around their waists. And here we are 2000 years later doing the same thing. Since Roman times, scarves have been in use all over the world, by Chinese warriors, Croatian mercenaries (who called them "kravatas", hence our cravats), the fashionable French, the freezing Scandinavians and just about anyone else you can name. They have been used to proclaim political beliefs and establish ethnic identities. Here are a few of the new scarves you'll find at ArtsEcho Galleria (we just use them as great fashion statements and for warmth and color):


The first photo has very stretchy, intricate scarves in fantastic colors, (all of which we can match our amazing bags and belts...that's a hint)...the second has fabric that is "poufed" all over (with a parrot pin...pins are great on scarves) and the last one is satin handsewn over velvet...beautiful and unusual and flying out of the galleria!

And here is our own Lil, back from amazing adventures in Panama, cutting through the jungle, digging the canal, (jumping on and off buses in Panama City!) just in time to model a new scarf, subtly shaded with a great metallic shine. Doesn't she look happy to be back?

That's probably because Lil and all of the rest of us are so excited by the upcoming concert with singer Jennifer Lampert and the exhibition of huge panoramic photos by Dexter Lane. Don't forget, it's this coming Wednesday (December 9) at 7pm. As always, you'll meet wonderful neighbors including many actors, artists and musicians, hear excellent music, see great art, eat delicious goodies and get to mingle and party with all of us! What could be better?

Have a lovely weekend, warm regards,
Sandra and the terrific ArtsEcho Galleria team, Lil, Arianna, Crystal, Ben, Karina, Dina and Lina

PS: Toni Figaro, who makes exquisite handmade scarves that are for sale in the Galleria will be here tomorrow morning knitting away!

PPS: If you haven't already, please go to our Facebook page (ArtsEcho) and FAN us! We'll be posting all of our new things there (well, eventually...)

PPPS: Please think of our charming little Galleria when you go shopping for the holidays. We have highly unusual things that you won't find in (horrors) the malls! And we have adorable gift boxes and gift cards to make your holiday season a joyful one.

PPPPS: Oh yes, we also have GIFT CERTIFICATES!!!!

PPPPPS: We're here M-W 11-7, Th-F 11-8 and Sat 10-6. We'll be closing a little early on this Wednesday to get ready for the fun!