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!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Photos...worth all those thousands of words...and we have the photos!

Dear Friends: What can I say? (Other than THANK YOU to the wonderful James Colina for these incredible photos that he shot in the 3 seconds in which our lovely models walked out of the Galleria to the sidewalk. What a pro... You can see more photos on his website,

And a big, huge HUG to these amazing women who were so charming, helpful, professional their outfits!

In photo order: That's Zoe in one of Ji Young Song's "Sustainable Couture" designs from silk and leather, Sophia in Armani and DKNY, Virginia in a vintage hat and sequined skirt, Yara in Betsey Johnson, Lina in a Betsey Johnson tie-died dress, Olga in a boho floral paisley long dress, and, finally, Mikiko in Ji Young Song.

We will definitely be having another fashion show soon. GALLONS of work but TONS of fun!

More photos next week of the other fashions (including a few fabulous designs by Aileen Lowe) on the other spectacular models!

I love fashion when it is also art.

Warm regards,
Sandra and the ArtsEcho team, Zoe, Liana, Ben, Yara, Lina, Shanella and Claude. And a very tearful goodbye to Crystal who moved back to Maine and is already sorely missed here at ArtsEcho.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fashion is Fabulous Fun!! (here in my office with 12 terrific women all trying on great clothes & jewelry for tomorrow's show!) AHHHH!!!

Dear Friends: Never, ever a dull moment here at ArtsEcho Galleria. And this week has been one of the non-dullest of them all with the excitement of the Sustainable Couture Fashion Show goings-on...going on.

I get to emcee tomorrow and everyone who is modeling either works or shops here at the Galleria. Last night (and part of today) our wonderful models were trying on couture, designer and vintage clothing...and we were adding huge necklaces & earrings, tying scarves around necks (and sometimes knees), draping black feather boas on vintage bridal gowns and, generally, having lots of fun playing dress up with some really gorgeous dresses (and jeans and skirts and tops and even one romper from the early 1960's).

Speaking of that romper, modeling it tomorrow night is a wonderful new addition to ArtsEcho Galleria. Liana Wright hails from West New York. She is a superb stylist and has "pulled" for many fashion shoots and, just this past Wednesday, received her BA in Psychology from NJCU. Here is Liana in all her graduate glory:
artsecho_logoliana after graduation

And here is a photo of Liana in an irresistible vintage pink dress taken by the inimitable Zoe for our Facebook page (which you can check out and also FAN!). Alas, you can't really see Liana in this photo, but doesn't the dress look FABULOUS???

liana pink dress
We are expecting a crowd tomorrow night...we'll have chairs inside and outside...photographers, friends, food, and as always, fun.

Sandra and the changing, but ever hard-working, charming, interesting and talented ArtsEcho Team, Zoe, Liana, Yara, Ben, Crystal, Claude, Lina and Shanella

PS: Here's Guy...for all of you who have asked about him. He's posing with our famous 12 inch heels that will be worn tomorrow night (by our neighbor, the lovely Olga) with a black beaded gown that weighs over 20 pounds...

guy with high heels
PPS: The Sustainable Couture Fashion Show starts at 5pm. We're at 3809 Park Ave in the "Watertower District" on the border of Union City and Weehawken.

PPPS: Ji Young Song and Aileen Lowe, the two inaugural designers for ArtsEcho Sustainable Couture, will be coming in from other states...Ji Young is flying in from California and Aileen is driving in from Central PA for the show.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mom's Day & Fashion Shows & Taxes & Did You Miss Me??

Dear Friends:

Thanks to all for your concerned questions.

Yes, I'm fine, I haven't forgotten how to write English or who you all are (to answer a few of the queries...) Actually, it's all the IRS's fault. After getting several extensions, I had to bite a very large bullet and learn QuickBooks short, I didn't quite expect that doing the taxes for the Galleria would take me 24 hours a day for a month...(with the help of 2 accountants). Oh well, such is non-profit entrepreneurship (gosh, I'm tired). But I never, ever, ever, ever, ever complain (or exaggerate...). Not me!

Much to tell. Sunday is Mother's Day and, of course, we have the most beautiful Mother's Day gifts right here at ArtsEcho Galleria! (You didn't think I was going to suggest a trip to a mall, did you?) We have really unique jewelry, including lovely sets, beautiful earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces and great watches! Even super-trendy CHARM BRACELET WATCHES! So cool. We also have those adorable FEDORAS (in white, beige, honey and black) and floppy SUNHATS and SUMMER SCARVES. Well, if you can't find a present should I put this? FUGGEDABOUDIT! (What's the point of living in Jersey if you can't use Jersey-speak?) And you can always get a charming ARTSECHO GALLERIA GIFT CERTIFICATE for Mom (or GrandMom or daughter or girlfriend...actually, that might give the girlfriend ideas...)

We are all hard at work on the upcoming Sustainable Couture Fashion Show which is taking place on Saturday, May 15th, and promises to be lots of fun! It starts at 5pm (come a little early if you want a seat!) In addition to dresses by 2 new designers, Aileen Lowe and Ji Young Song (who just started designing for a company in LA; she's flying in for the show) we will be showing some great vintage and designer ArtsEcho Galleria goodies, all "blinged-out" to perfection by our team of superb stylists! Here is our Zoe (photographed by Ben Bendor) in "Ji Young Song for ArtsEcho Design":
zoe ji young goldzoe black dress

Have a great weekend, Happy Mother's Day to all!
Sandra and the diligent and talented ArtsEcho Galleria team: Zoe, Ben, Crystal, Liana, Yara (beginning today!), Claude, Lina and our charming new Saturday volunteer, Shanella.

PS: A lovely article about us in InColor Magazine just came out! You can read it here:

PPS: We are located at 3809 Park Ave in UC right across from the parking lot of the Weehawken Pathmark. You can call us at 201-617-1110 if you feel like it.

PPPS: We are open TOMORROW for your Mother's Day shopping pleasure from 10 - 6! M-W 11-7, Th-F 11-8; next Saturday...FASHION SHOW!!!!

PPPPS: Don't worry, we still have Hershey's kisses on hand...

PPPPPS: Look below for the famous "secret word"

Friday, April 16, 2010

We have "New Antiques" (...hmmm, isn't that an oxymoron, like "plastic glasses" & "found missing")?

Dear Friends: "Oxymoron" is one of my favorite words...and concepts. Two married words that contradict each other (gleefully). The most famous is "military intelligence", but a quick Google search produced my new favorite which is "Microsoft Works". Ooo, nasty (but good...). The original Greek word means "sharply dull", and then there's "deafening silence" and "real phony" and "found missing" and the well-loved "jumbo shrimp". Well, I could go on and on, but...

Back to the antiques. I have been collecting wonderful things for many years...(something you shouldn't do unless you, too, eventually want to (or have to) open a shop). Many of my lovely things have sold here at ArtsEcho, and several are not for sale, but do help make our charming little Galleria the special place it is. Here is a peek at some of the newbies:

The one on the left is a "Stick and Ball" Victorian etagere that is now housing part of our fabulous collection of scarves. The middle one is a 200 year old hand-carved English chestnut piece (that's my Irish Minstrel Harp on the top) and great designer jeans (including Michael Kors, Burberry & 7's) on the shelves. The one on the right is a Wooten desk invented by William (you guessed it) Wooten in 1870 in Indiana. Wait 'til you see the has a pull-out desk and about 60 cubbies, drawers and shelves in both the case and the doors...everything the modern businessman needed to run his office in 1870. You can see a really fancy one in West Orange at the Edison National Historic Site...(a truly amazing place and only 1/2 hour from should plan a little trip if you haven't been...and not only if you have'll love it as well...)

Notice the sculptures on top of the desk? They are part of our new exhibition by superb Ecuadorian artist Manuel Velastegui. We're having the opening tomorrow (Saturday) at 5pm. All are invited! (Party time!!)

Warm regards,
Sandra and the accomplished ArtsEcho Galleria team, Zoe, Liana, Ben, Crystal, Claude and Lina.

PS: Thanks for all the interest in the "21st Century Music and On" concert (in which I am singing) dedicated to the spectacular music of Ronn Yedidia, whom many of you have heard here during the past year. The concert is at Merkin Hall on Sunday at 7:30pm. It promises to be quite an event. Tickets ($35 & $20) are available at the Kaufman Center Box Office online or at 212-501-3330.

PPS: Since so many of you lovely people have told us that you need to shop here LATE, we're planning a "Friends & Family Spring Fling Shopping Extravaganza" here on Thursday, April 29th BEGINNING at 7pm (and EVERYTHING will be 30% off and, of course, we'll have nibbles, etc...we love to party). (However, if you see a nice woman asleep on the pink couch, please's after my bedtime.)

PPPS: Thanks to Mayor Stack and the ENTIRE Union City Council for stopping in to see ArtsEcho Galleria on Tuesday night!!!! I gave the best "elevator" speech of my life (that's when you have to say EVERYTHING between the first & fifth floor...remember "Working Girl"?) and told the Mayor and Council everything we're doing here. Very exciting!

PPPPS: We are at 3809 Park Ave, between 38th and 39th in the lovely and blooming Watertower District! You can call us at 201-617-1110. We're open M-W 11-7, Th-F 11-8 and Sat 10-6.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Creating Art with Ancient Wood, Marble and...Recycled Car Engines?

Dear Friends: One of the great joys of working here at ArtsEcho Galleria is that I get to meet fascinating people, many of whom are devoting their lives to creating art. Why are they doing this? Because they have to. I'm really not at all interested in the so-called "artists" who are in it for the fame & fortune. First of all, anyone who goes into art for fame & fortune can't be too smart and I try not to waste time on people who aren't smart (this falls into the "life is too short" category).

amado mora
This week, our dear friend, Ecuadorian sub-realist artist Amado Mora (whose superb work is on permanent exhibit in our charming little Galleria and was featured in the "Art Vivo!" exhibition at the Brennan Courthouse Gallery in January...that's Amado in the photo), came in with a friend of his from Guayaquil, Ecuador, renowned sculptor Manuel Velastegui.

Velastegui is a sculptor who has exhibited throughout the world ( all know what's coming...) and beginning this week, he will add ArtsEcho Galleria to his most impressive list! Among the many honors that he has received was First Prize for Sculpture in the Festival of the Americas and (get this...) a solo exhibit at Lincoln Center in NY (now that's impressive...)! He works in marble, metal and wood and has, for many years, reused all three materials to create new (and amazing) works of art. Doesn't that sound right up ArtsEcho's alley?

The following pieces were created from engine parts. The one on the left reminds me of the Degas statue of the 14-year-old-dancer (but really edgy). The one on the right is, of course, Don Quixote. Our Don Q is about 1 1/2 feet high, but in the Parque Lineal in Guayaquil, Manuel created a "Tribute to Don Quixote" (in honor of the 400th anniversary of the book by Cervantes) that is over 13 feet high!
don quihote
So, we are proudly presenting an exhibition of sculptures of Velastegui beginning this coming week. (We will, of course, have an opening party (date to be announced) to which you are all invited...we don't do anything here without a party...actually, the whole place is a party!)

Speaking of Lincoln Center, next Sunday is the concert "21st Century Music & On", in which I am performing three songs by composer Ronn Yedidia (you did know that I have not always been chained to this computer...I performed for many years...actually, my first professional performance was at the age of 3...during the TRUMAN ADMINISTRATION! I continued performing through Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and that guy who can't pronounce the word "nuclear"). The concert is on April 18th, at 7:30pm at Merkin Concert Hall, one block north of Lincoln Center. More on this soon.

Lest you think I've forgotten our boutique goodies, here are some of the delicious things we have here at ArtsEcho Galleria to (hopefully) tempt you all!
These photos were taken this week by my adorable, very charming, tall, funny & talented husband, Ben (who is trying to get me to use fewer exuberant adjectives in these weekly emails, but he may not mind these...).

Warm regards from Sandra and the hard-working and creative ArtsEcho Galleria team, Zoe, Liana, Crystal, Ben, Claude and Lina.

PS: We are at 3809 Park Ave & at 201 617 1110. We are also at! Our website is up and running and great!

PPS: Speaking of bargains, don't forget tomorrow is 30% off bags and accessories! Monday is 20% off everything you buy...Tuesday is 30% off our jewelry collection, Wednesday is 40% off any ONE item, Thursday is buy one get one half off on clothing and Friday...I forgot(but I know it's good!)

PPPS: Volunteers! Thanks to the wonderful folk who responded to my request. Please keep calling me (201-617-1110) to give us a few weekly hours of your time and get that great "funny money" (as well as a wonderful volunteer feeling...we are an official US non-profit organization). Many thanks!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friendship, Community, Being Human, & Why We Need One Another

Dear Friends:
Here at ArtsEcho Galleria, I'm always thinking about human connections...why we are who we are and what we really (really...) need from one another, and what makes us happy. I'm sure it's not diamonds and fancy cars (or those ridiculous $4000 designer handbags...) (actually, I would love to have some of those ridiculous $4000 designer handbags here at ArtEcho, but only if I could buy gently used ones for $40. Well, if anyone has some $3850 bags lying around, bring them in...we're not snobs.) I think what makes us happy is other people...that's it...other people who share our values, our emotions and our humor (in other words, our lives) and validate what we think of ourselves while acknowledging the things we do (whew...I'm waxing philosophical ...well, better that than the floor.)

I have met many wonderful people here since opening our charming little shop and had the privilege of peeking into the lives of people doing amazing things. I will be writing about some of these friends and neighbors in upcoming emails (with your permission, of course...don't get worried.)

Our next big program, the "Sustainable Couture Fashion Show" is slated for Saturday, May 15, and we have several wonderful designers working on pieces using our collection of superb existing fabric. So many of you commented on the dress by Ji Young Song that was in last week's email, that I wanted to show you the new piece that arrived this week. Ji Young is creating a line of one-of-a-kind couture, handmade dresses; for this line she is incorporating her signature weaving which you can see throughout this dress. Here it is, the second in the collection, made from several leathers, suede and plaid raw silk; her design is based on a rose. I, for one, have never seen anything like it, and I am so delighted that ArtsEcho has been a catalyst in creating incredible work like this. Here's Ji Young Song and her art:

We have a date for the "Watertower District Festival" that will launch the "Watertower District Association" (about which you'll be hearing much more). July 10...a Saturday...we'll have music, artwork, fashion, food from our culinary neighbors, a wealth of friends and community in this special place, and lots of fun!

Have a wonderful weekend, enjoy the holiday and the weather,
Sandra and the terrific ArtsEcho Galleria team, Zoe, Ben, Crystal, Karina, Liana, Arianna and Lina (wow, that's a mouthful or maybe a handful, since I'm typing this)...

PS: Not all of the special friends in our life are necessarily is Guy with the famous 10 inch heel shoes...and there he is making eyes at Raquelle with Duda Penteado's colorful canvasses in the background.

PPS: Speaking of not is our new non-human friend, Martha, at the piano (she was named for Martha Argerich, the Argentine pianist, considered by many to be the greatest pianist in the world)...yes, that's Guy enjoying the music...

PPPS: We're at 3809 Park Ave, across from the Weehawken Pathmark parking lot. You can reach us at 201-617 1110.

PPPPS: We have something on sale every day!!! Tomorrow our great bags and accessories are 30% off!!!! Oh, and please forward this email to a friend.

PPPPPS: 'night, Gracie.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Talent...what is it? Where does it come from? Why? (OK, OK...Who? When?)

Dear Friends:
I am, I admit, a total sucker for talent (and talented people). I have been thinking about talent for many years, never more so than during the past year and 9 months since we opened ArtsEcho Galleria. (That's all?? Doesn't it seem like a lot longer??)

We all know that Mozart's dad was a musician, but does that account for little Wolfgang's incredible abilities? And how many Wolfies with amazing musical talent were born to farming or bricklaying families or even glass blowing families who knew little about music and never discovered the talent in their midst?

There are so many People of Talent who find their way to ArtsEcho Galleria. In honor of our upcoming 'Sustainable Couture' Fashion Show on May 15, I'd like to introduce you to one of our favorite (incredibly talented) people.

Meet Ji Young Song. She is a graduate of Seoul University's famous Fashion Design Department and also graduated with honors from FIT where she won the departmental award of the School of Art and Design. She participated in the Hong Kong Young Fashion Week before moving to NY, and went on to win the Best Design Award for Levi's recent fashion contest. She was one of the national finalists in the highly competitive Mattel Barbie Design Competition.

Ji Young's desire is to create one-of-a-kind couture clothing that she hopes will be seen as artwork. That fits in perfectly with how we choose our collection here for ArtsEcho Galleria. We feel (and tell anyone who will listen) that many of our clothing and jewelry pieces are wearable works of art.

A few months ago, Ji Young trekked to my house in Weehawken (during a snow storm...remember those?) and chose fabrics from my large (30 years in the making) collection of silks, leathers, etc. Ji Young chose three silks; a black matte silk and two beige and black prints, and a soft black leather....and started working. She cut, sewed, and wove the fabrics together.

Here is the astounding result, modeled by (our new Project Manager) Zoe, photographed by Edwin Flores (more about Edwin later) right in that cute little Weehawken pocket park across from our shop:
ji youngs dress on zoezoe on bench in ji young

There are many designers creating "eco"fashion with good new fabrics including bamboo and organic cottons, but because of our dedication to art, craftswomanship, recycling, and the very best existing designer fabric, we hope that our ArtsEcho Sustainable Couture one-of-a-kind pieces will make their own small, but important, statement in the fashion world. Ji Young is almost finished with her second design and I can't wait to see it! Remember...May 15.

Now speaking of talent, one of the most talented people who discovered ArtsEcho Galleria as we were discovering him, is fashion photographer Edwin Flores. Edwin and his partner Tyler just moved to the Watertower District. Edwin uses clothing from our terrific collection for photoshoots with some of NY's top models. Here is a photo that Edwin just sent me from the very same park (the model is wearing one of our Nanette Lepore pieces with a silver belt and purple Betsey Johnson dress). The photo on the right (with a wool Byblos jacket and purple belt) was taken on the steps leading down to Boulevard East from Sterling Place. Bet you never knew we were in such a photogenic neighborhood!

model on steps silver dress shadows
Speaking of honors...I want to publicly thank the County of Hudson and the charming (and funny) Thomas DeGise, our County Executive, who chose me to be among some pretty darned impressive Hudson County women who were honored this past week at Brennan Courthouse in Jersey City for Women's History Month in which the theme was "Writing Women Back into History". It seemed especially appropriate this year which is only the 90th anniversary of the year in which we women in the US got the vote. (Pretty shocking that it's only 90 years, hey?) Mr. DeGise introduced the evening by admitting that he grew up in a house filled with women...his only ally and fellow male was the dog...

Have a wonderful week and come visit us!

Warm regards,
Sandra and the ArtsEcho Galleria team, Zoe, Karina, Crystal, Ben, Arianna, Claude and Lina.

PS: We need volunteers! A few hours a week (on a regular basis) will net you "ArtsEcho FunnyMoney" which you can spend here on our glorious's like shopping for free!

PPS: On April 18th I will be performing in the concert "21st Century Music & On" dedicated to the amazing music of composer Ronn Yedidia (whom you may remember from the "DanzaNova" concert here last year.) The concert is at Merkin Concert Hall (one block north of Lincoln Center) on 67th Street in NYC and is at 7:30pm. There is a "Meet The Artists" reception (to which you are all invited) after the concert.

PPPS: Oh yes, 3809 Park Avenue, right across from the Weehawken Pathmark parking lot. 201-617-1110...M-W 11-7; Th-F 11-8; Sat 10-6.

PPPPS: Make sure to check out our new window displays! Very edgy...