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...)