Transitory in essence, Spring is a season we’ve come to appreciate for its surprises. As we take a step into sunnier days (while managing to sidestep those April showers!) we’re fortunate to be situated on the border of two popular New York neighborhoods: Soho and the Lower East Side - both of which provide us with inspiration at every corner. With an enduring love for our neighborhood, this edit features a few of our favorite local spots that align with, and nurture, our proclivity for slow living:
210 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002
Jane Maccolla is the founder of HORTŪS - better known as the premiere natural and green beauty studio in the popular Lower East Side neighborhood. A hole-in-the-wall gem, the intimate space includes an exposed-brick interior with shelves of polish and nail-care goods along with a gorgeous plant-laden entryway. We spoke with Jane about life in the neighborhood and slow beauty.
The goal has always been for HORTŪS to provide guests with a beautiful experience focusing on organic and non toxic products and services that are not only good for us but also kinder to the planet. It was also important to create a space that could transport guests to a warm, lushly green and calm place. The opposite of what is found just outside our door. A lot of concrete and noise. Locals and tourists who come to us are very informed and aware, looking beyond the status quo. They do their research. For this reason, we have become a destination not only for locals but also visitors from all over the country and abroad. Beauty services that are provided mindfully and thoughtfully can be so healing and transforming, it's an opportunity to reset ourselves.
ON SLOW LIVING
Slow living for me is about unplugging and taking time for myself. It's about enjoying the experience and being present, actually savoring the process from beginning to end. It's not so much about heavy and mindless consumption but finding quality in all things that touch my life. From skin care, beauty services to fashion, they all need to be meaningful. It's a minimalist approach but that doesn't mean less. It's actually the opposite. It's about simplicity, stripping away what is unnecessary and finding and keeping what matters. It's all in the beautiful details, content and the integrity behind the intent.
The Lower East Side is a great mix of longtime locals, small businesses that include unique shops, restaurants, bars and amazing art galleries and museums. There’s still a bit of that downtown, New York City grit but mixed with great culture and polish. And the local history here runs deep and we have neighbors and locals sharing some incredible stories. There's amazing soul in this neighborhood. It’s definitely an area where there’s still a strong appreciation for creativity, diversity and individual uniqueness which is always inspiring.
265 Canal St, New York, NY 10013
The newly launched Canal St. Market has become a haven of sorts for locals to stop in, relax and shop a broad range of carefully curated brands in the art, lifestyle and fashion spaces. While perusing the market on an overcast Spring afternoon, our experience was soon brightened by our brief chat with one of the market’s participants, Taylor Patterson of Fox Fodder Farm (who you may remember from our story with her here). Taylor gave us the low-down on the space, neighborhood and beauty of Spring.
Farm Flower Shop by Fox Fodder Farm is a satellite project where we aim to make living with flowers an everyday affair.
While we always have an assortment of interesting flowers from all over the world, we aim to make a space where customers can have a conversation about season and source. We’re inviting people into the florist’s experience by building their own bouquets, learning about seasonal selections, and having access to bespoke arrangements on the fly. It’s great being in the Soho neighborhood and part of a space where so many people are eager to participate in the experience we hope to provide.
THE ARRIVAL OF SPRING
As the weather warms, we’ll be getting in more locally-grown products and we are excited to be sharing what local flower farmers are growing with people in the neighborhood.
399 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Located on the bustling intersection of Spring and Broome St., this locally-loved coffee shop has offered support to Soho dwellers in more ways than one. The rustic interior, communal tables and warm ambiance make for a perfect space to enjoy an afternoon break. Not too mention, Ground Support is taking a stance on consciousness and community. Here is what owner Steven Sadoff had to say.
MAN ON A MISSION
I am Steven Sadoff, the owner of Ground Support. I am a Manhattan native (4th generation!) who happens to spend as much time outdoors as possible. I am an Eagle Scout! Thanks to this, keeping our city clean and planet healthy has been a part of my life since Ed Koch was mayor.
ON CONTRIBUTING SUSTAINABLY
As an independent business, Ground Support isn't able to throw the same weight around as larger companies - but we try. We started roasting our own coffee three years ago not only to consistently brew great coffee, but to ensure that we were buying coffee that was conscientiously farmed. We now work directly with some Central American farms (Mierisch Farms - which I travel to) who pay livable wages, feed and care for the workers better than any farms I have seen, and do a lot of work for their local community. They are also doing almost all organic coffee - and gently dealing with the crops they rotate in when they rest the soil. They do really fantastic work socially and environmentally and I need to get better at helping them tell their story. They also have the only female run dry mill in Central America.
FOSTERING CONSCIOUS COMMUNITY
As far as community, we are a neighborhood place. Complaints and congrats are heard in real-time. I think customers understand that and appreciate that, and know it means their voices can be heard. We're all on the same team and part of the same community - whether that means it's Ground Support or Soho or NYC. Socially, I think when you see the staff here all has autonomy and all respect each other you understand that we are all socially conscious people.
Photos by Bridget Badore for Coclico