Style Contemplations

Two Shots of Awesome.

I stumbled upon an awesome new store today. Why is it so awesome, you ask? Let’s see….

Is it because, upon walking in, I was greeted by a smiling guy happy to pour me a cup of coffee with that perfectly bright and nutty flavor? No.
Is it because of the downtown chic decor (replete with reclaimed wood and steel ladder “A’s” – A is for America!), and mannequin legs peaking out from beneath a comfortably worn sofa? No.

Is it because the two shop girls triple-complimented me (YES, TRIPLE COMPLIMENTED!) on my glasses, shirt and boots? NO!
Is it because of the perfectly curated mix of NYC-based designers and vintage collections for both men and women? Of course not.
Is it because of “the places we’ll meet” sign which conjures dreamy visions of the Places You’ll Go Burning Man video? Preposterous! No way!

LIES! All lies, I tell you! YES to all of the above! Did you really think I’d dedicate an entire blog post to a shop with so many NOs?

I found myself in American Two Shot twice today. First, I was drawn in by the nondescript, very Chinatown-esque “Quick Drip $2 Cafe Integral Inside* ->” sign.

I crept over to the front of the door and peeked in to find a mesmerizingly cool array of clothing, jewelry, artwork, and furniture (amongst other things) through the glass. Jonesing for a cup of coffee in a very big way, I was greeted by an adorably sweet dude who was diving into his own cozy breakfast. He greeted me with a smile, popped up to the coffee counter and poured me a cup as he answered a plethora of questions from an overly-chatty me (I’m usually not much into talking so early in the morning, read: 10:30AM).  “Where was this coffee from? What kind of store is this? I quickly discovered that Cesar Vega (Founder of Cafe Integral – with great accent, natch 😉 is a coffee connoisseur who roasts his own coffee beans uptown. “The roaster is the size of a mini cooper.” Swoon. I love this kind of stuff. This guy roasts his coffee in NYC – amazing. He sent me off with another sweet smile, and I found myself gulping this cup of joe more quickly than I’ve downed other exotic brews for double the price.  This guy’s coffee is legit.  1 Point 2 Shot!

After an appointment around the corner, I came back to give this store the proper perusal it deserved. I passed Cesar on my way to the back of the store, and gave his beans a major shout-out.  There is nothing better than complimenting someone on something that they do (and well).  As we all know, good energy is indeed a boomerang, and a few minutes later, I’m greeted by two more smiling faces as I’m checking out a cluster of funky “Mazel Tov” bracelets on a nearby table.

One of the girls comments, hesitatingly “I just realized I was going to compliment you…twice”. Oh sweet thing, shower away! I’m thinking to myself, after the month I’ve had, a compliment or two would be lovely.  The other girl tacked on another  – “You were in here before, right? I was admiring your boots”. Two smiley faces. Two sets of compliments. In love. Not only were they sweet and genuine, but they have killer style, killer backgrounds and a KILLER crew of friends. 2 Points 2 Shot!

American Two Shot is a collaboration of love and life between childhood friends, artist Olivia Wolfe and ex-Theory planner Stephanie Krasnoff. The two strike up a perfect balance between creative/stylish and business/connections.  Take a look at their website and you’ll see that their “City of Friends” is a a collective of super creative buddies who design clothes, books, art, jewelry (and curate a great vintage collection.) Here, you’ll find local designers like Dusen Dusen, The Lake and Stars, Timo Weiland, Porter Grey, BLK DNM, and Bodkin side by side with vintage Vans, retro tees and sweatshirts and a carefully curated collection of bags and jewelry.

One of the artist/designers was along for the chat – Sean Kinney of Eddie Eddie by Billy Tommy (yep, that’s a mouthful and he knows it :), reworks new and vintage pieces with paint, yarn or whatever inspires him. We chatted about a big name Stylist who recently purchased one of his pieces and he was grinning ear-to-ear.

The space is large enough to house events and parties, but cozy enough to render it the ideal hangout spot. Plant your butt on the American flag bench with a warm cuppa, figure out which pieces you’re going to try on once the caffeine kicks in – and there you go, the perfect place to wile away a Saturday afternoon. Don’t forget to smile. They come easily here 🙂


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