When my gorgeous friend Debra invited me and designer/blogger Stacy Lomman to an art opening yesterday, I barely glanced at the invitation before saying yes. That was for the best because it was fun being surprised by La Boîte à Biscuits, which a gallery of sorts that offers a “seasonal biscuits collection and unique artwork.” As Israeli-born chef and “spiceologist” Lior Lev Sercarz, explains on La Boîte’s website, “I chose to use the French term ‘biscuit’ to describe the confections, which comprise both sweet and savory recipes. … I wish to share the finest biscuits using high quality ingredients, spices, and unique flavors while revealing an artist’s signature work.”
If one really is what one eats, I’m probably 95% sugar and carbs, so a place that combines art and baked goods is my idea of heaven. (Well, Bergdorf Goodman is my No. 1 idea of heaven, but this is the next best thing.) Also, this is the kind of offbeat business that made me want to get the hell out of my boring hometown of Mahwah, N.J., to come to New York in the first place. Even La Boîte’s hours amuse me: “Wednesday to Friday, 3 pm – 7 pm or just give us a call we might be here …”
The whole thing reminded me of a delightful story by Anne Kadet that ran in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. She discovered a stop on Christopher Street named “World’s Smallest Store.” Its proprietor calls himself “Parks Are Zoos For Trees” and claims he hails from Atlantis. He and fellow artists produce the store’s merchandise: hand-screened shirts, as well as “jewelry, a hands-free rope dog leash (it wraps around your waist), crocheted hats and a pair of underwear hand-painted with the catchy slogan: ‘I Hate My Dad.'” Kadet writes of Parks Are Zoos For Trees, “He says nothing in the shop costs more than $150, but beyond that, the prices are anyone’s guess—he makes them up as he goes along. The store is open when he feels like it, though he tends to work long hours (sales to tipsy bar-goers spike at 3 a.m.).” He also gives out free advice, and, at least while Kadet was visiting, free popcorn.
Anyway, at La Boîte’s party, the biscuits — with ingredients including curry, orange and dark chocolate — were free but the art wasn’t. If it had been, I would have taken it all home. The artist showing is New Orleans-based Sarah Ashley Longshore, whose Warhol-esque artwork is collected by the likes of actress Blake Lively. I totally fell for what Longshore calls her “vibrant fusion of pop culture iconography and … view of the world around me.” Audrey Hepburn is one of her subjects; Vogue editor Anna Wintour is another.
I was thrilled to meet the artist, who is clearly my sole-mate — she was wearing a pair of the Prada flame heels that I covet. I had her pose with another of her Anna Wintour paintings.
But this is the painting I want.
It’s 5′ by 4′ and it’s got all my favorite “P” words represented in it: pink Champagne, pastry, a pig with eyelashes and a purse.
I rushed home and told MrB that I had to have this painting. He didn’t seem to take me very seriously. I think that’s because of our discussion the previous night about what I’d like to do with the Mega Millions money. I told him I want to go back to school to get an advanced degree in medieval studies, produce only custom-ordered jewelry and devote the rest of my time to philanthropy. And I would never fly coach again. He agreed that those were good ideas. Then I said I’d also like to get a slightly larger apartment so I could have a third dog, plus a cat, a hamster, a guinea pig, a chinchilla and some fish. He laughed his head off, then tried to rile me up by offering me a chinchilla coat in lieu of a pet chinchilla. I was not amused. Since then I’ve overheard him on the phone, sharing his thoughts about my future chinchilla with other people. Humph. I’m going to tell him that only the gift of a Longshore pig painting will persuade me to forgive him for such impertinence.