May 2024 City Notes

May 2024 City Notes

  • Patricia Isen
  • 05/3/24



May 2024
Mother's Day Gift Guide


Happy May!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Art Fairs!

In this month's CityNotes I have included some Mother's Day gift ideas for :

The Game Player

The Entertainer

The Party Planner

The Gardener

The Design Enthusiast

The Minimalist with Artisan Appreciation

In addition, May is Art Fair Month! Love that! So much fun to see what the galleries are showing and focused on.

Have fun!

I hope you are able to find some great goodies!

My FAVEs and what I'm hoping for Mother's Day are the hurricanes from Kevin Willis at Commune.

Have a beautiful month!
Reach out for any questions, comments or just to say hi!
Be Safe!
Let's always come from love in a safe world filled with acceptance & patience!
Much Love to you & your families,



Gifts for the Game Player

Playing Cards

John Derian
Playing Cards

The John Derian playing cards are based on an early 19th-century deck from England. This is a standard deck including two jokers. As an avid card player, John Derian thought what better way to share his love for vintage ephemera than to reproduce those cards.

Giobagnara’s Mahjong

Mahjong Set

Giobagnara’s mahjong set is perfect for post-dinner entertainment, crafted in plywood and calf leather. Inside, the neatly compact interior spotlights Bakelite tiles, sticks, and dice labeled north, south, east and west – a way of determining the seating arrangement and allocating the first player. The red colorway is symbolic in Chinese culture, cherished for its associations with happiness, success, and good fortune. I've never played but IF I did...these would be my go-to! Or Vintage!

Carl Auböck’s BrassDominos

Brass Domino Set

Carl Auböck’s brass know-how is on full display in this dominoes set. Each brass playing piece has a designated pocket, making the set-up and pack-away processes as seamless as can be. When not in use, it zips away into a transportable case with twin-top handles, ensuring you can grab it and go whenever you see fit. Please note, as this piece is made and finished by hand, slight markings and imperfections may occur. These only add to its unique character. Our dear friend ADvB LOVES  a great domino set!

Geoffrey Parker Outdoor Bocce


Historians have said the game of boules dates as far back as the sixth century. Back then, the Greeks used coins and stones instead of balls, throwing each one as far as possible. Then the Romans intervened, changing the rules to be what we all know them as today. This set by Geoffrey Parker is presented in a woven English willow basket with a traditional Bridle hide leather trim. Inside, you’ll find six balls, a stainless steel measure, a leather scorer, two butts, and a polishing duster, all housed in individual wicker compartments.


Gifts for the
Never met a dish I didn't like!



OK, so who doesn't ADORE Kit Kemp? Have you been to her new hotel in NYC that I wrote about a few months ago?

Created from Fine Bone China, with its translucency and superior strength Kit Kemp's Tall Trees Oval Platter, is designed to be the centerpiece of your dining table, whether that be serving dinner with friends, or Sunday lunch with family. Kit Kemp's Bone China Tall Tree Collection is with Spode 
Made in the UK, in Spode's Stoke on Trent factory, this collection takes Kit's Tall Trees design inspired by walks in the country, and applies it to a New collection of elegantly shaped Fine Bone China, with hand-painted 24-carat gold accents defining every piece.

Hand-finished with 24-carat gold, our large oval platter allows you to fully explore the Tall Trees landscape.


Laboratorio Paravicini
SNAKE PLATES me this is definitely MECCA!  This is a must visit in Milan!

There are SO MANY different fantastic plates here!

Here we have Six different types of intertwined snakes which become elegant decorations in the SNAKES collection. They are available in white with a gold thread border and Pompeian red with a wide band of hand-painted gold leaf.


Blue Splatterware DINNER PLATES

One of my favorite restaurants at the beach and BOTH in NYC!

The restaurant now has a beautiful home collection which I wrote about two years ago...

Beautiful handmade splatterware terra cotta dinner plate inspired by traditional Apuglian ceramics provides a balanced punch of color and rustic charm to any tablescape.





These are OF COURSE a favorite! These plates are incredible with the same print dinner plate, napkins, table cloth, and DIVINE hand-blown glasses! Inspired by Tory’s love of French ceramics & her cute hubby. A delicate print made for layering.


Carolina Irving & Daughters

This charming casual white and blue plate from Carolina Irving, the fabric designer. The perfect plate for every season, the Alicia, named after Carolina’s mother and sister.

Gifts for the PARTY PLANNER


Silver Pitcher

Italian silversmith Zanetto believes only manual work can make each object a work of art. The Gaia tea pot, handmade by the brand’s skilled silversmiths in its Padua workshop, is made to a rigorously modern design with a high-shine mirrored finish. CHIC!

Huh Myoung-Wook

Otchil Copper Teapot

From painter to installation artist, Huh Myoung-Wook is a man of many talents. He found a love for metal craft and lacquering later in life, gravitating towards metal panels, wood and fabrics. The artist’s preferred method is the Ottchil technique, involving lacquer originating from the sap of Rhus trees native to Korea. For Huh Myoung-Wook, colour is at the heart of everything.And this color is DIVINE! He believes in Qi (meaning energy in Eastern traditions) and instils a sense of emotion into every smooth, varnished object, whether a piece of serveware, or a placemat.

The craft of Ottchil is a meticulous and labour-intensive process requiring more than 30 coats of lacquer to be applied. The artist skilfully creates the colour driven by the emotions of the day, so the same colour cannot be made twice. Color green is used to evoke sentiments of youth, growth and vitality, making this teapot a captivating conversational piece. Please note this piece is handmade, meaning each one has subtle differences in colour, shape and detail, which add to its charm and character.

Whitman Shenk

Commune Design
Whitman Shenk Pitcher

Whitman Shenk, a seasoned ceramic artist residing in Point Reyes Station, California, has devoted three decades to crafting functional, soda-fired pots. Rooted in a passion for daily rituals, his creations aim to forge connections with individuals. Whitman envisions his pots seamlessly integrated into kitchen routines, encouraging frequent use. Currently immersed in his "polka dot" phase, he delightfully adorns his pots with playful dots, infusing each unique piece with a whimsical charm that adds joy to the ordinary. Through his art, Whitman invites people to embrace the beauty of utility in their daily lives.
Made in Point Reyes Station, California.

Astier de la Villette Teapot

Summerhill & Bishop
Astier Teapot

Still one of my favorite artisanal companies! A quirky take on a traditional 18th-century design, this teapot will make a feature of any tea time. With its elegant spout and decadent handle, Sofia will turn pouring a cup of tea into a true art form.

Gifts for the GARDENER

The Garden at Eichstätt Hardcover Book Set


First published in 1613, the three-volume Hortus Eystettensis was the most in-depth—and, by all accounts, most spectacular—piece of botanical literature of its time, capturing the diverse flora and fauna found in the palatial gardens of Willibaldsburg Castle in Eichstätt, Bavaria. This reproduction includes all 367 of garden director Basilius Besler and team’s hand-colored illustrations and their detailed descriptions. For the horticulturalist, it’s the mother of all coffee table books.


Lisa Viscardi Birdhouse


Commune partnered with ceramicist Lisa Viscardi to bring a playful function to her meditative sculpture. The resulting birdhouses are all one of a kind; varying clay bodies are organically hand built and fired in their raw state before being paired with an assortment of all-weather paracord and marine-grade hardware.
Made in Los Angeles, California.  
W 5 in x D 5 in x H 5 in

Benjamin Nauleau Basket


Benjamin Nauleau is a French basket maker based in Havelland, Germany, who carries on his family's custom of weaving intricate baskets from locally sourced, sustainable willow and hazelwood. At the age of just 15 he started his first basket with his grandfather, and now works alongside a team of skilled artisans to create each handmade piece, using a traditional French technique passed down from his father. His attention to detail and dedication to his craft have garnered him international recognition.

Third-generation French basket weaver Benjamin Nauleau created this flower basket using responsibly sourced white willow. The wide, dual silhouette is generously sized and ideal for separating out different flower types, from dried grasses to fresh, bountiful blooms. The shell-like design and subtle weaving add a touch of French flair to the timelessly crafted keepsake.

FINERY Garden Belt

Finery Garden Belt

Commune partnered with Finery to create the ideal uniform and craft the perfect tool & garden belt. This piece is cut from a sturdy cotton canvas, featuring double needle construction with reinforced waistband and detailed with spacious exterior pockets for your notebook, tape measure, and so much more. The end result is a refined and incredibly functional tool belt perfect for gardening and more.  
100% Cotton, Made in Los Angeles.

Gifts for the 

Kevin Willis for Commune Lantern



One of a kind lanterns, made in collaboration with Southern California based ceramicist Kevin Willis & Commune. Each lantern is hand-built with slabs of clay and then punched with various sized holes for a dappled light when candlelit. 
Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Made in Joshua Tree, California.



Oscanna Visconti is the new cool guy in town! Each bronze carryall begins life as a wax sculpture, which is cast and then melted away to be replaced with molten bronze. Visconti kneads and shapes every piece by hand in her Milan studio, introducing whimsical folds and impressions to the material that make it truly one-of-a-kind.



Again from the incredible restaurateurs of Il Buco, this is an incredibly chic board! This rectangular ceramic board is perfect for serving cheese or salumi.



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