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Need Umbrellas and Candy? Look No Further Than Ame Ame

IMG_3012Stephen Rex Brown The owner of Ame Ame, Teresa Soroka.

A new store on Ninth Street takes the term “specialty shop” to the next level.

Ame Ame caters to the stylish New Yorker caught in the rain who also happens to have a sweet tooth. The name for the store comes from the Japanese word “ame,” which means — that’s right — both “rain” and “candy.”

“I want to put an end to those disposable, cheap, ugly black umbrellas,” said owner Teresa Soroka, 30, who opened the store on Nov. 16. “They’re bad for the environment, and in a fashionable city they’re a disgrace.”

So, why all the candy? “What’s better on a rainy day than a bag of candy?” Ms. Soroka explained. “I wanted a colorful, cheerful experience when shopping.” Read more…

A Designer’s Take on East Village Style

I work in fashion, which means I can say things like “stripes are the new black” without getting laughed at. I have also recently started an accessories line which means I can call myself a “designer” and now everyone I meet thinks I make everything I wear.

I don’t let how I dress define who I am, so while eavesdropping during Sunday brunch in the East Village, I was surprised to hear that not only do some people define a person by their style, but they also define style by a neighborhood.

A gaggle of girls sat at the table next to me and said “our waitress dresses so East Village-y, you can just tell she lives around here.” This got me thinking. I’m now an East Village resident and haven’t broken out a CBGBs T-shirt since high school.

Are a pair of Converse and some plaid a dead giveaway? If these girls could so easily point out an East Village “look,” how do others stereotype the East Village aesthetic?

I style stalked a handful of people, and found the common answer to be “individualism.” People see the East Village as a place where style doesn’t define who you are, but it can help describe who you are and what you’re feeling. Take a look at the slideshow above to see what people consider East Village style to be.

Allison Hertzberg is owner and head designer at Accessories By ASH

Do you think there’s a distinctive East Village style?