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CupcakeATMPerhaps we’ll soon see ‘artwork’ sold through ATM machines.

NYNowFavs2014NY NOW, formerly the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF), just wrapped up its Winter session.

The weather and Superbowl made it especially tough this year. One insider told LE that visitor attendance was down 75%. However, after the show, organizers reported significant order-writing from key buyers.

Some of the vendors/products that we like are: Maileg (dolls), Dionis Goat Milk Skincare, Soapology, Acca Kappa Soap Collection, Shelly Kyle Parfums and Deux Glass Collection: Fine Art Gifts and Stationery.

BondSellersDuring the 2013 New York City mayoral race, LE asked candidates Joe Lhota and Bill De Blasio if NYC could go the way of Detroit? Both said, unequivocally,”no.”

Last night we asked an institutional investor the same question. He said that he recently “unloaded” all of his New York City paper.

ValrhonaWhiteValrhona, the premier French chocolate producer, is out with a new white chocolate — “Opalys,” and the first blond chocolate — “Dulcey.” Both are terrific in cocktails and pastries.

ValrhonaChef1

Q'sNutsQ’s Nuts is an artisan nut company based in Somerville Mass., owned by husband and wife team Beth and Brian Quinn.

They put a lot of smiles on the faces of New Yorkers at the New York Wine Expo — with their amazing selection of flavored nuts.

Tokens&Icons (2)“Each of us is in truth an idea of the Great Gull, an unlimited idea of freedom…and precision flying is a step toward expressing our real nature…everything that limits us we have to put aside.” Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, 1970

The philosophy of Richard Bach has many adherents in the United State — including some who think ‘absolute freedom’ is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. American innovation and mythology, expressed in aviation — both commercial and military, also connect with that thinking.

Tokens & Icons, based in Berkeley, California, is tapping into aviation nostalgia with original parts from a Pan Am Airways Boing 707 and Grumman F-4 — that have been chopped into a collection of artifacts, ranging from cuff-links to desk-art.

SanctuarySpringThe New York International Gift Fair opened today at the Javits Center, and will run through Jan. 30.

Sanctuary Spring got our attention with cards made by former sex-trade workers in the Philippines.

WilburRossLE ran into American investor Wilbur Ross at the Winter Antiques Show, and asked him where he saw the U.S. economy going? “Sideways!” was his reply.

Commentary: One reason the U.S. economy is going ‘sideways’ is because small businesses can’t keep up with rent inflation — added to by private equity firms and REITs (real estate investment trusts).

LED/LCD TVs, for under $300, were flying out of this Best Buy in Queens, NY today.

At this year’s Chocolate Show, $8 for a 1.75 oz. bar of chocolate is a bargain. Pacari, from Ecuador, has 1.75 oz. bars for $20. Given the medicinal properties of serious chocolate some would say that is still a bargain.

There were a number of U.S. chocolate businesses represented at the show — that are innovating and making excellent products, which is good because as inflation continues to grow cocoa beans may become a new form of currency, as they were with the Aztecs.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

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