Cartolina on Location: NYC; Fishs Eddy

Written by Fiona Richards of Cartolina Cards and Cafe Cartolina.

fish4A huge thank you to Fiona of Cartolina Cards who is sharing a bit of her trip to NYC this past week with this post on one of her favorite shops, Fish's Eddy. Also as a side note, Fiona has started up her very own blog, Cafe Cartolina this past week, (a curious collection of art and inspiration), which we're absolutely thrilled about!

Well we left our neck of the woods for a week and headed off to the International Illustrators Conference(ICON5) in New York.
I love going to New York. It's very odd to drive away in the morning, from the middle of nowhere (Nelson, BC), and find yourself in the centre of the universe by night fall.

There are very few stores in New York that I like better then Fish's Eddy. The wonderful interior space is filled to the brim with vintage dinnerware, flatware, glassware and linens. Along with the massive amounts of vintage there are some great modern pieces based on vintage design. Its a little overwhelming but if you are not in a hurry you can find some real treasures here. And I love the way they merchandise the store. There are so may tea towels hanging from the ceiling and sugar bowls stacked into pyramids. You have to be very careful not to crash into displays as you wander around with your jaw hanging open at the scale of it all.


One of the things that I think is very clever at Fish's Eddy is that often it's hard to identify the modern from the vintage.

Everything is displayed in scruffy old cupboards and shelves which gives you the feeling that you are the first person to discover this amazing old stash of stuff. In fact it probably is the same feeling that the owners had when they first laid eyes on their original inventory source, "One fortuitous day we came across an old barn filled with endless stacks of dishware from hotels, restaurants and diners. There were bushels of cups, creamers and sugar bowls. There were plates and platters stacked sky high.The barn had been in a terrible fire and it was in bad shape… yet the dishes were surprisingly intact. Still, the content was only good to anyone willing to cart it away." And apparently they were the willing ones!


The green/jadeite pressed glassware, above, is very flamboyant and eye catching. The sign above the display says "The Madonna Inn". When I googled the Madonna Inn I did find a number of establishments that look like they might actually have used such extravagant goblets at one time(hopefully they've moved on now to something more minimal in design!)


Some of the modern and reproduction pieces available at Fish's Eddy are really wonderful. A talented group of designers have produced a number of in-house lines that really represent a good cross over from vintage to modern. I especially loved the display of porcelain glove manequins - all different shapes and sizes. I think they would be great for jewelry displays don't you?

The other lines that caught my eye were the momgrammed mugs and the floor plan plates. Great ideas - beautifully designed and produced.


Fish's Eddy is located in the Flatiron District of New York:
889 Broadway at 19th Street
They are open until 9pm most evenings.

Fortunately, for those of us who live in the middle of nowhere, they have an online store.

And, in their words, Fish's Eddy is all about, ". . . wares that are tried and true and stand the test of time. To be eclectic and free thinking. To know that in the kitchen, the rules should be breakable, not the dishes. And most importantly…to always have some good old fashion fun! "

Written by Fiona of Cartolina Cards and Cafe Cartolina.

Jan Halvarson


Julie said...

What fabulous photographs! This shop will definitely be on my list of things to see/shop on my next visit to NYC.

Jennifer W. said...

Oh, no - the gaudy, over the top goblets are still there and are one of the signature pieces that make the Madonna Inn famous!!

Leah said...

I'm quite sure the world-famous Madonna Inn has quite proudly NOT moved on to anything more minimal in design.

I mean, check out these rooms:

The Madonna is insanely over the top, and proud of it!



Fiona Cartolina said...

Thanks for the info on the Madonna Inn. there was no explanation at Fish's Eddy on this establishment. And when I googled the name dozens of different places showed up. I was not to know that it was the "world Famous Madonna Inn" but now I know. And obviously this all part of their image - well I never!

Unknown said...

I just recently went to visit my brother in NYC and he took me to Fish's Eddy and I instantly feel in love! I am from the San Francisco Bay Area and would LOVE to have a shop in my neck of the woods. I have been to the website, but its just not the same...

Anonymous said...

I've stayed at the famous Madonna Inn - it's in San Luis Obispo (Central California Coast). It's one of those things that you just HAVE to do for the pure experience of doing it. Yes, those goblets indeed were there when I was there several years ago!

Great report, Fiona. I will just have to put that on my list of places to go to next time I am in NYC.

Anonymous said...

The Madonna Inn is one of a kind. As a kid, I used to stay there with my parents when we'd take road trips from Los Angeles to San Francisco to visit my grandparents. Every room in the hotel is decorated with a different theme. The one I remember best was the cave room, which featured rock walls, and a faux zebra skin bed throw. The Madonna is famous for the brightly colored goblets they use in their restaurant and sell in the store. Love the Madonna!