I took my daughter to a birthday party at Chelsea Piers Connecticut in Stamford yesterday. It was my first time going, but have heard so much about it – basically its pure awesomeness, with every sport under the sun, multiple ice-skating rinks, gymnasiums, pools, a waterslide park, etc. The 400,000-square-foot sports complex is quite impressive. I even got to say a quick hello to my brother, who happened to be playing in a squash tournament there at the same time. As I walked my daughter and her friends to one of the various party rooms, we admired the big gymnasiums through the glass windows, outfitted with all their adventurous tricks from head to toe, rock climbing walls, a dodge ball room – the list goes on – and the girls were giggling out loud with giddiness. They couldn’t wait to get to the party. And as much as I could have spent the afternoon there (if I was a member), it was a drop-off party and I couldn’t wait to go antiquing.
Note to parents dropping their kids off at Chelsea Piers for a party, class or game: if you don’t plan on staying and are looking for something fun and productive to do nearby (especially if you’re from Westchester or 25 minutes away like me), Stamford’s antique and design district is no more than 5 minutes away. For some reason I was expecting it to be a 15-minute drive, but when I plugged in GPS, it said 5 minutes. Perfect. I drove to Jefferson Street, one of the main roads with antique stores, and first dropped in at The Antique and Artisan Center. I have been here a few times before and appreciate its eclecticism – I always see things I want (but rarely buy), and though it is an antiques showroom (actually, several showrooms), it maintains a freshness to it that isn’t always so easy in the antiques world. Next stop was the Accessory Store next door. Filled with lighting galore and custom lamp shades, it also has pillows, decorative objects, side chairs, baskets, candles, cocktail napkins, and more. Next door to that is Harbor View Antiques, a bit more stodgy, but still worth checking out.
I got in my car again and drove around the corner to Canal Street to Hiden Galleries (which also has Lillian August in it FYI – there is no signage for it, perhaps because it is small, but there nonetheless). And next door to that is the Juliska Flagship store – who doesn’t like Juliska?! I poured over their tableware but also noticed they had a lot of other really nice items like some beautiful pillows, throws and picture frames. I quickly ran into (because at this point it was time to get back) Barry and Fred, a fun, more inexpensive place to shop for things like accessories and kids items, with its bright colors and patterns. There is also Hamptons Antique Galleries nearby which I wish I had time for this time around – a big building with several stories of antiques. Last time I was there my mom and I found a beautiful big old chest that the manager gave us a great deal on.
In driving around I noticed there is a Design Within Reach and some smaller design stores that probably could have kept me there the whole day. But alas I had to get back, ripe full of ideas for my new home, and satiated from all the pretty designs I saw. Love how close it is to Chelsea Piers because based on my daughter’s mood when I went for pick-up, we will be going there much more often.
Antique and Artisan Center- 69 Jefferson Street
The Accessory Store – 69 Jefferson Street
Harbor View Antiques- 101 Jefferson Street
Hamptons Antique Galleries – 441 Canal Street
Juliska Flagship Store – 465 Canal Street
Barry and Fred – 441 Canal Street
Design Within Reach – 711 Canal Street
Hiden Galleries and Lillian August – 47 John Street
Connecticut Antiques Center – 850 Canal Street
Greenwich Living Antiques and Design – 481 Canal Street