Seasonal Pop-Up Shops Debut
Pop-up shops are also known as flash retailing, and the term is appropriate. One minute, there’s an empty space. Then in a flash, a shining beacon of retail has, well, popped up. In the spirit of its current RC CAPSULE program, Rockefeller Center is now home to three unique shops just in time for the holidays. Selling all sorts of goodies ranging from pasta to perfect puffy down jackets, these pop-ups are here today … and will be gone in a matter of weeks or months. So the phrase to remember here is carpe diem.
Let’s start with pasta, because who doesn’t need a plate of fresh linguine with pesto right now? Fresh is the operative word, because we all know the disappointment when your takeout seems to have timed out on the trip home. The MP at 30 Rockefeller Plaza pop up—from Missy Robbins, the chef behind Brooklyn favorites Lilia and Misi—sells its house-made pasta with sauce and instructions (simple, not Joy of Cooking–length), so you can easily make it at home and serve it up steaming hot, right off the stove. MP at 30 Rockefeller Plaza also pays tribute to Italian specialty shops by offering a range of classic ingredients to work with, such as pecorino, olive oils, and red wine vinegar. MP at 30 Rockefeller Plaza’s deliciousness is available at Rock Center for six weeks before it goes addio.
Delicious is a word that also applies to non-edibles, especially when it comes to the feeling, on a cold winter day, of slipping into warm slippers or pulling on a soft Fair Isle sweater. For that sensation, visit Westerlind’s new Winter Wonderland at Rock Center. With the temperature dropping and the outdoors feeling more and more like our definitive comfort zone these days, Westerlind is the place for expertly crafted outdoor gear that blends functionality with fashion and contains materials to maximize comfort and coziness. But unlike actual winter, which can feel endless, this Winter Wonderland is in Midtown for just two months.
Luxury lifestyle brand CÔTE À COAST, the New York–based store with downtown roots, is now in Midtown Manhattan at Rock Center, and features a men’s clothing line, home goods like alpaca pillows and sleek ceramics, and accessories and personal care. An extreme draw here is the clothing line, which may decisively end the impossible quest that is buying presents for guys. CÔTE À COAST offers a special spin on all kinds of favorite items—take the sweatshirt, for example. It’s comfy. It’s cozy. And it becomes super classy with unique touches like suede elbow patches or embellished pockets, making it a perfect gift. The store is open at Rock Center for three months, so remember the golden rule of all pop-ups: seize the day, because that sweatshirt—and the fresh pasta and soft, wool-lined leather gloves—will be gone in a flash.
Update: Joey Bats Café Opens
Joey Bats Café at 1 Rockefeller Plaza has joined the roster of seasonal pop-up shops, featuring its own special take on pastéis de nata, a Portuguese pastry that dates back to 1800s Lisbon. Rich with egg custard on the inside, it’s like a crisp croissant filled with crème brûlée and then dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Joey Batista, a.k.a. Joey Bats, is very familiar with the delicacy; his mother, a Portuguese immigrant, developed the café’s recipe for pastéis de nata. Batista and his mother, Isabel Fernandes, bring this and other Portuguese treats to Joey Bats Café—located on the Lower East Side in addition to its new home at Rock Center—including the bolo de bolacha (Portuguese Maria crackers soaked in espresso and layered with vanilla pudding). Pair one of these sweet treats with, say, a macchiato, and you’ve got a delicious grab-and-go snack that’ll keep you warm on a winter outing in Midtown—but only for a limited time.