From Santa Cruz to NYC

As The Penny Rose gets under way, one of the key components of this blog is to talk about the creative innovations coming out of Santa Cruz, San Francisco and New York. As a nod to this idea, I found a charming book at Stripe, a boutique-lover's paradise in Santa Cruz. The tome, "The Stylist's Guide to NYC" by interior stylist Sibella Court, offers New York visitors (and residents) a tour of Manhattan that's focused on where to shop and what to do, and it will inspire your design palette. From the Chelsea Antiques Garage to the garden wares at American Foliage, to the Paula Rubenstein store, this book highlights the best that New York has to offer. With a pullout map and inspired photography, "The Stylist's Guide to NYC" is a must-have for anyone who has the notion to redecorate her home, office, or even set up a photo shoot.

The book retails for $25 and if you visit Stripe on a Tuesday and say, "I heart downtown Santa Cruz," you'll get 20 percent off. Stripe, owned by Suna Lock and Dana Norrell, specializes in vintage furniture, hand-made jewelry, woven rugs, fragrant bath products and much more. If you're planning a trip to New York, be sure to grab this book.

"The Stylist's Guide to NYC," sells for $25 at Stripe, 107 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz,

Goldy + Mac

On the street you would probably keep walking past Goldy + Mac on 7th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The window displays are, sorry to say it, a bit hodgepodge. A couple of mannequins and some kids toys, blankets, the back of a stuffed animal.

Inside, however, is trove of stylish, on trend, highly affordable women’s apparel. These are not long term investment pieces, but they are a great way to keep your wardrobe up-to-date without sacrificing your paycheck to the god of Trend. With racks arranged along the walls and garments grouped by color, you’ll find everything you need for the seasons, be it a winter coat, a summer sundress and everything in between to keep you looking good. It’s easy to shop this outlet of the Goldy + Mac empire which consists of two shops at almost opposite ends of the same neighborhood. The shop on 5th Avenue is longer and narrower but full of the same trendy treats. The 7th Avenue shop has the middle area dedicated to accessories and shapewear laid out on two tables. It’s refreshing to have space to walk and room to breathe and browse. Included in the well-edited clothing selection are extremely affordable jewelry, candles, shapewear and accessories like hats, gloves, scarves and handbags.

In a nod to the area's large population of children, they have a small wall dedicated to toys, onesies, swaddling blankets, headbands and stuffed animals. I have found myself there for gifts on several occasions and have never left empty-handed.

What strikes me most about Goldy + Mac is how well priced they are across all categories. In a world where the divide between luxury and budget seems to be expanding, it’s a treat to find a shop like this that lets you indulge in the latest trends while maintaining quality that is a cut above the low priced retailers.