Kick & Play: Finding The Unique Slip-On Sneaker

Casual, conventional loafers and slip-ons are easy to find, but stand-out, unique pairs are not. From clothes to footwear, it seems like every company – from H&M, to Zara, to Banana Republic – is doing the same as the next.

But amid all the generic styles are some that do stand out. Here are some simple pairs that add a touch of flair to your feet.

THE KICKS:

Brooks Brothers Suede Tie Driving Moc (to the left)

Driving moccasins are always good to have – whether as a back up in your closet for those days you aren’t sure what shoes to wear to brunch or as your main dinner party shoe.

The rubber sole with a padded sole makes for a comfortable shoe. But this driving moccasin by Brooks Brothers uses suede to give the boat-shoe style pair a really raw, cozy look.

With this loafer, be a preppy with dark brown or grey or evangelize the hipster inside of you with red, bright blue, or bright green (not shown).

Available at your local Brooks Brothers or online, $148.

Y3 Decade

Decade sneaker

Yohji Yamamoto, aka renowned shoe designer for Y3 and Adidas, is always good at sleek design with a standout twist. For his 2013 collection, he unleashes the Decade, a stunning low-cut sportswear slip-on sneaker in black with a deep purple sole.

The shoe is a cool mixture of leather and mesh, surrounded by an elastic fastening system to give a clean, snug fit. The great thing about the Decade is its cushioned insole, which lets you leave the casual kick on your feet for hours and still be comfortable. Perfect for the gym and street running, but great for jeans and dark pants if you want a dark sneaker with a little pop.

Available on the Y3 website, $290.00.

THE PLAY:

Bien CuitWest Village, NYC
At Bien Cuit, you get fresh pastries delivered twice daily – from croissants, to chocolate bundts, to homemade breads and pistachio roulades. My favorites include the almond chocolate croissant coupled with their frothy cappuccino, and their reuben sandwich featuring their famous homemade bread. Woody interior, marble counter, long front windows – this is the perfect spot for a Saturday morning chat, or casual blind date.

Tavern, Brentwood, Ca.
Tavern might be one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. While Tavern has earned its acclaim and honors, still, nobody talks about it enough. A fine dining experience with a bakery next door, the beautiful space has something for everybody. But their fresh-baked cookies might be the best you’ll have ever experienced. Top that with pumpkin bread pudding, monkey bread, and medjool date cakes, and you have an eclectic vibe of sweets to leave you coming back regularly. Tavern is perfect for brunch, delicious for dinner, but unbelievable for desert.

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco, Ca.
One of San Francisco’s finest characteristics is the city’s openness and diversity. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, is the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Fresh produce, meat, cheese, and pastries come to the city with an international sense of community. Here, city goers are able to try breads, fruits, and creative chocolate flavors and take all types of goods home. While dinners out on the town are always nice, sometimes it’s refreshing to bring home exotic fruits, fresh organic greens, and get creative for a nice hearty dinner at home. The best experience for me at the Farmers Market? Mocha chocolate by Scwarffen Berger.

Walk fresh. Eat right. Be well.

AS

Contact the author of this post at aamir17@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

New West Village Bakery Brings Back The Charm

Spending the morning at a little corner café with a good book and steaming coffee sounds like weekend bliss – until you look around and realize your escape looks like more like a laptop-scattered, Facebook-festered battlefield than the picture of neighborhood quaint. But on the corner of Waverly Pl. and Christopher St. sits a newcomer who offers that 19th-century charm: Bien Cuit, flanked with whitewashed wooden tables, long, front windows, buttery ham and cheese, and chocolate croissants – and no connection to technology. And since we know Bien’s Wi-Fi-less days are temporary and numbered (sigh), it makes a day spent there even more pressing.

If you’re a Brooklyn resident, you’ve probably heard of the café before, most likely linked with words like “the bread,” “pastries,” “like Paris,” and “addiction.” With its first location in Cobble Hill, the owners seek to maintain the same vibe as Bien’s BK counterpart.  However, when placed in the West Village, the café-bakery takes on a whole different feel, more European, as if a page from a Bronte book was brought to life.

Though the menu teems with savory-sweet breakfast pastries like almond paste-poppy seed tebirke, maple yam Danish, and almond croissants,  the desserts and sandwiches hit the flavor extremes, with options like banana chocolate bourbon tart, and porcini and parsnip and roast beef sandwiches. And perhaps the best part is that everything, including the bread, is homemade and baked on-site at the Cobble Hill location, so every sandwich is guaranteed to have that fresh bread. Plus, since all the goodies are delivered fresh from across the river twice a day daily, they’ll most likely always have your favorites there waiting for you. But then again, as word gets out (whoops!), they’ll run out. So moral of the story: Go.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here

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