Shop Local Rochester: #Roc the Holiday!


the holidays are here




{ The holidays are unofficially here. Although I say, when 20-below weather arrives along with the snow … it’s full-on shopping season! So gear-up + get ready to hear what’s good from the #ROC. Because #ShopLocalRoc is bringing it this holiday season. }

This holiday, shop with a cause.


Two incredible websites + blogs, A-List Rochester + Flower City Fashionista, along with BESL { me } are bringing you access to Rochester’s best #ShopLocal spots + events, gifts + ideas. Why?? Because the holidays are about giving + getting. And that’s exactly what shopping local does for you + for our community.

be sustainable this holiday season.

give + get:

#ShopLocal is sustainable for our:

  • economy
  • environment
  • budgets

#ShopLocalRoc is a fun + festive way to make shop local a lifestyle { while giving the greatest gifts. }

look good, feel good:


Getting started is simple. { And you can win prizes! }

  1. Shop at a local store or event!
    • And if you want to participate in our contest …
  2. Take a photo
  3. Tag on Facebook or Instagram using: #shoplocalroc
  4. Be entered to receive great prizes from many of our prized shops around Rochester

The best way to spread Holiday Cheer,

is pledging #shoplocalroc loud for all to hear.

Take the { Polar } Pledge. Get loud about it! Why not?

  1. Write a pledge.
  2. Post on Social Media.
  3. Voice your #shoplocalroc feats.

Pledge’s are simple solutions you resolve to take while holiday shopping this season. It could be anything! Some quick ideas are:

  • Before heading to the big box store for children’s toys … I’m going to Archimage on Monroe Ave!
  • Instead of catching that sale on dish ware for the party … I’m going to try my local VOA!
  • Forget the mall for one-stop-shopping. I’m hitting South Ave in the South Wedge!

Let us know what your plans are on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, and hashtag #shoplocalroc.

{ To be eligible for the contest, include a photo of what you’ve purchased. }

make it count:

every $1 spent locally has 3x the impact!

#ShopLocalRoc makes it easy for you to make it count! For all of the best gift giving + gift guides, check-in with:




Spokes + Ink Festival: June 7, 2014.

{Photo taken from Spokes + Ink Website.}






WHERE: 317 WILCOX ST. {That’s my last name. Please do not excuse the enthusiasm.} MONROE AVE, BETWEEN OXFORD + RUTGERS.





“It’s a Monroe Ave block party mashup of cycling enthusiasts, local artists, cold beer, live music, unique vendors, and stuff for the kids.” –Facebook Event

I have been to Genesee Center. But I’ve never been to Spokes + Ink! Both are just down the street from where I live. Genesee Center for the Arts + Education (GCAE), member of The National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts + a community based non-profit on Monroe Ave {near 490}, “transforms lives” and our Rochester community. Celebrating its 4 year this June, I am seriously excited to finally check out GCAE’s Spokes + Ink’s Festival! Aside from general dopeness, here are my Top Pics:



WHO: Locally produced prints by local graphic artists, letterpress artists, + photographers.

WHAT: All $20! This year’s? See examples HERE. {ALERT : High Level of Pure Talent.}



WHO: The Pickpockets

WHAT: Bootleg Ass Cassette Mixtape. I gotta find out more about these guys.

WHERE: 1st saw them live at 1975 Gallery for an event in partnership with The Little Theatre.

WHY: True musicians. Haunting music … that makes you dance!




WHERE: All along Monroe Avenue. Get your FUNK on.


WHO: Skateboards. BMX-ers. Fathers. Athletes. KRUDCO. Community.

WHAT: Fundraising Initiative + Advocacy Group.

WHY: To get a “well-let, safe, outdoor, community center for the entire family” up in Rochester, NY.


WHO: Amber Odhner + Catelyn Augustine

WHAT: Local + Organic artisan ice cream. Gluten free + vegan options! So delicious!!!

WHERE: South Wedge Farmers’ Market, Thurs 4-7 | Joe Bean Coffee Roasters, Fri 6-9 | Brighton Farmers’ Market, Sun 9-1 | Abundance Cooperative Market  | { My 1st time? At Rochester Brainery‘s Brainery Bazaar. }


WHO: Printing + Book Arts Center

WHAT: Classes + Studio Access for “letterpress printing, bookbinding, book arts, paper making, + calligraphy.”

be a spoke, leave your ink

Spokes + Ink Festival spins the wheels of collaboration + creativity within Rochester, NY. Each organization, each shop, each band, each business that contributes to this fest is another spoke in the wheel of Rochester. Growing. Thriving. Connecting. Moving. Spokes + Ink is more than a festival and more than a block party. Spokes + Ink is a lifestyle. Spokes + Ink links us to our greater Rochester community. Ultimately, Spokes + Ink helps us to spin the wheels that keep Rochester moving.

Thank you to Genesee Center for the Arts + Education and to Communications Specialist Kate Edgerton for this indelible festival!!

See ya there!








Shop Local. Diners, Deschanels, and Dives.

How does Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives relate to Zooey Deschanel??? Aside from both being deliciously bold & uniquely baller? Well … consider a local Rochester, NY hotdog joint & an unconventional boutique. Maybe the two-toned Fu Man Fieri & bright eyed Indie babe Deschanel could go in-sies:
Diners, Deschanels, and Dives.
Let’s do this.
Guy Fieri.
Twit Pic.
Zooey Deschanel.Twit Pic.

The other night, I got lil’ bit carried away. Or lazy. (Perspective.) While trolling ’round the internet figuring out how to increase my blog traffic (…there’s a lot more to this than recording your thoughts and Instagram-ing some phots, apparently), I happened upon Triple D, as Guy likes to say, … and never turned it off.
Homemade burritos, original BBQ, Salvadorian food, and hotdogs.
Hot. Dogs. Grilled & crisp. Custom dressed. Hot dogs. I had to have. I mean, I don’t even like hotdogs. Okay, take me to a ball game, I’m down. Grill me one up, I eat. So let’s put it this way. … I don’t crave hotdogs. Ever. (And Rochester, NY got some pretty good hots. Among other specialities, ‘s kinda our thing.)
So after my TV pig-out on Monday, ’round 10PM (when the new episodes air), I got a hankering. Craving. Longing. Aching. …Don’t pretend like you don’t know. And until some foodie-techie-god invents the TV which instantly serves your favorite TV show dishes, these tastes typically go unsatisfied. But this one was just too great. Lucky for me, I just live just a few streets from Monroe Avenue. Enter …
Pit Bull & Sweet Potato Fries.
Dog Town. Monroe & Oxford. Rochester, NY.
Truly. I cannot say enough about the culinary creations this surprisingly visually appealing hole-in-the-wall, at the end of Oxford & Monroe, cooks-up. For one, they use Martusciello’s bread. You might not be from the West Side, but you probably know what this means. (For those who don’t. Go. Bomber. Cannoli. Bread. Do. It.) For two, to understand, you just have to devour their menu, check-out some cute doggy pics (which line their walls), & eat-in or take-out
They even have vegetarian options! With names of hots which range from killer cities–Cincinnati Red Dog and Chicago Bull Dog–to cuddly pups–Bernese Mountain Dog, Pit Bull, Boston Terrier (a fraction)–you will find that picking just one is harder than plucking from the litter.
After being raised with a pit, being soul mates with another pit, & currently living with my roommate and her pit, I chose the Pit Bull Dog. You got sauteed peppers, onions, BBQ sauce, Dog Town Sauce.
* * *
Thank you, Triple D–Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives–and Guy Fieri for inspiring this tantalizing treat for my taste buds. I owe you one. Oh and also, you should probably come to this place.
Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives/Deschanel Combo
How’s my girl Zooey tie-in? Um. Classiest/bangingest dress I own.  (See above. See below.) So vintage-Indie-hipster, know Zooey’s kind of jel. And it’s work apropos. And it’s drinks approved. And it’s from a unique boutiqueRight across the street from DT.
* * *
Fav Dress. Zooey-Esque.
I cannot do 668 on the Avenue justice in just this post. Imposs. Just like we can’t do DogTown hot dogs justice until you go on & get one … or 8. Basically, you need to know that Archimage is like no other shop in Rochester and truly, reminds me namely of gift shops I’ve seen ’round BK neighborhoods like Park Slope & Clinton Hill.
Zooey Dress. Fox Image Campaign.
Take from Twitter via Instagram.
Fashion for the Contentious-Minded Fashionista.
Their clothing is comprable to Anthro & has prices like Target. Someday I will photograph for you all the pieces I own. And all that I wished I owned…
Their jewelry mimes Forever21, oftener with better quality. …I got my prom jewelry here! But also just as trendy. And certainly more one-of-a-kind.
Dress Required a Slip.
Vintage from Mom.
Stuck for a Gift?
Let’s talk toy shop. Old fashioned. New fangled. Multi-Award Winning. Something out of Diagon Alley, without the wizarding bobs. Though I’m sure you could find those, too. What you deff will find are finger puppets for toddlers. Bacon wallets for hipsters. And wooden snakes for old school young-at-heart-sters. It’s like 3 walls of odds ‘n’ things. But you get lost for hours and more.
Birthday, Anniversary, Weddings
Asian pottery. Crafted wind-chimes & instruments. Silver Celtic & Asian inspired jewelry. Throws & scarves & clothes made of recycled and/or natural materials.
Stressed, Spiritual, Neither, Both.
Archimage will help you unwind. Incense. Candles. Lotions. Tibetan Singing Bowls. After almost 30 years of biz, this staff is knowledgeable & reliable.
Promise a separate post just on this beaut with pics & pics & pics galore. Until then … You don’t have to park on Monroe Ave. Hit up Oxford Square  (parking lot right off Oxford before Monroe/check out this Roc blog I just found!!!) or Oxford Street itself & bring your wallet. You will find more than you bargained for.
And that’s a great thing.
* * *
So whatchya’ say Guy & Zooey 
Cool & Hip combo, no.
* * *
View of DogTown Sign, Monroe Ave, Oxford Square.
Rochester, NY.
Diners, Deschanels, and Dives.




Shop Local. Glass Bead Artist Francesca DeCaire.

Orphan Beads.
Unique Creations that Need a Home!
And at $2 & $3 …

Francesca DeCaire is Hip

& Her Beads, Hipper.
Clearly, I like her style.
.Studio at 1115 Main St E. Suite 216. Rochester. NY. 14609.
.Open studio First Friday. Schedule an Appointment. Check Calendar. 
.Email Or Google Voice 585-789-1761.
That penguin’s a bead, folks. I know.


Last Wednesday at Blessed Sacrament Church (also the site of rummage posts here & here) parking lot, Momsly & I stopped by the Monroe Village Farmer’s Market , held every Wednesday from 4pm-7pm between June 13 & Oct 17 (this season). …We rolled in just ’bout closing-time and were relieved to find live jazz in full-swing & several artisans & farmers still vending.
I came for cherries, bananas, cucumbers (foods unforgiving for the fashionably late, & rightfully so), & I toyed with lilies, basil, & breads. But it wasn’t food nor flower that tempted & enticed. (…’Least not food of the edible kind.)
It was beads. Beads! Beads, I say. Beads.
Handmade Beads.
Chic. Neat. Timeless.

Beads, a pastime I haven’t dabbled in since my first attempts at self-employment during the early years when Skippy ice pops were hot & sidewalk chalk, bragging-rights. Beads. Which ran me a strong $25 ($5 a pop for mine. Others are both more & less expensive, orphaned beauties as low as $2 & $3!) that I don’t have. And I. Don’t. Care.

For these aren’t just beads.
Food & Fancy.
: corn on the cob. strawberries. cupcakes.
Hibou: owls. owls. owls.

Francesca DeCaire is a self-made glass bread artist who hand-blows her own glass to fashion, shape, & mold each bead individually. Swirls, stripes, flecks; whirls, bands, bobs; earrings, necklaces, stoppers; owls, cupcakes, corn. Ask her how it’s done &, as with her craftsmanship, she won’t hold back. Using grit & passion, strength & creativity, & a heroic clash of oxygen & flame, DeCaire forges each unique bead by hand or–ertorch. (GTT Lynx, to be exact.) It’s a science, it’s an art, it’s a lifestyle, and DeCaire does it great.

Classy & Unique.
Classic. Stunning. Creative.

How can you find her? Visit during First Friday, schedule an appointment at her Boutique, find her at farmer’s markets & festivals, & contact DeCaire by visiting her website & blog. (And don’t forget to Like on Facebook!) Anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, congratulations, thank yous, & just because’s: DeCaire’s Glass Beads make a unique, timeless, fun, & LOCAL gift for all to enjoy.

Great Gifts.
Left: Pendants.
Right: Wine stoppers.
Buy Local.
What a Hoot.Hoo! Hoo!
(Buy Beads.)