JUMP FOR JOY !
Rocket scientists and bamboo dealers, potters and poets have come to see the new Blue & White and have declared it a great success.
WHEW ! We have been working hard on getting the move upstairs right so that the new shop would carry the Blue & White spirit, and yet go forward with new energy and a fresh young persona.
Blue & White has reinvented itself in a bright new space, open-to-the-world where people are welcome to come and see our choice of the best of Japan in rotation.
We are jumping for joy!
We were deluged with flowers from many fields. Orchids from Okinawa and from across the street, wild flowers and wheat from Ishikawa Prefecture.
Our smiling ceramic Otafuku door handle still welcomes all to Blue & White.
After four busy months of preparing for the new shop, we reopened on April 29, the birthday of the Showa Emperor with delicious homemade food and cup cakes and cookies and drinks.
Robbie Belgrade and Bruce Huebner provided music that set the perfect tone of celebration. Their fabulous music was unexpectedly interrupted by the drumbeat and wacky music of 3 Chindonya, a musical troupe of riotous musicians dressed in comical Japanese costume, beating drums and symbols, and playing clarinets, who have an age-old tradition of going around neighborhoods to announce the opening of a new shop. They were a marvelous surprise from secret admirers in New York!
Food was homemade and delicious. Generous friends came and brought their home cooked specialties.
The hit of the day were cookies and cupcakes from twin chefs, Zoe and Jemima who put their artistry into their baked goods.
Their lacey blue filigree cookies went so fast that they were gone before I could take a photo . Fortunately one of our guests took one for me.
The New Blue & White is filled with vitality, ideas and a palpable atmosphere of welcome and communication.
Joy Boy and Genki Girl are giant welcomes of fabric patches on both sides: of cut cardboard, old indigo on one side, contemporary strips of tenugui and yukata patches on the other. They stand in the large double display window inviting people to come in and see how we have fused old Japan and new, and forged them together into a new configuration for all to enjoy.
Each corner is a small vignette of like objects grouped together:
paper goods, things for sewing, ceramics and table ware.
An indigo corner.
Books and oddities. All manner of ideas for present giving.
These owly ladies made by Shobu Gakuen seem like a modern day Otafuku, making people laugh.
Bags, paper, ceramics and tableware
And of course our signature Tenugui and Yukata
Indigo koi nobori fly in the windows
An escalator delivers people right to our door, and outside there is a safe space at our entrance at the top of the escalator for children to test drive their indigo koi nobori made by the artisans of Factory Ai (indigo), a special abilities workshop.
It is very clear.
Blue & White has created a space where koi nobori and sashiko and handmade things of old Japan and new can play together happily in their new windows on the world for all to enjoy.
Nice post with great pictures… and a super festive opening … even for late-comers.
So glad you came!
So late to reply!
Please please tell me you will soon have an online store or a way I can contact you and order one of those fabulous blue and white yukata and indigo koi nobori.
I was in your former shop in November and can’t wait to return to see your new shop. I, too, wish I could order online. I want that yukata with the tombo and spirals. I love it. Also would love the indigo Koi nobori. I have one of the workshop’s tee shirts with the rain ghosts. I love it! I love the photos.
I didn’t realize I said “love” so much, but I do.
Congratulations on the new Blue and White! I visited at the end of last year and loved the shop. I will be back next visit to Japan. I would love to be able to buy an indigo koi nobori!
Congratulations on the opening of your “Bluetiful” new store! I am sad that I am not there to see it and shop. Wishing you much success!
Love one of the cookies saying “amy”