bde’s guide to spring in NYC


The Jefferson Market Garden in the West Village.


The season for fresh starts and fair-weather fun has arrived – spring in NYC. Read our top choices for where to go and what to see:



The Brooklyn Botanic Garden hosts Sakura Matsuri each year, which celebrates Japanese culture and honors the tradition of appreciating the cherry blossom season. Held April 29th and 30th, the festival is packed with musical performances, a fashion show and flea market, cultural workshops and artful presentations. Alternatively, plan a more personalized visit during peak bloom using the garden’s cherry blossom tracker.

The New York Botanical Garden presents works of art by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly beginning April 22nd, with 20 inspiring installations situated throughout the garden grounds. Go for CHIHULY Nights to enjoy the artwork along with entertainment, shopping and themed cocktails.

Celebrate Prospect Park’s 150th anniversary with light bites and specialty cocktails at the Party for the Park spring fundraiser (May 14th), volunteer with the Prospect Park Alliance and REI at the It’s My PARK! Day (May 20th) and sample the city’s best eats at Smorgasburg every Sunday.

Looking for more outdoor endeavors? The 14th annual Jones Beach Air Show is another springtime classic.

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Springtime cherry blossoms



The Queens International Night Market is a must for those searching for unique goods, as the open-air expo features up to 100 independent vendors. The NYC Artisan Bazaar on April 30th is worth a visit as well, with 100% of the profits donated to local public schools. Curated and hosted by the Grand Bazaar NYC, the marketplace will have rare crafts, home décor, jewelry, art and more.

Love the Brooklyn Flea market? Stop by the new location in Williamsburg at the East River State Park.

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Springtime shopping



Check out the Whitney Biennial for thought-provoking modern art. Pause for a drink at the rooftop Studio Café or brunch at Untitled on the museum’s first floor, and if you’re craving something sweet, head to nearby Ample Hills Creamery to try the famed Ooey Gooey Butter Cake ice cream.

If you haven’t done so already, visit the Brooklyn Museum for Marilyn Minter’s Pretty Dirty exhibition mentioned in our winter guide. This emotional exploration of beauty, femininity and desire is still on view through May 7th. Georgia O’Keeffe’s Living Modern exhibition is another Brooklyn Museum high point. End an art-filled afternoon with pizza at Speedy Romeo, within walking distance from the museum.

A/D/O in Greenpoint features the Utopia-Dystopia exhibition, a multi-channel video installation exploring the role design plays in a tech-supported society. Swing by The Met rooftop to see Adrián Villar Rojas’ unique plaster-cast dinner party installation and the Costume Institute’s Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between exhibit.

Art aficionados also can’t miss Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island Park from May 5th-7th. View and purchase pieces from more than 1,000 of today’s best artists and experience unique cultural programming all weekend. Additionally, the annual Collective Design fair is May 3rd-7th at Skylight Clarkson Square.



The Brooklyn Museum



Movie buffs take note: Tribeca Film Festival is back starting April 19th. Our top picks: I Am Heath Ledger and Shadowman. The festival’s screening of The Godfather will also involve a cast reunion. For films under the stars, Rooftop Cinema Club shows movies at Yotel in Manhattan or OfficeOps in Williamsburg. We recommend the classics: Donnie Darko & Dirty Dancing.

Quad Cinema, the historic Greenwich Village theater, reopens on April 14th after a multi-million dollar renovation. Go for the intimate, private screening vibes and for the cinema’s classic repertoire.



Stop by the Harlem EatUp! Festival May 15th - 21st, a four-day celebration of Harlem’s sights, cuisine and culture.

Another great alternative for a springtime culinary experience: indulge in unlimited bacon and craft beer at the Bacon & Beer Classic at Citi Field. Held April 29th – 30th, this festival offers a taste of the best craft beer from regional breweries and bacon-infused dishes from local chefs.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to the Jacques Torres Chocolate Museum – schedule a session in advance to make your own chocolate with a professional chocolatier.

Bacon and Beer Classic

The Bacon & Beer Classic at Citi Field.


For more springtime inspiration in our city, we love the Instagram accounts of travel + lifestyle blogger Christine Amorose Merrill and content creator Tamara Peterson. Need some more ideas for the top spring events, restaurants, museums and shopping? Stay tuned for our guide to NYCxDESIGN.


Let us know your favorite warm weather activities @bdebytes!

bde’s Annual Salone Restaurant Guide 2017

Salone Guide Blog

Are you looking forward to this as much as we are?

Euroluce always heightens the excitement of Salone del Mobile…and I’m sure this year will be no exception.

And, of course, we’ve updated, edited and reached out to some great experts on the restaurant scene in Milan for the bde Annual Salone Restaurant Guide.

The big (and sad) news is the closing of Bagutta. Rumor has it that incredibly rising rents due to the increase of fashion brands on Via Bagutta forced the restaurant to close. However, I did hear that they’ve reopened as Trattoria Bagutta 1924 on Via Borgospesso 1. In the interest of real news, however, I will try it out before recommending!


First, however, our clients:


You’re invited to join us for Icon Design Talks, as Alberto Alessi presents on the phenomenon of the Italian Design Factories at Microsoft House in Viale Pasubio 21 on Thursday, April 6th at 5:30pm. RSVP here. Plus, visit Alessi at Via Manzoni 14/16 to see an overview of Zaha Hadid’s visionary designs from tea & coffee towers, to Forma and more. Around town? Keep an eye out for Alessi at La Triennale, the Elle Decor Concept Store, La Rinascente, and more.



Experience the newest introductions from DEDON, a new client of bde’s, at the fair in Hall 20, Stand E07-F10.



Visit FLOS at Euroluce in Hall 13, Stand C09-D18, and be sure to see their architectural products in town at Corso Monforte 15. Join us for cocktails to celebrate at Corso Monforte 15 on Thursday, April 6th, 6:30-9:30pm – RSVP here.



Join Fantini for a presentation of their new collection with designer Kim Paik Sun on April 5th, from 7-9pm in their showroom at Via Solferino 18. RSVP here. Also, don’t miss Daniela Fantini and Piero Lissoni at the showroom on April 4th at 6pm, for a presentation about Casa Fantini/Lake Time resort in Lake Orta. RSVP here.


Louis Poulsen - Salone Guide

Visit Louis Poulsen (another new bde client!) at Euroluce in Hall 11, Stand C36-C40 to see the newest collections and be sure to join for a special celebration on Tuesday, April 4th from 3-6pm.


Be sure to see new introductions from Molteni&C (yes, another client new to bde!) at Salone in Hall 20, Stand A01/B02/C02. Plus, join us for a celebration of the opening of the new flagship store at Corso Europa 2 on Tuesday, April 4th from 9-11pm. RSVP here.


Join us for a party to celebrate nanimarquina’s 30th anniversary on April 5th at 8pm in Via dell’Aprica 12 (RSVP here) and visit us to experience the new collections yourself at Salone in Hall 16, Stand D41.



Of course, we would love to hear from you on anything Salone…and also any comments re: our clients, restaurants, design, etc. If you’re interested in VIP invitations or appointments, please email me.



Disclaimer: There’s STILL one place I will NOT list as it is so small and so special & I want to keep it that way – Sorry! (Michael Anastassiades loves it too!) I’m more of a trattoria person so if any of the “chic” places are not on the list – apologies.



Not tested, but sure they are great.

Via Piero delle Francesca 74
02 4547 6898
Designer Toan Nguyen recommends this Japanese, 1 Michelin star restaurant. Owner is Chinese; Chef is one of the best Sushi chefs.

Via Paolo Sarpi 8 (Chinatown)
02 8341 7249
Aperitivo only – closes at 3 p.m.

Deus Cafe
Via Thaon di Revel 3
02 8343 9230
Motorcycle accessories & café for apertivo and typical buffet. Interesting.

N’Ombra de Vin
Via S. Marco 2
02 659 9650
Aperitivo recommendation from our wonderful photographer Federica Carlet.

Bianchi Café & Cycles
Via Felice Cavallatti 8
02 2506 1039
Seems to be a trend putting food and moving vehicles together! This one is crowded with vegetarian, gluten and lactose free options. Did I say trendy?

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Top 10 Insights & Highlights from Social Media Week NYC



A week-long conference dedicated to social media is right up our alley. Social Media Week was packed with seminars and workshops about the ever-changing state of social and industry trends to watch out for. With topics ranging from AI and chatbots to UGC and online communities, each discussion indicated that the rate at which social and digital media are changing the marketing landscape is certainly worth consideration.

Read our top 10 takeaways from this year’s conference:

  1. Add value. Quality work & velocity don’t have to be at odds with each other. Focusing on adding value to the cultural conversation and aligning this high quality content with a digital drive strategy is a successful combination that can quickly grow an audience while remaining true to a brand’s core values.
  1. Consider distribution proactively. Distribution strategy should not be an afterthought; no one will see the great content a brand creates if thoughtful distribution isn’t planned alongside content creation. For example, In a branded content campaign with Trojan + Viacom Velocity, the content studio guaranteed a set number of views and impressions upfront, which impacted the campaign and distribution strategy from the beginning. The campaign paired a clinical sexologist with a YouTube comedian & performer to create an 8-part digital series with 170 content pieces. The results: 226m total impressions.
  1. Understand user mentalities. Millennials’ attention spans are shorter than that of a fish – less than 7 seconds. Creating engaging, relevant content that stops users when they’re scrolling through their feeds enough to pay attention – and join the conversation or respond to a call to action – is more important than ever. Recognizing the different mindset users have when logging in to each social platform is key for creating the most valuable content.
  1. Collaborate with AI. The future of chatbots & AI isn’t necessarily people losing jobs to technology. The most effective use of these new developments is a synergistic partnership between humans and artificial intelligence, which can create innovative solutions for customer service, outbound sales and meaningful online conversations.
  1. Inspire with ideas. The best way to succeed on Pinterest is to consider this platform a “personal media” rather than a “social media.” Bringing value to the platform is all about developing an idea that will provide people with inspiration for things they want to do in their daily lives. For example, BBDO + Campbell’s recently collaborated with Pinterest in the “Campbell’s Recipe Reality Check” campaign, which pulls in relevant rich recipe pins from users’ Pinterest boards through a matching algorithm.
  1. Ask for UGC. For many brands, driving user generated content has to be active outreach rather than a passive strategy. Successful social marketers consider multiple UGC reminders, including: in person collateral or signage at stores and showrooms; unique packaging with a branded hashtag;  a UGC segment with informational copy on brand websites and receipts, etc.
  1. Let people participate in the brand story. If UGC doesn’t meet the high quality photo standards that are often essential to luxury brands’ social aesthetics, consider creative ways to incorporate UGC and make people feel part of the brand. For example, include UGC in a weekly roundup on Instagram Stories if the photos aren’t a match for the Instagram feed itself.
  1. Making video for social? Think mobile first. Gone are the days of re-purposing videos on social. If you’re planning for video on social, consider how the format is going to translate to the mobile from the beginning. Capture attention early and be sure to design for sound off, but delight with sound on.
  1. Keep Snapchat on Your Radar. Even if Snapchat isn’t right for your brand at this time, keep an eye on the recently-IPO’d Snap Inc. The app reaches 41% of 18-35 year olds in the U.S. while the average TV channel only reaches 6%. While we’re not sure how advertising on TV vs. social will change in the next 5 years, we predict it’s going to be a big departure from what’s the norm in 2017.
  1. Think about 360. We had a chance to hear the NYT speak about how storytelling has changed for them in the 360 video format. While the director’s vision steers the story in a linear format, 360 opens up a wide variety of user experiences. While we’re not diving into VR for our clients just yet, we can bet that choose-your-own-adventure style brand experiences are going to be on the rise for all mediums.