Category Archives: Brooklyn Love

The One Second I’ve Waited Two Years For

I have so much to share in this post.  This post is not about sweets or interiors or even ballet.  Its about being a proud parent and an exciting event in my daughters life.  Its a post about that one time (of many more to come maybe) Macy was in a movie!  It is info, picture & video heavy because Ive been saving it up for two years, not joking.  And Im really using this post as a personal web log to save and cherish, I hope you enjoy reading along.

nikkiikkin macy berry headshot

In April 2012 as Macy prepared for her 4th grade state tests we receive a call from her agent that she had been “booked” for a feature background role in a movie.  Macy had been going on auditions for about 9 months with a couple of call backs and a lot of disappointment.  Im no stage mom and I hardly knew what was going on half the time or what we were getting ourselves into but I understood the word “booked” and it was a big deal.  Macy didn’t audition for this role, in fact I had blacked out her week for state tests, meaning I told her agent she was unavailable.  We really couldnt believe that of all weeks this would come up on this one.  But it seems that the director had hand picked Macy from her headshot and she was guaranteed the part, we just had to say yes.    So we did what any parent would do, we freaked out.  4th grade state tests are super important in NYC, the results are sent to middle schools when the application process happens in 5th grade.  We thought we were pretty crazy for allowing anything to disrupt Macy concentration but fortunately the filming took place in the afternoon after the tests.  So it was actually possible for us to let her do this without any conceqences.

We weren’t told much about the movie, just it was a pre-production flash back scene for the character “Young Marie”, it was set in 1960’s Brooklyn and called Blood Ties.  I was able to find out other info just because the movie already had an IMBd page.  It was a crime thriller and full of well know names, squeal!    The cast includes Clive Owen (Chris), Billy Crudup (Frank), Marion Cotillard, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana, James Caan & Lili Taylor (Marie).  It is directed by Guillaume Canet a french director and husband of Marion Cotillard.

Macy was to have a wardrobe fitting on Monday and the filming was on Wednesday, so we handled it like this:  We told Macy that she had won the part but it wasn’t until Friday so there was no point in getting all excited until after the tests were done. We went to the monday fitting but we surprised her and pick her up at school early on wednesday afternoon after her test was finished. Heres a video of me picking up Macy from school and telling her she was doing the scene that day:

<p><a href=”″>surprise news</a> from <a href=”″>Nikki Berry</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

The wardrobe fitting was fun, it was in Williamsburg (Thats Brooklyn FYI) and Macy tried on three 60’s era outfits.  The costume department went with a vintage white peasant top, jeans and blue keds.

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We were to report to a Little Italy address for the filming.  The location was the production offices where we met the other two children that were in her scene and the kids were dressed.  The scene would include a Young Frank played by Eli Tokash and Young Chris played by Austin Williams.  I got to chat with the other parents while we waited, Young Frank had taken a  red eye bus from Virgina and Young Chris lived in NYC, he was a seasoned child actor who worked for 6 years One Life to Live and also had roles in Michael Clayton and The Good Shepard.

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Young Chris, Young Frank & Young Marie In Blood Ties


Since this was a pre-producitons scene there wasn’t a lot to it.  It wasn’t like the trailers and cables and crew that we run across in NYC everyday. No catered food tables (darn!)  It was just a small crew and the scene was to be filmed with a real Super 8 camera as it was to be used as a home video that one of the characters watches in the movie.

nikkiikkin macy in blood ties 3 nikkiikkin macy in blood ties 4

We loaded up in a van with the director, crew, the other kids and their families and they took us to a gritty park in the Lower East side, I think they intended for the kids to just play baseball there.  We waited around for a while while the crew and director discussed the location.  It wasn’t to the directors liking, he envisioned grass.  So they loaded us up again and took us to Central Park.  I took a few videos while we were waiting and watching.  My favorite is the part where the director is talking with the kids and shows them the vintage gloves they are to use.  Macy tells him hers isn’t good, it has no laces.  I wanted to be mortified that she was giving him any grief but this is typical Macy, she’s not really trying to be difficult she was just letting him know.  He does seem to mind though, he just gives her another one.

<p><a href=”″>Macy filming blood ties in NYC</a> from <a href=”″>Nikki Berry</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

The kids played tag, baseball and climbed on the natural rock formations in Central Park, the director acted as the “Dad” filming the kids with the Super 8 camera, directing them to do what kids do, including picking on the little sister.  There was no real acting or lines.  It was very casual and fun for Macy and it didn’t take more than an hour.  After we were done we returned to the production office and Macy changed.  And that was it.  Then the anticipation began!

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We over heard a lot of information just waiting for this scene to take place, such as the filming to end in July, so I knew it would be a long time to wait before the movie was released.  I assumed it would be at least a year.  So we tried not to get too excited because this  didn’t seem like a very important scene and we all know that scenes get cut from movies all the time.  We also knew that we wouldn’t be told anything about the movie before it came out or invited to any pre-release screenings, it just wasn’t that big of a role.  So we kept the news about it all very low key, only telling our family.  As the filming got started I was able to see press on the other scenes being filmed all around NYC, a lot were in Brooklyn and Queens.  Here are some press shots.

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Then in May 2013 we got really excited, the film was shown at Cannes International Film Festival!  Release dates for other countries started showing up but there wasn’t any US dates!  Something obviously was going wrong with the distribution in the US, it was killing us to know that the movie was done and we couldn’t find out if Macy’s scene was in it!

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So here it is March 2014, nearly 2 years after the scene was filmed and Jake and I run across Blood Ties on iTunes.  I could say that we were a little disappointed that it didn’t make it to the big screen.  We honestly don’t know why, it had all the right names to make it there.  I really wanted to see Macy’s head 10′ tall and scream out “thats my daughter” to a bunch of strangers in a dark theater.  But at least it was finally available to watch.  Then the real suspense began.  At this point I almost didn’t want to know, I didn’t want to know for a fact that the scene was cut.  We already knew that Macy wasn’t listed in the cast on the IMBd page.  Young Frank and Young Chris were, but I also knew that the boys had a bigger scene to film together that didn’t include Young Marie.

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So we didn’t tell Macy, we put the kids to bed and we watched it with very low expectations.  The movie is 2 hours long and we both liked it. It was a good story about brotherly love, hince the title Blood Ties.  One brother is a cop, one is a criminal that just can’t be good.  They don’t get along very well but do what matters most for each other.  So at 1 hour 54 minutes into the film Clive Owen (Chris) sits in his living room with a projector and watches old family movies.  Jake and I jump up and run to the screen.  Its like 5 seconds tops but it shows the boys climbing the rock formations and at the last second MACY COMES RUNNING AT THE CAMERA SMILING AND LAUGHING!!!!  We scream, its midnight at least but we don’t care what the neighbors think, OUR BABY GIRL IS IN A MOVIE!!!

nikkiikkin macy in blood ties scene still

So here is the scene, don’t blink because you’ll miss her!

<p><a href=”″>Macy’s scene in Blood Ties</a> from <a href=”″>Nikki Berry</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

When we told Macy the good news she reacted the way most people would, she jumped up and down in excitement.  Big or small it was an experience that she enjoyed and also even thought she wasn’t in the credits (double darn!) she can put it on her resume.  We do plan on getting her name on the cast list on IMBd, there are several extra actors that have attached themselves to the list that are uncredited, we think Macy deserves that just as much.








Filed under Brooklyn Love, Celebrations, The Chic Tween

The Brooklyn Berrys

Scratching one of my oldest To Dos off my list today, I’m sharing a photo shoot from last fall!  My sister happens to be a rock star photographer and I’m lucky she likes to captured beautiful pictures of my family.  We love to have our picture taken in DUMBO, Brooklyn.  Its one of our favorite places to visit in the city and after we moved to Brooklyn it also became symbolic for us to have our picture made there with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.  The first year we were back in NYC we took pictures their ourselves for our Christmas card! This past year my sister and her family visited for Thanksgiving and gifted us these amazing pictures.  Our Christmas card shot happened to be this one:



A magical ride on Jane’s Carousel!  Such beautiful colors came through on that cold, dismal November day.  We cherish this picture so much, especially the experience of my sister riding the carousel with us to get it.  We put this picture on the back of our card:


Another one of our favorites is this one inside the Jane’s Carousel building with the Brooklyn Bridge seen through the glass:



How sweet are Macy and Hudson!  How beautiful is my family!!  We look like total Brooklyners (Brooklynites?) right?

We also went uptown to Lincoln Center since this spot is so important in our lives right now with Macy dancing at School of American Ballet.  Another Christmas card worthy shot!


Here is one that is sweet to my heart:


Swoon!  My husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this year!

Although my sister is based else where in the USA she travels frequently to NYC ( Michigan and Tennessee) to visit.  If you are interested in an on site shoot for family pictures contact her HERE!


Filed under Brooklyn Love, City Mouse + Country Mouse

Deer Hunting

I love animals.  I love their beauty and I love when their beauty is represented in interior design.  Just as long as no animal was injured for us to enjoy that beauty.   We have amazing manufacturing techiniques today and I see no reason why we can’t duplicate all the beauty of the animal kingdom …so that there is still an animal kingdom for the next generation.  Thats why I am in love with faux deer heads.  Resin or wood, painted or even mixed media, there are some really fine options out there to celebrate your love for animals.

Brooklyn Bedroom

This is my Brooklyn bedroom, I used a white resin deer head from Z Gallerie to mix up the media in a gallery arragement.  We lovingly named our deer Bambi :) and have even decorated him at christmas!

Bambi in his holiday best

I get asked about our deer all the time and I thought I might give my readers some resources to hunt down a good one . Heres our deer from  Z Gallerie  – Small !6″ $50

And also from Z Gallerie – Large 39″ $250

Dwell Studio has a great paper mache selection of animal heads in pretty colors for kids or adults – 13″H  $76

I found several great faux animal head examples on Etsy!  So glad that there are American artisans taking part in this design trend.  Here are a few of my favoirtes:

 Mahzer & Vee has many animal statues in fun colors! Faux Taxidermy Deer Head – 21″H $100

Lucy Haus has deer heads in gray, white, gold or any color you would like!   Cocoa Gray Faux Deer Head Mount – 23″H  $150

 BeJanked is offering rhinestoned moose and elephants that are sure to be a conversation piece! The original Rhinestone Taxidermy: Moose – 13.75H $600   Elephant – 18″H $275

Ruby’s Lounge  also has wallpaper embellished resin dear heads in many patterns and colors.  Kelly Summer – 18″H  $335

Lastly, I am really excited to feature this whimsical alternative to real animal taxidermy.  Jordan Elise has created Horrible Adorables, these “quirky faux taxidermy mounts of strange creatures and wonderful wonders”.  Each odd little character is one-of-a-kind, constructed of foam, wool felt and real glass taxidermy eyes.  I found these creatures at the Regnegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn last year and have thought about them ever since, I think I might have to have one for Hudson!

Check out more of the Horrible Adorables at Jordan’s Etsy shop , Artstarphilly and creature gallery

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Filed under Brooklyn Love, NBID

Small Town Brooklyn

This past Saturday was Small Business Saturday.  I hope that you all took a nice leisurely stroll with your families and stopped in at some local shops for Christmas gifts like I did.  Well…I also shopped for myself.  Take a look at my find:

Vintage Booties from Once Again Thrift Shop in Cobble Hill

I dont know the origin or age but they are not new, mint condition and were only $18!  I found them at a little thrift shop called Once Again Thrift Shop at 114 Smith St Bklyn.  I was actually on the hunt for my sister a birthday gift when we found them together.  She claims that she picked them up first but I think we each had a hand on one at the same time.  I tried them on first and they fit, LUCKY me!  They fit her too but I begged her to let me have them… then she paid for them for me, lol.  It was a cash only shop, I only had my AmEx on me.

By Brooklyn, Cobble Hill

I did find my sister a birthday gift from another of my favorite local shops, By Brooklyn at 261 Smith St Bklyn.  Just as its name states this store sells goods made in Brooklyn.  Everything is unique and personal, the perfect place to find a gift.  My sister picked out a brass necklace with a tiny owl.  I also found a silver key necklace for my daughter Macy, who covets my Tiffany Key but is too young for such a luxury item yet.

Brass Owl Charm from By Brooklyn, Captured by Jes photo

My Brooklyn neighborhood is sometimes called BoCoCa because three areas combine almost seamlessly, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill & Carroll Gardens.  We’ve read that it was once just called Red Hook or South Brooklyn.  It seems that Brooklyn is regarded as a place for creative individuals but its not an area that I would describe as “artsy”, just casual and unique. There are many stylists, designers & authors living here.  Not many Hipsters or the new breed, Prepsters around, that’s Williamsburg.  Lots of young families, lots of French (because my daughters school P.S. 58 has a very unique Dual Language program that is partially funded by the French Embassy) and whats left of an older Italian generation that was here before the Yuppies invaded. Oh and we have many celebs, Michelle Williams, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Keri Russell (I passed her and her son on the sidewalk one day).  And Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce & Jay-Z were at a birthday party at the park across from my daughters school last month (you can see the photos on this blog) although news of their visit spread like wildfire, Brooklyners dont really make a big deal out of it.   You can just be yourself here, famous or not.  What we dont have much of is tourists and I’m so happy for that!  I once lived on Broadway at Wall St right next to Trinity Church and spent every day pushing through tourists and business men.

Typical Brownstones in my Brooklyn neighborhood

I walk alot in our neighborhood, which is one of the reasons I like it, its two main commerce streets Smith St and Court St are the main arteries of our “small town”.  Hundreds of mom n’ pop stores line the streets, there is a bit of grittiness that keeps the rents affordable for small business owners.   Mixed in with some  gentrification, that I dont really like although it is probably necessary to keep other business afloat.  Im a supporter of the 3/50 Project -Saving the bricks and mortars our nation is built on.  Although I feel that an online presence is also necessary, in this day and age it is becoming a lost past time to take the time to stroll through a small shop.   Im happy that sites like Big Cartel and Etsy allow us to shop from individuals far and wide and Pop Up Shops let people experiment with an idea but we shouldn’t forget to frequent business right outside our doorsteps.  Maybe one day I’ll figure out my own interior design/craft/cake/event niche and have the opportunity to open my own shop, my husband dreams of having a toy store, my sister wants her own photography studio.  Maybe we will go in together and have a MishMash Shop!

Im proud to say that we frequent the shops in our neighborhood more than we do big box and online, here are some of the shops Im in at least once a week:

-I buy produce every couple of days from K&Y Fruit and Vegetable at 291 Court St Bklyn.

Gourmet Fresh - Carroll Gardens

-For items I missed on our twice a month Target stock up I shop at Gourmet Fresh at 437 Court St Bklyn.

-We buy birthday gifts at Pizzazzz Toyz 281 Court St Bklyn and sometimes baby items at its sister store right next door.

Black Gold Records & Coffee Shop, Carroll Gardens

Victorian Taxidermy at Black Gold Records Coffee Shop

-Coffee at Black Gold Records at 461 Court St Bklyn, you’ve never seen a coffee shop like this, records and victorian taxidermy and a story behind it all.

Olafs Men's Vintage

– Brother and Sister vintage shops: Olives Very Vintage at 434 Court St and Olafs Men’s Vintage at 453 Court St Bklyn.

-For a quick after school treat we love F. Monteleone Bakery and Cafe at 355 Court St Bklyn, the pasteries are small and still inexpensive.

Winn Discount FCR at 299 Court St Bklyn is like an entire big box store crammed into a mom n’ pop and I do mean crammed but trust me they have anything you need.

Mazzone True Value at 470 Court St Bklyn, Im not gonna lie, I frequent the Lowes a block away but this hardware store carries Benjamin Moore paint and is also in my path to school so Im in there often.

All of these stores are less than a mile from my front door.  Not included in my daily erands are some much talked about restaurants Frankies 457 Spuntino, Prime Meats and Buttermilk Channel (which is on my street), my husband and I dont have to go more than 2 blocks when we want to celebrate at an upscale restaurant. Our area is well known to Foodies and we try to choose a new place each time we go out to eat.

Macy in Boerum Hill

My building Hunt Lofts, Huntington St - Carroll Gardens

I could go on and on about how much I love our Brooklyn neigborhood.  We have been here only a year but already feel a since of belonging and fulfiment to our need to be close to the hustle and bustle (we are 2 miles from the Brooklyn Bridge) yet still have a small town community experience.  I think we are planning to stick around here for a long time.

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Filed under Brooklyn Love