Back in time to Williston Park


Williston Park is still set firmly in another decade, one that owes more to Pleasantville than this futuro Clockwork Orange era. Shopkeepers hang gigantic leaves on the facades for autumn and sweep their sidewalks clean each morning. The Ivy Cottage garners praise from foodies for its interesting selection of prix fixe dinners; old-fashioned Hildebrandt’s serves classic bistro fare and toothsome confections.

Sarah and I are passing a girly afternoon here looking for baby togs for her soon-to-be-blessed event. Piccalilly is one of those rare boutiques, stocked with goods individually chosen by the owner, Lillian, who has a discerning eye for aesthetically lovely gifts that cut across all price points.

Brighton leather goods are known among aficionados for detailed cast-metal clasps that are retro but not tacky. In this large selection, the goods are discounted 20 percent. I especially loved an ornate little silvery folding travel clock marked at $56.95. Brighton fragrances, in silver embellished flacons, with names like “Laugh,” “Love” and “Live,” were tagged at $40. La Vie Parisienne enamel work jewelry, which could easily pass for vintage, ranged from $38-$54. A Judith Jack woven sterling necklace with insets of marcasite was half-off at $164.

The children’s clothes are especially sweet: hand crocheted booties ($12), fleece trooper caps ($19.95), a onesie printed with sleeping kitties ($27) and a cute velour purse in the shape of a full-blown rose ($19.95). Grownups will love the scented candles and beautiful handbags, too.

A few doors down at Lady Elegance, there’s a good selection of vintage clothing mixed in with contemporary consignment items. Leather is hot again for fall—the place had a selection of skirts and jackets, mostly black, natch, priced well at $15-$39. An ivory lace-trimmed nightgown from the ’40s was a steal at $26. Rich hippies will love a curly Mongolian lamb vest ($45), an exotic black caftan scrolled in silver embroidery ($18) and some nice beaded tops and bags ($30 and up). No baby things here, but Sarah scored a topaz-colored, hand-knitted sweater vest—very ’70s Maude—for $14.

A nice finale to the shopping excursion: a Gorgonzola salad and a couple of chocolate Cokes at Hildebrandt’s.