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Behind The Scenes

Sara Gates’s Guide to Having the Best Summer Ever at Rockaway Beach

“I live and work in my studio in Brooklyn, so I love having a place that I can escape to,” says Sara Gates, the mastermind behind the badass hand-dyed bag line Cook & Gates. “When I’m in my studio, I’m always working, but in Rockaway, I can actually chill and have time to read and paint.” And Sara’s not letting any hurricane damage dissuade her this season: She’s renting a place and regrouping with the other mega-fans she bonded with last summer—and sharing her list of the best places to chillax if you decide to follow her lead. —alisha prakash “Veggie Island has great coffee, fresh juices, and vegetarian sandwiches. It’s right around the corner from Rockaway Taco, so skip the lines pick up a sandwich instead.”(95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd.) “My Frenchie, Janice, loves the beach, which is only a 45-minute drive from my place in Greenpoint.” “This summer, I rented a place on 95th and Shore Front Parkway. It’s right next to Connolly’s, where you can get an amazing piña colada for $5 served in a styrofoam cup, so you can bring it to the beach!”(155 Beach 95th St.) “Goldies has the absolute best natural beauty products. They’re all made in Rockaway Beach by my good friend Sarah Trogdon. I use every one of these products, and you can get them from Veggie Island at the lowest prices.” “If you are looking for a place to stay out there, you can stay the night aboard Anyone’s Guest, a houseboat with a rustic-cabin feel in the beautiful Jamaica Bay. It sleeps at least four, and the beach is five short blocks away. And if you are interested in learning to sail, you can cross the dock and take a sailing class with the Rockaway Sailing School!”(Houseboat contact: ingrid@ingridammann.com; sailing school contact: Tory, 908-902-9429) Now that Sara has taken you with her on vacation, it is really only fair that you do the same. Check out her travel-worthy edition tomorrow! 
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Sara Gates Shows Off Her Space

Sara Gates has been live-working from the same location in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, for the last five years—long before most people were converting lofts and familiarizing themselves with the G train. “When I first moved in, I lived with a bunch of people, but over the years, the business has sort of taken over. It was half-house, half-studio, and now it’s more like three-quarters studio,” the woman behind the dye-happy bag line Cook & Gates explains. Here, she shows off some of the highlights and heavy machinery of the studio, where she also runs a screen-printing company.  “These are the two screen-printing presses that I use. I tend to do pretty small runs. I work with a lot of local artists and designers. I do up to a 1,000 pieces but not usually more that that.” “To create the printing designs, you put photo-sensitive emulsion on a screen, let it dry, and tape the image—which is black on clear—to it. You put it in this machine, which vacuums it in place, and turn a 6,000-watt light on it to expose it. It’s really bright—and also really loud. The light hardens the emulsion, and the black blocks the light. Then you hose it down.” “I do a lot of oversize printing, which a lot of printers don’t do because you need huge screens and huge equipment. There are little versions of the equipment, but printing tiny objects just on T-shirts is not that compelling for me.”“The dyeing I do for Cook & Gates happens everywhere. I have buckets all over the place—I do a lot of it on the roof. That bag on the clothesline has been living on the roof for three months. That’s its home.” Get your own piece straight from Sara’s studio—a new Cook & Gates edition is coming tomorrow. Don’t miss it!
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