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Behind The Scenes

The Cold Picnic Designers Eat Their Way Through Flushing, Queens

When Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer aren’t working long and hard on their super-cool accessories line Cold Picnic, they’re likely either a) chowing down in Flushing or b) dreaming about their next excursion to the Asian food oasis. “When I started dating Phoebe and visiting her parents, I got hooked on Taiwanese food. And when we moved from Boston, which had a great Chinatown, to Brooklyn, everyone said that Flushing was the best place to get Chinese food, so we started exploring right away,” says Peter. “There are so many hidden food stalls. It really does feel like you’re exploring a new country,” adds Phoebe. Here, seven spots they’ve uncovered. —alisha prakash   Golden Mall Food CourtPhoebe: “This place is pretty hard to find—there are all these knick-knack shops, food stalls, and grocery stores along Main Street, and the entrance is pretty hidden. When you get to the bottom of the steps, there are about eight restaurants, each with just a few little tables, all squeezed into a tiny basement. Order the beef noodle soup from Lan Zhou—ask for the fat noodle. It’s an enormous bowl of handmade noodles, which they make right in front of you, with veggies, scallions, cilantro, super-tender beef, and delicious broth. Also order the skewers from Lan Zhou. We always get squid, chicken hearts, and sausage.”(41-28 Main St.) Fay Da BakeryPeter: “There are a few of these bakeries scattered through Flushing. We’ve tried a bunch of things from them, and they can be hit or miss—but the Japanese cheesecake is always incredible. It’s light and fluffy like a sponge cake but tastes like a cheesecake. $1.75 per slice!”(41-60 Main St.)   Ding TaiPhoebe: “We always stop here for radish pastries. They make everything fresh, and the radish cakes—radish, pork, and veggies in a flaky pastry topped with sesame seeds—are the best.”(40-46 Main St.) Peking Duck Sandwich StallPeter: “This is the first stand in a long hallway of food stalls. You can get a Peking duck sandwich served on fluffy white rice bun with hoisin, scallions, and cucumber for $1.”(Main St. and 40th Rd.) New Flushing BakeryPhoebe: “This tiny little bakery is always packed. Their Portuguese custard tarts are the best we’ve had. The pastry is super-flaky, and the custard is always delicious. They sell out fairly quickly, so come early.”(135-45 Roosevelt Ave.) New World Mall Food CourtPhoebe: “This food court is one of the most impressive we’ve seen. It feels like you’re in Taiwan. They’ve got hand-pulled noodles, fresh lobster, countless hot pots, frozen yogurt, dumplings, and shabu-shabu. We try to get a little bit of something every time we come, but we never leave without getting Taiwanese shaved ice from Ponji. The shaved ice is topped with brown sugar sauce, sweetened condensed milk, and three toppings of your choice—we picked grass jelly, mango boba, and red bean.”(4021 Main St.) Sky FoodsPeter: “We never leave Flushing without a trip to Sky Foods grocery store. It’s huge and clean and has super-fresh seafood.”(40-24 College Point Blvd.) Not only does this duo know where to eat, but they know how to rock out an amazing edition—coming tomorrow!
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Cold Picnic’s 7-Step Macramé Guide

A look at some of the duo’s macramé magic.Though Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer, the hardcore makers behind the Brooklyn accessories line Cold Picnic, learned the basics of macramé in college, they really fell for the technique last summer when they started using it to create asymmetrical wall art, bib necklaces, and plant hangers. “The process is a big draw. We both like to knit, but we get impatient because it is difficult to keep your place—you can’t start, stop, start, stop easily,” Phoebe explains. “With macramé, you have a bit more freedom. You can go fancy, or you can go kind of brute force.” To prove just how easy this method is, the pair teaches us how to make the sort of bracelet you wish you had crafted at summer camp. —maggie dolanMaterials:+ Waxed cord—you can also use hemp, yarn, suede cording, or any type of string, really.+ Scissors+ A flat surface—a board, piece of cardboard, or a wall all work. + 4 push pins or nailsInstructions:Step 1: Cut one piece of cord at 1 ½ yards long and another 2 ½ yards long. Fold the two strands in half and pin them into the wood, cardboard, or wall at their middle. The two longer strands will be doing the knotting, so make sure they are on the outside and the short strands are on the inside. Pin the inside strands in placeStep 2: To make a square knot, first create a loop with the left outside strand, tucking it under the two middle strands and over the right outside strand. Create a loop with the right outside strand, this time crossing over the two middle strands and tucking under the left outside strand.Step 3: Reverse the process, crossing the left strand over the middle and under the right one and the right strand under the middle and over the left. Pull both outside strands up and out until you create a knot on the two strands in the middle.Step 4: Repeat step 2 and 3 until you have created a series on knots—under and over, over and under, then pull. You can continue with this knot to make a full bracelet  (jump to step 9 to finish), or you can move on to step 5 to learn a half knot, which looks like a twist.Step 5: For the half knot, the string in your left hand will always go under then over, and the strand in your right hand will always go over then under.Step 6: Pull and repeat 5 until you have about 2 inches of loose string at the bottom of the bracelet, and tie the ends into a knot.Step 7: Take the bracelet off the board and pull the end knot through the loop at the top. Ta-da! You have a macramé friendship bracelet. These guys make all kinds of goodies, just wait until you see what they can do with leather!
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