Sam & Seb

Sam & Seb

Photo: Sam and Seb

Neighborhood: Williamsburg
Type of Place: Kids

Some stores seem generic and could be anywhere; others suggest
the very qualities that define their neighborhoods. Williamsburg’s
children’s shop Sam & Seb is among the latter—it’s got the focus on
art and rock’n’roll that the area has been long been known for, but the
fact that it’s a place for kids acknowledges changing demographics,
the flood of current local housing construction, and the reality that
the rocking-est rockers tend to settle down after a while.

Opened in 2002 by Simone Manwarring, a neighborhood resident and
the mother of two boys, Sam & Seb does have some “standard” (and
useful) kid’s-store items: stylish diaper bags; sweet woolen finger
puppets; sturdy and inviting wooden toys. But soon enough you’ll spot
a collection of t-shirts and onesies unlike any we’ve seen
elsewhere—emblazoned with images of and logos for Blondie, Iggy
Pop, the Ramones, AC/DC, the Dead Kennedys, and Pink Floyd. A
Stooges t-shirt on a one-year-old? You bet. These items range from
$22-$33 and open, among other things, whole new avenues for
outfit-matching: When you’ve got on your Ramones concert shirt from
1980, Daniel or Daniella can be sporting a smaller, newer version of
the same.

Speaking of dress-up, the shop carries tutus ($18-$35), fairy wings
($24), and wands ($17.50; prices on the website for these items may
be lower), all by the design company Pamela (“They’re the best tutus in
the city,” a shop staffer assures us). Sam & Seb’s website advises
a Blondie t-shirt and a tutu will make an attractive party outfit, and
can’t possibly disagree.

Other special Sam & Seb features include a “children’s nook” by the
front window (with toys, so that little ones are entertained while Mom
and Dad shop) and parenting seminars (on breastfeeding, traveling
around the city with your child, etc.; see the website for details).
good news: the brightly colored, yummy-looking plastic watches by the
register ($15.50) are adjustable to be small enough for kids but big
enough for you. Enjoy.

  - Pamela Grossman; March 30, 2005

Sam & Seb
208 Bedford Ave.
(L train to Bedford)
Brooklyn, NY 11211