Jay Johnson -- Bestselling author Liz Gilbert could live anywhere in the world and do anything now that she has "arrived." Her mega-hit book Eat Pray Love is behind her, as is the personal spiritual search that took her through Italy, India, and Indonesia (where she met and fell in love with charming hubby Jose). If you had written a blockbuster that touched the lives of millions of readers, written a book sold right away for a movie which will star Julia Roberts, found true love, and appeared on Oprah too many times to count, how would your life change?
Well, interestingly enough, Liz's journey has taken her and Jose to nearby Frenchtown, New Jersey, near the banks of the Delaware River, in an old warehouse that they have filled with beautiful imports that speak the language of beauty to them. Their Two Buttons Warehouse is filled to the rafters with clothing, jewelry, home goods, accessories, and furniture pieces that are yummy beyond description. And there's even a 6,000 pound white meditating Buddha to greet you at the door.
While Liz was searching the world for spiritual guidance, I searched her warehouse for great home goods. I had the good fortune to be given permission to take my usual amateur video of their store to show off their exotic, lovely wares -- and Liz shared a few of her favorite things from the store, including folk art circumcision horses (mind-blowing on several levels), hobby horses designed to be ridden while experiencing psychedilics (continuing the mind-blowing theme), primitive and personality-filled boundary guard statues, and huge Hindu deities. The store is a riot of color, texture, and finds at every price level, and the front door sets the theme of warmth and hospitality with an official greeter offering you wine, hot chocolate, and popcorn. Now that's the way to go beyond the usual retail experience. Liz, Jose, and the Two Buttons team radiate a lot of warmth and love in this old warehouse.
My home is far better off for having met Liz and Jose. We purchased an amazing stone statue of a luxuriating elephant-faced Ganesha, which holds sway in a special spot in our garden, and an amazingly elaborate "sea monster" weaving which was worn by men as a sash but made a heavenly mat on the floor beside our bed, sitting atop the room's larger sisal rug. Liz also designed some fantastic wood-and-greeny-milk-glass table lamps with craftsmen in Indonesia, and we have one in our NY apartment. Its warm glow radiates calm and serenity and reminds me constantly of one person's special search for the soul. Watch my two short video tours of Liz and Jose's Two Buttons Warehouse, and you'll see why this is a must-stop, nearby destination for the beautiful and exotic, served up with helping heapings of heart. Add some of their exotic touches from Asia to your home because, as I always advise, it's both chic and meaningful to feature hand-crafted flourishes in any decorating scheme to bring life into an otherwise machine-made world.
For more info: Visit the Two Buttons website for more information and their special hours (note that they will be closed from January 1 until Spring, so check their site in a few months for more information). Their Frenchtown, NJ store is about an hour and a half drive from Manhattan, and well worth the adventure. And don't forget to bring your copy of Eat Pray Love for Liz to autograph!