The times they have changed, bigtime. YouTube is the new MTV, while PAPER's own Julia Frakes, Tavi, and others of their ilk are giving Anna a run for her money. ICrave, the designers behind Meatpacking's newest hotspot, the Collective
, have caught on with lightning speed, looking to artists on Etsy and Craigslist to realize their Frankendesign aesthetic. Headrests are fashioned out of teddy bears while blinking street signs form a chair (and a toasty warm one at that). Everywhere you look inside the new barstaurant is something that looks like it belongs on the Island of Misfit Toys, and everything deserves a closer look. Yes, those twist ties were painstakingly twisted and tied onto a column, and yes, that is a flock of license plate origami birds. The idea could have easily gone "funky cafe" wrong, but it'll sooner delight than disgust. Besides, you'll be too mind-boggled to judge, and did I mention the teddy bear headrests? The $14 cocktail menu gives a nod to another kind of mutant with the Credible Hulk (gin, lime, basil, and serrano chile), while the food offerings are a hodgepodge of various NYC-neighborhood-themed treats like the Chicken-n-Waffle combo (Harlem) and the short-rib stroganoff (Brighton Beach). We're guessing that those who aren't into the typical MePa thing are breathing a collective sigh of relief. The Collective
1 Little West 12th St.
(212) 255-9717photos courtesy of a212.com