In high school, Rebecca Schiffman was embarrassed about living on the Upper East Side, which she considered uncool. But now she embraces the neighborhood, writing a blog about it called the U.E.S. Journal, and living in the same apartment on 88th Street where she grew up.
Ms. Schiffman, a 29-year-old singer-songwriter and jewelry designer, has lately started making sterling silver jewelry inspired by local buildings and their architectural details. Her first, a pendant ($175), was based on a stone carving at 1021 Park Avenue. “I saw this shield with a flower on it and I thought, ‘That would be a really cool necklace,’ ” Ms. Schiffman said recently, sitting in a booth at a Viand Coffee Shop on Madison Avenue.
She is drawn to prewar buildings, she said, because newer ones seem to lack “anything that gives them a little whimsical detail.” A frieze of rabbits jumping across the façade of 1040 Park Avenue, a white-glove building dating to 1924, inspired her Racing Hare Brooch ($430); a geometric flower carving at 19 East 88th Street became a pair of cufflinks ($365).
So far, Ms. Schiffman has designed 10 pieces based on 5 buildings. Eventually, she said, she wants to use a detail even closer to home: a group of mysterious carved-stone heads above the entrance to her building. “I would make a really weird, big cocktail ring,” she said.
By STEVEN KURUTZ