Vanessa Eastman’s dog Blinky is pretty photogenic. She likes to dress him in costumes and take pictures of him.

“I started doing this five years ago, dressing him up and he’s a great dog, actually he loves it. I feel like he’s a natural, and he gets very excited when we set a scene,” said Eastman, who has created photographs where Blinky appears as famous artists like Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, and Salvador Dali.

Eastman’s photography featuring Blinky is appropriately on display at the Black Lab Cafe on 80th Street and Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side. The recently opened establishment is a haven for dog owners and their pups.

It’s a family business opened by Lise Evans with sons Kris and Nik Powers. It’s named for their two black labs, Lola and Daisy.

What You Need To Know

  • The Black Lab Cafe is a dog-friendly spot on the Upper West Side

  • It features a space where dogs can roam off leash indoors

  • Photographer Vanessa Eastman has an exhibition of photos featuring her dog Blinky on display at the café

“The idea was to have a place to go with our dogs, sort of after walking in the park, just hanging out with them,” said Evans.

There is food and drink for people and their dogs. The counter separates a room where dogs can roam free while their human friends drink coffee.

How Eastman connected with Black Lab is one of those typical New York stories.

Author and actress Jill Kargman facilitated the connection as a best friend who went to college with Eastman, but knows Evans too.

“We play Mahjong together and these guys ran into each other all the time in the park. So they knew each other and their kids are at the same school,” said Kargman, known for her hit Bravo TV series “Odd Mom Out.”

“I didn’t introduce them, but I made Lise aware of Vanessa’s genius artistry.”

Eastman mainly uses an iPhone to take the photos and goes to great lengths to track down props and costumes for Blinky. All proceeds from sales of her work will go to the ASPCA. The opening night of her photo exhibition raised $22,000.

“I think we have a lot of people that love to have fun with their dogs and I think her artwork really encapsulates that, the bonding that can take place between a dog and its owner,” said Kris Powers, Evans’ son.

In this case, they are bonding to create a unique moment that will last forever.