Maxilla and Mandible

Upper West Side

Since opening in 1984, this cramped curiosity shop has served as the nearby American Museum of Natural History’s unofficial (and much cooler) gift store—why settle for a plastic model dinosaur when you can buy a real Megalodon fossil tooth ($12–$200) here? Though Maxilla once dealt exclusively in ancient skeletons—owner Henry Galiano is a paleontologist who operates a dinosaur quarry in Wyoming—the merch has since expanded to include all science-related ephemera, including taxidermy, mounted entomology and seashells. There’s also a dedicated counter for the kind of jewelry that tomboys can appreciate (along the lines of beetle wing earrings and stingray bracelets) and plenty of cheap thrills, including a Cricket Lick-it insect-encased lollipops ($5) and syringe pens ($2).

Venue name: Maxilla and Mandible
Contact:
Address: 451 Columbus Ave
New York

Cross street: between 81st and 82nd Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Sat 11am–7pm
Transport: Subway: B, C to 81st St–Museum of Natural History
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Walter Streng

Check out ROCK STAR CRYSTALS. Maxilla was great, but they are now closed. ROCK STAR is a rock shop located in Manhattan in Chelsea and they are open every day. They carry a hugh selection of crystals and minerals and some fossils and shells as well. You can call them at 212 675 3065 or go to www.rockstarcrystalsmanhattan.com