Maxilla and Mandible

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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
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