Orchard St, Lower East Side

The pushcarts and pickle vendors of 19th-century Orchard Street make way for this millennium's trilbies and tattoos.

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1.

Sheila’s Decorating


Kick off your shopping blitz with royally luxurious fabrics for your own home castle. The artful displays make it less stuffy than your usual fabric emporium, showing off a range of styles (most starting from $25 per yard) from bold, mod patterns to what’s on your grandmother’s couch. Upholstery work is done in-house (estimates by request), and walls and windows get their due with wallpaper and enough tassels to make a Vegas showgirl jealous. 68 Orchard St at Grand St (212-777-3767, sheilasdecorating.com)

2.

Wendy Mink Jewelry


California-born jewelry designer Wendy Mink worked for the World Bank before she got crafty, and someone was certainly paying attention during all those international business trips. Mink’s own East Asia–inspired vermeil chains (around $200) and baubles (earrings $175) are easy to spot among the other lines carried in her shop. Dazzling semiprecious stone combinations give Mink’s wares more pizzazz than color-phobic New Yorkers may be comfortable with, but her crocheted raffia doilylike earrings (starting at $165) have a homespun feel appropriate for the still-funky neighborhood. 72 Orchard St between Grand and Broome Sts (212-260-5298, wendyminkjewelry.com)

3.

Still Life


Biggie and Tupac’s portraits share wall space at this chapeau shop, and if the rappers couldn’t make peace in life, at least they can posthumously agree on the virtue of a well-made hat. Owner Frenel Morris has been crafting natty men’s headwear ($75­­–$300) for more than four years, and his high-fashion pieces are definitely not dusty throwbacks. He often scours the city for artful ribbon and feathers to finish his toppers, resulting in classic touches on unique hat shapes (custom hats are a mere $50 more). This hat maker is also a full-on haberdasher, selling a range of Kanye-style colorful vintage sunglasses ($96–$540) and a small selection of men’s clothing (from $60). 77 Orchard St between Grand and Broome Sts (212-575-9704, stilllifenyc.com)


4.

Moo Shoes


With four cats holding court in its airy, open space, Moo Shoes goes beyond its animal-cruelty-free creed to outright indulgence. Carrying no-leather brands such as Vegetarian ($65–$190) and Simple ($45–$90), the store stocks men’s and women’s footwear appropriate for a two-hour PETA rally or a night out at Candle 79. The majority of shoe shoppers here come for the animal-friendly production values, but you won’t know that the NOVACAS wedges ($90) here are synthetic microfiber until you get close enough to lick them. 78 Orchard St between Grand and Broome Sts (212-254-6512, mooshoes.com)Novacas Bridget, $99


5.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum Shop


It’s hard to remember what a drag tenement living was in this gift shop, what with the delicious-looking bacon-printed wrapping paper ($4). There’s still a healthy educational component, though, in the form of memorabilia like reproductions of posters announcing “Irish Need Not Apply” ($10). Shelves upon shelves of books remind us of the challenges of the LES in the 19th century, and the hardy tote bags ($6–$30) will help you schlep them home. 108 Orchard St at Delancey St (212-982-8420, tenement.org/store)Tote bag, $28

6.

Sheherazade


This Oriental decor dealer has been importing home furnishings from the Middle East and North Africa for about eight years, which means they surpassed the original Sheherazade’s 1001 Arabian nights about five years and several dozen divans ago. Rich walnut benches, tables and mirrors from Syria with mother-of-pearl inlays ($650–$1,600) are almost too pretty to use, despite their solid heft. 121 Orchard St between Delancey and Rivington Sts (212-539-1771, sheherazadenyc.com)

7.

Guitar Man


Though nearby music shop Ludlow Guitars is admittedly a bigger player in the ’hood, Matt DeSilva’s modest musical cubbyhole benefits from its intimate setting. A few dozen guitars ($300–$3,500), electric and acoustic, hang from the walls. Sure, a true Stratocaster geek has almost as many mounted in his one-bedroom apartment, but they’re probably not as meticulously curated. DeSilva left midtown music giant Manny’s to start his own shop for middle- to high-end instruments, and even non–Jimmy Pages can appreciate the deals here, including G&L guitars from Leo Fender’s factory. 147 Orchard St at Rivington St (212-475-5150, guitarmannyc.com)


8.

Invisible NYC


This isn’t the tattoo shop you stagger into on a dare or emerge from with a tramp stamp above your bum. Invisible NYC is a veritable tattoo salon specializing in large-scale Japanese body art and employing five inkers who have wait lists as long as six months. Human canvases are adorned in the back; contemporary paintings are sold in the front gallery—a novel setup when Troy Denning and his wife Jesse Denning opened the space three years ago. The doodles here are all custom-made, so your $180/hour artwork is guaranteed to be one of a kind. 148 Orchard St between Stanton and Rivington Sts (212-228-1358, invisiblenyc.com)

9.

Shut Skates


Aw, skateboarding has finally grown up. It had those rebellious teen years and obnoxiously aloof young adulthood, and now labels like Shut prove that the sport’s adult future is a little slicker and more secure than expected. Zoo York co-founder Rodney Smith restarted Shut, his ’80s skateboard label, selling boards for $130–$210 (with limited editions going for as much as $1,000) in his flagship location. In the polished, handsome space, the graffiti-style boards shine as both art and high-end equipment, alongside hats ($25–$30), shirts ($25) and other skating accessories (from $20). 158 Orchard St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-420-1469, shutnyc.com)158 Crest deck, $60

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