Ten things we love about 20th Street

This Flatiron strip boasts a hodgepodge of globally sourced goods, offbeat accessories and indulgent chocolate.

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Soapology

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Soapology thick slices of colorful soap that are cut to order, $6--$7 each

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Soapology olive-oil-infused lotion, $25

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Soapology walnut body-polishing scrub, $35

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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    Cult of Individuality

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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    Cult of Individuality Hagen relaxed-fit men's jeans, $165

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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    Cult of Individuality Covet denim vest, $98

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    Cult of Individuality jeggings with a slight flare at the ankle, $88

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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    Cult of Individuality Dahlia shorts, $84

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    CQ Home Decor

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Chinese jewelry boxes, $129 each, at CQ Home Decor

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Painted porcelain lamp, $30, at CQ Home Decor

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Cabinet from the Chinese province of Shanxi, $499, at CQ Home Decor

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    Alain Mikli rectangle frames, $200, Chelsee Eyes

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    Lafont leopard-print glasses, $210, at Chelsee Eyes

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    Cutler & Gross neon frames, $85, at Chelsee Eyes

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    Martine Sitbon purple cat eye frames, $85, at Chelsee Eyes

  • Photographer: Ilenia Martini

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    Buddha-shaped bookends, $20, at Sam Flax

  • Photographer: Ilenia Martini

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    Graphic-print file folder, six for $9, at Sam Flax

  • Photographer: Ilenia Martini

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    Lightbulb-shaped sticky notes, $7, at Sam Flax

  • Photographer: Ilenia Martini

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    Notebooks adorned with Japanese-inspired mushroom, dinosaur and panda cartoons, $7 each, at Sam Flax

  • Photographer: Grant Asken

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    LF Stores

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    Millau sheer Fair Isle--print crop top, $108, at LF Stores

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    Bluette polka dot pleated shorts, $128, at LF Stores

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    Millau bandage skirt with exposed back zipper, $88, at LF Stores

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    Millau sheer postage-stamp--print crop top, $132, at LF Stores

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    Millau oversize crop top with shoulder cutout details, $132, at LF Stores

  • Photographer: Jakob N. Layman

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    L.A. Burdick

  • Photographer: Jakob N. Layman

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    Mice-shaped bonbons, $1--$3 each, at L.A. Burdick

  • Photographer: Jakob N. Layman

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    Fig-and-port-wine-infused chocolates, $1--$3 each, at L.A. Burdick

  • Photographer: Jakob N. Layman

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    Hot chocolate, $4, at L.A. Burdick

  • Photographer: Ilenia Martini

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    Trixie + Peanut

  • Photographer: Ilenia Martini

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    Bark Jacobs--branded heel-shaped chew toys, $15 each, at Trixie + Peanut

  • Photographer: Ilenia Martini

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    Studded collars, $25 each, at Trixie + Peanut

  • Photographer: Ilenia Martini

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    Plush taxicab-shaped bed, $249, at Trixie + Peanut

  • Photographer: Jakob N. Layman

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    Necklace made from loops of recycled rubber, $89, at Peoria Emporium

  • Photographer: Jakob N. Layman

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    Quilts made from Indian saris, $229 each, at Peoria Emporium

  • Photographer: Jakob N. Layman

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    Handmade stuffed animals, $24--$39 each, at Peoria Emporium

  • Photographer: Jakob N. Layman

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    La Casa Day Spa

  • Photographer: Jakob N. Layman

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    La Casa Day Spa

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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Soapology

1. All-natural beauty products at Soapology
The words organic beauty may conjure images of avocado hair masks and yogurt facials, but an au naturel beauty routine can be surprisingly chic. Case in point is this spotless little shop on the first floor of the Limelight Marketplace. The shelves along the back wall hold olive-oil-infused lotions ($25), soy candles that melt into massage oils ($26) and luscious walnut body-polishing scrubs ($35), all made from natural and organic ingredients. Before you buy the gentle liquid shower gels ($21) and thick slices of colorful soap that are cut to order ($6--$7), test them out in the large porcelain sink. If the scents, such as masculine tobacco, sweet caramel and refreshing verbena-ginger, don't strike your fancy, you can mix your own combo of fragrances from the store's stash of essential oils (options include purple sage, bonfire and English cucumber) at no additional cost. Limelight Marketplace, 656 Sixth Ave at 20th St (212-359-5503, soapologynyc.com)

2. Affordable denim at Cult of Individuality
Denim enthusiasts obsessed with materials, washes and cuts now have a new temple to worship at with the opening of this attic-like space on the third floor of the Limelight Marketplace. Shelves made from salvaged wood from an upstate New York farm hold the brand's signature styles, such as men's Japanese selvedge jeans ($185), L.A.--made distressed denim ($135) and the newly introduced women's collection, whose styles include jeggings with a slight flare at the ankle ($88) and rolled-cuff shorts ($88). There are also dark denim jackets ($110) and vintage-inspired trucker hats ($24) to round out the collection. Best of all: Everything in the store is less than $200. Limelight Marketplace, 656 Sixth Ave at 20th St, third floor (212-359-5527, cultofindividuality.com)

3. Asian-imported furniture at CQ Home Decor
Made in China usually carries a negative connotation, but this Asian furniture store will change your thinking. Everything inside the long, wood-floored shop is an antique or antique reproduction that has been imported from China, Korea or Thailand. Stroll the narrow aisles that are stocked from floor to ceiling with quality—and therefore sometimes pricey—furniture like a cabinet from the Chinese province of Shanxi ($499) or a perfectly worn-in 19th-century painted coffee table ($299). Tucked amid the large pieces are plenty of affordable home accessories such as a painted porcelain lamp ($30), Chinese jewelry boxes ($129) and pig's head sculptures ($98). Mention TONY to receive 30 percent off purchases through April 30. 37 W 20th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-366-1888, cqasianantiquefurniture.com)

4. Discount designer frames at Chelsee Eyes
You wouldn't find this bargain eyewear shop unless you were looking for it, and owner Karen Burch likes it that way. For 17 years, the licensed optician has been running her practice from a huge loft hidden inside an unsuspecting Chelsea office building, relying on word of mouth—and her stellar prices—to drive business. Browse through cases of frames from big-name designers like Giorgio Armani and Dior, plus smaller European labels such as Anglo American and Lafont. Styles including metal Prada frames ($200), Alain Mikli rectangle styles ($200) and leopard-print Lafont glasses ($210) are 20 to 40 percent off what you would pay at chains like LensCrafters, thanks to Burch's low overhead costs. And if you really want a steal, check out the sale rack for offbeat styles like neon Wayfarer-like frames ($85) and a pair of purple cat-eyes by French brand Martine Sitbon ($85). Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off purchases through April 30. 20 W 20th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, suite 804 (212-242-4823, chelseeyes.com)

5. Kitschy desk supplies at Sam Flax
You wish you were working in a hip loft space, but your cubicle looks like it belongs on the set of The Office. The solution? Spice up your workspace with goods from this indie answer to Staples. The giant warehouselike space is filled with racks of office gear, paper products and art supplies, plus a custom-framing station and office furniture in the back. But where the New York chainlet really excels is with its large selection of offbeat desk decor. Items like Buddha-shaped bookends ($20), graphic-print file folders (six for $9), lightbulb-shaped sticky notes ($7) and notebooks adorned with Japanese-inspired mushroom, dinosaur and panda cartoons ($7) make even paper-pushing seem like more fun. 3 W 20th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-620-3000, samflaxny.com)

6. European threads at LF Stores
No one wants to show up to the party wearing the same H&M frock as someone else. Instead of mining the fast-fashion chain down the street, head to this shop for pieces by lesser-known and mostly European brands. The bustling store is often crowded but it's definitely worth digging through the piled-high tables of sweaters and cluttered racks of dresses. Everything is super on-trend, including British brand Pippa Lynn knit sweaters ($148), London label Millau sheer Fair Isle--print crop tops ($108) and Bluette polka-dot pleated shorts ($128). 150 Fifth Ave at 20th St (212-645-1334, lfstores.com)

7. Artisanal chocolates at L.A. Burdick
There's nothing like a good retail binge to build up a chocolate craving, and this year-old caf is just the place to satisfy your postshopping sugar urge. Hit up the case in the back for mice-shaped bonbons or fig-and-port-wine--infused chocolates ($1--$3 each) that are handmade at the company's New Hampshire headquarters using all-natural ingredients and no preservatives. Otherwise, take a load off on one of the caf's wood benches and sip a hot chocolate ($4--$5) made from house-blended dark-, white- or milk-chocolate shavings and steamed milk. You can also add a shot of the Macallan 12-year Scotch or Ron Zacapa rum to your rich beverage for an added kick ($12). 5 E 20th St between Fifth Ave and Broadway (212-796-0143, burdickchocolate.com)

8. Trendy doggie duds at Trixie + Peanut
If your precious pooch is just as much of an accessory as the latest Proenza Schouler bag, then this sleek pet store is for you. Don't come here looking for the typical rawhide bones and bags of Puppy Chow: This whitewashed shop is strictly for the pampered pooch. The long ramped entrance acts as a mini runway for dogs to strut their stuff as owners peruse the brightly colored display shelves stocked with studded collars ($25) and cashmere sweaters with faux-fur collars ($35). You can also treat Fido to Bark Jacobs--branded heel-shaped chew toys ($15), bags of dog biscotti made with whole-wheat flour and Parmesan cheese, ($9) and plush beds resembling taxicabs ($249). 23 E 20th St between Broadway and Park Ave South (212-358-0881, trixieandpeanut.com)

9. Quirky gifts at Peoria Emporium
Upon entering this elaborately decorated shop and spotting the neon fluffy chairs and shocking-pink walls, you might be inclined to think that you've walked into a kids' shop—or another planet entirely. Owners Patricia Stevens and Elena Agostinis have consciously curated their second store (the first is in Bronxville) to feel like a giant playhouse for adults. Agostinis trolls the world in search of unique offerings with which to fill the candy-colored space, such as necklaces made from loops of recycled rubber ($89) and patchwork jackets by New York designer An Ren ($375). Everything inside the store is for sale—and answers the burning question of what to buy that person who already has everything—including the quilts made from Indian saris in the upstairs loft space ($229) and the outsider art on the walls, like a series of paintings depicting enchiladas and sweet-and-sour pork ($65 each). Don't miss the house line of accessories, such as a scarf made from Stevens's husband's shirts ($44) and handmade stuffed animals inspired by toys that Stevens's grandma used to make ($24--$39). Mention TONY to receive 20 percent off purchases through April 30. 25 E 20th St between Broadway and Park Ave South (212-777-3140, peoriaemporium.com)

10. Holistic treatments at La Casa Day Spa
Most of us visit spas to bliss out with a massage or facial, but the holistic services at this homey retreat can also help improve your well-being. The second-floor spot, complete with a lobby full of plants and a roaring electric fireplace, has two rooms for traditional treatments like Swedish massages (one hour $90). But the majority of the space is dedicated to more unusual offerings, like an oxygen steam bath (30 minutes, $75), during which your body is enclosed in a podlike apparatus and surrounded with detoxifying super oxygen-enriched steam that kills pathogens. Try a stint in the flotation room (one hour, $80), where your body is submerged in body-temperature water steeped in Epsom salts and allowed to float weightlessly to achieve supreme relaxation and reverse the signs of aging. If you're feeling particularly brave, a colonic (first session $110, $90 per session thereafter) from one of the spa's two trained specialists flushes out your system with water to remove buildup on the colon wall. Mention TONY to receive 15 percent off massages and 25 percent off flotation, oxygen bath and pedi-detox therapies through April 24. 41 E 20th St between Broadway and Park Ave South, second floor (212-673-2272, lacasaspa.com)

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