Critics' pick
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East Village
Ukrainian model Vera Balyura turned her jewelry-making hobby into a full-time profession, and she can mark her success with the opening of her first-ever shop, in the East Village. Balyura’s unique recycled silver, brass, copper and 14-karat gold pieces serve as an ode to all creatures, both fictional (like mermaids and vampires) and those found in nature (such as deer and elephants). Her gothic-looking shop boasts blood-red wood floors and satin white walls, from which lifelike hand sculptures protrude to display the gems. The edgy but delicate and detailed collection ranges from mystical pirate-ship-helm stud earrings ($60–$280) and two-headed T-Rex necklaces ($110–$200) to skeleton arm bracelets ($54–$580) and vampire-fang rings ($42–$230).
Venue name: VeraMeat
Address: 315 E 9th St
New York

Cross street: between First and Second Aves
Opening hours: Daily 11am–8pm
Transport: Subway: 6 to Astor Pl; L to First Ave
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