Late-night shopping

As these indie shops attest, megachains aren't the only stores keeping the lights on late.

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Babeland
The flagship of this sex shop minichain is not only open late, it also offers free private appointments after regular business hours every day, so you can loot through organic lube and lifelike dildos on your own time. 94 Rivington St at Ludlow St (212-375-1701, babeland.com). Mon--Wed, Sun noon--10pm; Thu--Sat noon--11pm.

By Robert James
Though technically closed at 8pm, this men's boutique's tailored button-down shirts, wool jackets and hand-printed tees aren't reserved for early birds, thanks to the designer's workaholic—and accommodating—tendencies. "I'm here late most nights making clothes," says James. "If you come knocking, I'll let you in." 72 Orchard St between Broome and Grand Sts (212-253-2121, byrobertjames.com)

The Dressing Room
Score vintage duds and new pieces from designers like Sex Trash, the Divine Tribe and Natalie Zwillinger at this co-op boutique-cum-bar. 75A Orchard St between Broome and Grand Sts (212-966-7330, thedressingroomnyc.com). Tue, Wed, Sun 1pm--12am; Thu--Sat 1pm--2am.

Forbidden Planet
Archie and Batman are scattered among more novel titles, such as Puppy Power: Bo, Adventures from the White House. So is the largest manga selection in the city. After perusing, slip out into the shadows of the night. 840 Broadway at 13th St (212-473-1576, fpnyc.com). Mon, Tue, Sun 10am--10pm; Wed--Sat 10am--midnight.

St. Mark's Bookshop
You may never make the 7:30pm readings, but you can enjoy the signed tomes from the authors who give them. 31 Third Ave between 8th and 9th Sts (212-260-7853, stmarksbookshop.com). Mon--Sat 10am--midnight; Sun 11am--midnight.

Search & Destroy
Punk lives on at this vintage clothing shop rife with Sex Pistols T-shirts, leather bomber jackets, studded belts, and clothing festooned with patches and safety pins. 25 St. Marks Pl between Second and Third Aves (212-358-1120). Daily 1--10pm.

Strand Bookstore
Dig through stacks of dirt-cheap used books and new titles for half price, including Harry S. Dent's The Great Depression Ahead. Now there's something to help you sleep well. 828 Broadway at 12th St (212-473-1452, strandbooks.com). Mon--Sat 9:30am--10:30pm; Sun 11am--10:30pm.

Village Scandal
Change it up midbarhop with a vintage pillbox hat, a sequined beret or a close-fitting cloche—who knows what will turn up in the $10 hat bin. 19 E 7th St between Second and Third Aves (212-460-9358). Mon--Wed, Sun noon--midnight; Thu--Sat noon--1:30am.Cristina Velocci

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