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Illustrations by John Devolle

The best gifts for New Yorkers this holiday season

Check your list twice and buy for the out-of-the-ordinary but just-as-indispensable NYC giftees in your life

By Jennifer Picht and Collier Sutter

Holiday shopping in NYC can be downright enjoyable (see: Holiday markets) and sometimes overwhelming (see: department stores). But once Thanksgiving dinner is over, it's time to start checking off your holiday shopping list. You may have already scored presents for your mom, your significant other and your kid sister. But what about these out-of-the-ordinary but just-as-indispensable NYC giftees in your life? In the spirit of giving, gift these important but often overlooked New Yorkers a present they will surely appreciate this holiday.

RECOMMENDED: The full holiday gift guide 2020

Best Christmas gifts for your fellow New Yorkers

Your Inspirational Fitness Instructor

Their somewhat aggressive words of encouragement have kept you motivated through many a hellish, 50-minute workout, and they somehow manage to teach back-to-back classes without falling over.

Well-Kept fitness towelettes $12,

Fuck Yes, You Glorious Bitch trophy, $26,

The One Neighbor Who Actually Says Hello And Lets You Pet Their Dog

A friendly, respectful fellow tenant with a cute-as-hell pooch is hard to come by, so show your gratitude now before the worst happens: They say “goodbye to all that” and move to L.A.

Mood Indigo Scented Glass Candle $34.50,

Bark Sacré Blue! Berry Pie Dog Toy



Your Dependable Therapist

This person encourages you to unapologetically rant about your ex, so repay them with a gift that says you promise to think long and hard about their words of advice—and that you won’t forget or overextend your session next time (probably).

Camera pencil sharpener $20.75,

Hexagonal hourglass with gold stand $22,

Your Go-to Bodega Guy

Protect those bacon-egg-and-cheese–perfecting hands from their corner store’s winter draughts—and why not throw in some cold-weather comfort for your favorite bodega cat, too?

Frisco Heavy Duty Faux Fur Cat Tree $40,

Sun USB Hand Warmer $30,


The Barista Who Knows Your Regular Order

Your barista always makes a point to remember your triple-shot oat-milk latte with one sugar, so you shouldn’t forget them (or Mother Earth) this holiday.

S’well Geode Bottle $25,

FinalStraw reusable sipper $25,

The Local Bartender Who Never Mentions How Trashed You Were The Last Time You Were There

Ever responsible, they cut you off when you’ve had too much hooch— without judging you. And for this, you owe them. Forget that your hangover was caused by the free shots they gave you.

The Sizzler Bottle Opener & Closer $15,

Dish towel $10,


Your Super Or Landlord

They’re the sympathetic savior who always picks up the phone when you’ve lost (ahem, misplaced) your keys and never fails to fix that clog in your kitchen sink (again).

Kitchen Sink Cookie Pie $27,

Front-door key fob $19.50,

Your Doorman Who Never Comments On Your Online-Shopping Addiction

Since doormen are too busy signing in your guests and collecting your packages to worry about their own, the least you could do is help to keep them warm and entertained while they seamlessly handle it all. (And don’t forget that holiday tip.)

Frogger mini arcade game $19.99,

Heattech patterned scarf $14.90,


Your Favorite Subway Busker On The Rise To Stardom

These thoughtful tokens show your treasured troubadour just how much you appreciate their talent. You should definitely drop five bucks in their hat, but this present guarantees a shout-out during any future Grammy acceptance speeches… right?

There Are Artists Among Us T-shirt $24,

Wireless Bluetooth karaoke handheld microphone $19.99,


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