Best indie shops: Long Island City
Mon Jun 7 2010
Park Home Furnishings
Park Home Furnishings
This roomy, family-owned furniture emporium can be found on a desolate stretch near Vernon Boulevard. It specializes in minimalist coffee tables ($150--$500), bed sets ($1,000--$4,000) and contemporary sofas ($300--$500)—many of which double as foldout beds. The clean, Zen-like home dcor haven also offers furnishing accents, such as table lamps ($35--$100) and three-panel room divider screens ($60--$100). A delivery service is available; rates vary depending on neighborhood. 11-12 44th Dr between 11th and 21st Sts, Long Island City, Queens (718-392-2088, parkhomefurnishings.com)
Though retail may seem like an afterthought at this concept shop (which is both a gallery and a custom framing slash gift shop) there’s plenty of things to spend dough on. Owner Donna Drimer fills the space with contemporary art from local painters and photographers (for six week exhibits), allowing her to show off the store’s vast framing selection. In addition to earthy, handmade goods (pottery, glassware, wooden boxes, soaps and our favorite, a wallet fashioned from recycled candy wrappers, $25--$38), you can snag quirkier items, such as Jishaku ($22), a board game involving magnetic stones. 46-36 Vernon Blvd between 46th Rd and 47th Ave, Long Island City, Queens (718-786-8660).
Nook n’ Crannie
You won’t have to dig through jumble at this well-edited, retro antiques shop, where sophisticated armoires are cleanly presented next to paraphernalia from the ’50s and ’60s (a set of onyx dice for $30, anyone?). Opened in 2007, the boutique is unique in that it’s staffed entirely by volunteers, with profits benefiting Betel of America, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Prices ranges from low ($5) to high-end ($5,000) for bedroom sets, tables, chairs, sofas, coffee tables, lamps, mirrors and crystal wares (vases and jugs, glasses, fruit bowls). 47-42 Vernon Blvd between 47th Rd and 48th Ave, Long Island City, Queens (718-706-6477, betel.org)
Antique aficionado, Sung Park, who also owns nearby deli Paris Health (49-11 Vernon Boulevard between 49th and 50th Aves, Long Island City, Queens; no phone), accomplished a long-term dream of sharing his mid 19th Century cast-iron set with New York by opening this museum-shop. While everything found on the right side of the small space is for viewing only (penny banks, trivets, wood planes), the miscellanea on the left is for sale. Start your own collection by picking up a pocketsize checkers board ($10) or a cash register from the 1940s ($275). 10-13 50th Ave between Vernon Blvd and Jackson Ave (no phone).
After attending a free business consultation at Queens College in 2002, Slovakian-born Milan Uherik and his Czech Republic-native wife Jarka decided to fill a niche and open the city’s first Slovak-Czech convenience store. The apothecary mostly caters to homesick Eastern Europeans craving overseas drugstore supplies, but even if you don’t fit the bill, you can still take advantage of the back-of-store gift shop. On a recent visit, we were digging hand-blown glass paperweights ($9), crystal goblets ($35--$129) and wooden toys ($4--$28). Don’t miss the yummy Slovakia-imported eats, such as Milka chocolates, refrigerated salamis and bryndza (sheep’s milk cheese). 10-59 Jackson Ave between 49th and 50th Aves, Long Island City, Queens (718-752-2093, slovczechvar.com).
Hipsters and drag queens will be giddy over the selection at this 27-year-old thrift shop, which is run by sisters Ann Caporusso and Tishie Dooling (who inherited the space from their mother). Admire the window display, which is updated weekly with Caporusso’s newest finds, or browse the interior for grandpa-chic homewares, including a porcelain cookie jar ($40) and a set of novelty salt and pepper shakers ($8). Then venture to the back, where you’ll find an abundance of glittery, metallic vintage purses ($8--$60), fur coats (up to $200) and other flamboyant garb ($6--$20). 47-28 Vernon Blvd at 47th Rd, Long Island City, Queens (917-558-4869).
Eccentric up-and-coming local labels (expect dramatic bubble skirts, loud graphic prints and bat-like capes) can be found at this loft-esque space. On the racks we founds wares by Sumie Tachibana ($50--$110), Sandra Baquero’s ($150--$250) and Colin Houlder’s ($60--$180). LIC artist Michael Daniel’s metal coffee tables ($600--$1,500) display equally attention-grabbing indie baubles by local jewelers (Laura Waldusky, Bijoutique, Andrea Corazon). 48-18 Vernon Blvd between 49th and 48th Aves, Long Island City, Queens (718-482-1899, subboutique.com).
Dames can get their fix for femme day-to-night fashions at Adriana Ron’s darling boutique. Burning candles provide elegant lighting, and bowls of chocolate revive hungry shoppers. Ron aims to keep most of the stock under $100, including Flying Monkey skinny jeans ($50) and Ark & Co floral frocks ($65--$85). And while the stunning accessories can be a bit pricier, you’ll want to shell out for the LIC-native brand Auden by Bryce Castaneda’s edgy jewelry line ($40--$250), sold exclusively at Ethereal. Vintage wares and shoes are also available. 47-38 Vernon Blvd between 47th Rd and 48th Ave, Long Island City, Queens (718-482-8884).