The best NYC gifts for the holidays

Empty that virtual shopping cart now! These NYC gifts from only-in-New York stores make the case for fun IRL shopping.
Photograph: Courtesy Bulletin
By Jennifer Picht and Will Gleason |
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Whether naughty or nice, each person on your list is probably one of a kind. Luckily, so are the NYC gifts from our fair city’s brick-and-mortar shops. So log off that generic Amazon gift page, get out there, and support the places that keep NYC from becoming one giant, sterile chain. Need more convincing? We’ve selected a go-to shop to please a number of characters in your life and have gathered killer Christmas gift ideas for your own wish list. Whether you’re finding a gift for a pal that spends their weekends sifting for vintage clothing and antiques at home décor stores or the bookworm in your life who spends hours browsing inside New York’s best bookstores, we’ve got you covered.

RECOMMENDED: See the full holiday gift guide 2017

For the rugged individual

Shopping, Boutiques

The Stonework

icon-location-pin Astoria

This lifestyle and apparel shop in Astoria boasts a wide range of American-made goodies for folks who dress as if they’re suiting up for a day in the woods. Peruse durable flannel shirts and beanies, wood-fire-scented candles and masculine leather wallets, as well as soft logo tees and canvas bags. Because New Yorkers love a strong fashion statement, take advantage of the shop’s script-stitching masters, who can custom embroider a rugged bandanna or a denim jacket with your giftee’s name, favorite irreverent phrase—or your phone number. It’s still cuffing season: Lay it out there.

Queens Borough pennant, $25

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Carlos Jaramillo

Upstate Stock Sweet Musk candle, $29

MHART drops choker, $58

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Loyal Stricklin key chain, $32

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For the empowered people in your life

Photograph: Courtesy Seth Caplan

Bulletin Broads

Williamsburg’s beloved indie-brand boutique recently opened a sister store in Nolita to help fierce feminists suit up for the resistance. Be your best ally and shop for female-designed goodies, such as embroideries of plus-size bods, pins with pithy phrases and “I Ain’t Sorry” Beyoncé QUEEN tees. For additional awesomeness, Bulletin just launched a bubblegum pink mini-mall in Flatiron for the holidays. The over-the-top pop-up is stocked with kitschy girl-power accessories, home decor and apparel (we're obsessed with these faux fur jackets by Apparis) from women-owned brands, and you can nab it all through January 15.  Pop-up: 927 Broadway · Brick-and-mortar stores: 27 Prince St (646-928-0213 ) · 145 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn (917-971-8861) · bulletin.co

Baby Face Press embroidered slippers, $45 

 

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RaHa ladies earrings, $60 

 

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Made Au Gold Sentimental Soul tee, $25

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Valley Cruise Press Happy Thoughts notebook, $14

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For the quirkiest decorator you know

Exit9 Gift Emporium

You would be hard-pressed to leave this cheerful store without finding something that makes you crack a smile. Though both the East Village outpost and its sister store in Brooklyn boast a plethora of items—home goods, electronics, clothing—they all have a similarly upbeat energy. (Recently, we spotted a glowing pineapple LED light and a rose-gold bracelet that doubles as a flask.) Expect lots of bright colors, sassy quotes (“This is fucking delicious!”) and whimsical toys, with an entire section dedicated to products made in New York City. Oh, and you’ll need a card; the shop has a sweet selection of funny ones, for example: “Let’s drink mulled wine and talk shit!” 51 Ave A (212-228-0145) · 127 Smith St, Brooklyn (917-971-8861) · shopexit9.com

American Design Club East Coast coasters, $32

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Paddywax concrete candle, $26

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Jellycat Cyril sloth, $30

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DesignWorks stone amethyst journal, $16

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For the retro fetishist

Photograph: Courtesy NICOLE FARA SILVER

Dobbin St. Co-op

Searching for a present for someone who desperately wishes to relive the glory days of Woodstock, Nudie suits and wicker furniture? This affordable bohemian vintage fave can scratch that itch. Most of the Greenpoint spot’s loot dates back to the ’60s and ’70s and includes funky furniture like peacock chairs and gorgeous vanity trinkets such as mirrored beauty trays. And since most items are one of a kind, we suggest trolling the treasure trove’s Instagram account (@dobbinstcoop) for updates on what blasts from the past have just arrived. 37 Norman Ave, Brooklyn (929-900-5441, dobbinstcoop.com)

Peacock chair, $195

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Jute weave wall-hanging decoration, $195–$295

Plant stand, $24–$45

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For the page turner

Photograph: Books Are Magic
Shopping, Bookstores

Books Are Magic

icon-location-pin Carroll Gardens

Have a discerning bookworm in your life? Novelist and local resident Emma Straub (Modern Lovers) opened this expertly curated Carroll Gardens store earlier this year after the much-loved longtime neighborhood staple BookCourt shuttered. In addition to the staff picks and local favorites displayed prominently up front, the shop has an abundant selection of children’s literature. With exposed brick, comfy reading nooks and deconstructed lighting, it’s a place where you’ll want to spend a lazy afternoon perusing tomes.

Books Are Magic tote, $12

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Books Are Magic book pin, $10

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Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, $25.20

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For the far east aficionado

Photograph: Courtesy Kien Quan

Pearl River Mart

Prepare to feel like you’ve been whisked away to Shanghai upon entering this Tribeca go-to for Asian home goods, many of which you’ll only find here. Even though the new location is smaller than its massive former Soho outpost, the shop has still managed to pack in thousands of Chinese products like beautiful ceramics and traditional tea sets. Best of all, the prices are incredibly reasonable; almost everything in the store is less than $100. But be warned: You’ll definitely leave with more items than the ones on your list. 395 Broadway (800-878-2446, pearlriver.com)

Wooden rolling foot massager, $7.95

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Antique green ginkgo serving bowls, $24.50

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Caligraphy practice scroll set, $12.50

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Trying to ball on a budget this Christmas?

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