RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Park Slope, Brooklyn
At this friendly sex-toy boutique—run by women and skewed toward women—browsers are encouraged to handle all manner of buzzing, wriggling and bendable playthings, including the famed Rabbit Pearl vibrator. The shop also stocks a huge variety of condoms and hosts frank sex-ed classes on a variety of subjects.
Fashion-forward Brooklyn residents flock to this unconventional boutique for its brood of up-and-coming local and international designers. Rubbing shoulders on the tightly packed racks in the slightly rustic space, the store stocks its usual stylish lineup of emerging and well-known designers, as well as a limited-edition organic collection by Steven Alan, 3.1 Phillip Lim embellished tees exclusive to the store, animal-friendly accessories by Stella McCartney, organic tie-dye bags and dresses by Bodkin, and limited-edition screenprints by Fox in Mociun, plus collections by Isabel Marant, Rachel Comey, Tsumori Chisato, Zero by Maria Cornejo and more.
This mysterious shop—where you can buy such novelties as capes, X-ray goggles and gallon tins of immortality—is actually a front (and money-earner) for the nonprofit 826NYC, a kids’ writing, tutoring and publishing center (a chapter of the San Francisco outfit founded by novelist Dave Eggers), hidden behind a concealed door.
Conceived by partners Kristin Overson and Seth Walter in the back of a cab, this bright, airy Brooklyn institution offers a multitude of handmade works. You’ll find an assortment of enviable loot from up-and-coming local designers such as gift tags by Sesame Letterpress ($3); hand-glazed ceramic, lidded teacups and coasters by Christina Cherry ($50); one-of-a-kind embroidered silk neckties by Bonnie Heart Clyde ($76); and Burrow Burrow’s statuette of a
horse cobbled together from discarded electronic parts ($750).
This Park Slope bookstore has been around since 1971, and it just rocks. It's fun to peruse, it has a good selection, and the staff is great. It occasionally hosts readings, which are always worthy of attention, and even organizes book groups, in which you'll read authors like Georges Simenon. Only in Brooklyn, people!
The store’s namesake, Cozbi A. Cabrera, ditched her career in music packaging at Atlantic Records to focus on the production of her vintage-inspired dolls (or muñecas), which have garnered a huge following and even appeared on Oprah. Cabrera has since branched out into producing handmade women’s clothing and decided to relocate from the Carroll Gardens boutique that she opened in 2004 to a shop along Park Slope’s bustling Fifth Avenue strip. Cabrera’s muñecas are now made-to-order only, but you can still find her well-tailored collection at her new digs, which is decorated with carefully curated antiques and muted walls. The line is full of workplace-appropriate staples with a twist, including metallic striped button-up shirts ($150) and pebbled silk skirts ($357). There are plenty of casual options, such as trouser jeans ($165) and floral-embroidered mesh tees ($65). An antique pharmaceutical case in the front holds jewelry options like braided mixed-metal necklaces by Japanese brand Akiko ($205).
Kane stocks her shelves with the work of exclusive designers, who handcraft eco-savvy items. Currently saving the planet are Prairie Underground cloak hoodies ($250 each) and Ali Kano leather handbags (from $450), along with goods from Organic by John Patrick, Prairie Underground, Stewart+Brown and more.
Although this new shop has the air of a gallery (white walls, vitrines), there’s certainly no need for whispering and owner Andrea Miller encourages touching. Filled with an eclectic mix of new and vintage clothing (Alternative Apparel sweatshirts mingle with white lace frocks from the turn of the century), Miller doesn’t adhere to one credo or design philosophy. Instead she takes a populist approach to curating her store, evidenced by her recent front-window display: President Obama’s head dangled from quirky earrings, a cherry red ’80s phone in the shape of lips sat awaiting a call, and a gorgeous vintage dress made the mannequin come alive. The best part is that everything—even the photography, art and interesting tchotchkes for sale—is priced on the inexpensive side.
Suzette Sundae, formerly of the Monkey Whistles & Motorbikes shop, now runs this 1,900-square-foot vintage paradise in the heart of Park Slope. Men can score classy oxford shirts from the 1960s ($19), while ladies can choose from reassembled costume jewelry and charm necklaces ($15), funky leather boots ($29 and up), and an impressive stash of 1940s–1980s dresses (starting at $22).
Dorothy was right: There’s no place like home—especially when your pad is decorated with hip trimmings by indie artists. This Park Slope boutique sells a whole mess of oddities to enhance the domestic life. Dinnerware, papers and stationary, wall hardware and more are all handcrafted, so you know you're getting something unique that you can treasure.