Between this spacious Red Hook emporium and its Williamsburg locale, this plant purveyor has one of the largest selections of greenery in the city. While you’ll find gardening tools such as glossy clay pots ($20–$200) and small hand tools ($4), the bulk of Chelsea Garden Center’s stock is comprised of lush vegetation. Apartment-friendly picks include low-maintenance cacti ($4–$200) and air plants ($4–$20), although gorgeous orchids ($25) that bloom annually are worth the extra effort. Proud New Yorkers may claim that no city tops Gotham, but few would knock the beauty of L.A.’s palm trees. To get the best of both coasts, make room in your pad for kentia palms ($225–$350) sourced from Hawaii or opt for a tropical, six-foot Dracaena reflexa ($195-$225).
You’ll be searching for a reason to send someone one of the large square screen-printed cards ($4–$5 each) that illustrator and owner Jane Buck makes right in the store: Each features charming animal graphics, like a tortoise carrying a cupcake on its shell, with kitschy sayings (cheer up, buttercup). For those occasions when an old-fashioned note alone won’t cut it, there are baby bibs ($16) and little pouches ($6) adorned with the store’s signature menagerie of birds, elephants, rabbits and more.
Fun fact: This floral outpost began as a soap shop, but since then, the Red Hook boutique has expanded. Offering custom floral arrangements ($150–$300), which the florists grow themselves, their seasonal designs lend a natural, organic beauty. This shop is a favorite among brides-to-be.
We don't need to tell you why moms and dads love Ikea. The Swedish purveyor of pleasingly cheap, unprecious style has the assemble-it-yourself set wrapped up. What we will say is: Head in for a look at the latest. The fresh Stuva storage system, a modular array of bookcases, drawer units, tallboys and toy boxes, features five door colors (including a springy celadon). We're also keen on the recently released Blames high chair—an insta-classic in black with a bright-white tray.
When Mollie Dash’s boyfriend urged her to expand her line of handcrafted, reworked vintage jewelry (formerly available only at Greenpoint boutique Old Hollywood’s website), the Brooklyn artist procured a hodgepodge of antique and indie accessories, apparel and knickknacks to fill an airy boutique. Dash describes the decor as an expression of the duo’s “collective design fetishes,” including quirky materials such as pegboards, Styrofoam and duck sauce packets. We’re itching to test our green thumbs by snagging Truss Planters ($48), mini replicas of cement buildings that serve as flower pots. We also wouldn’t mind accessorizing our apartments with conversation-starting accoutrements such as magnets shaped like ninja weapons ($10–$18). And on the apparel front, Queens’ finest can rep their borough with a canary-hued astoria olympic team tee ($14) and Paste T-shirts cleverly screen-printed with a photo of a T-shirt ($34)—how meta!
Appointed with neoclassical furniture and glossy black floors, 26-year-old artist Russell Whitmore’s first boutique—named after a Brooklyn waterway—transports you back in time via its finely honed collection of 19th-century estate jewelry, table accoutrements and other antique-looking objets. Don’t worry about being overwhelmed: Whitmore pares down what’s on tap to a gorgeous handful of works from the likes of RISD-trained designer Philip Crangi; Paul DeBlassie IV, a former assistant to Ted Muehling with a penchant for organic, sculptural shapes; and Victorian-influenced Belgian native Natalia Brilli—all displayed in wood museum cases. There’s a stunning selection of adornments for less than $200.
After running a successful online shop and flea-market booths, Brian Davis found a permanent home for his curated collection of vintage men’s classics in Red Hook. The store focuses on military items (versions of De Niro’s Taxi Driver jacket go for about $150), outerwear and Americana gear for guys from as early as the 1930s. Sweaters start around $80; small items like wool caps are $10 and up.
This newly opened wine shop specializes in Italian vino, with more than 400 varietals neatly organized by geographic origin (Central, Northern, Southern) and price (a display features $9, $10 and $11 bottles). But oenophiles will really flip for the store’s boozy paraphernalia, including sculptural silver wine racks ($66–$400), a set of ’60s-style decanters from Italy ($90 each, five for $420), nickel-plated coolers ($200–$400) and eye-catching corkscrews, like ones made of naturally petrified twisted vine ($25). Don’t forget to pop into the backyard sculpture garden, where local blacksmith Anthony Cuonzo displays his metallic works of art (highlights include a ten-foot-tall dinosaur and a circular rendition of our city’s skyline).
Owner and knitwear designer Staceyjoy Elkin prides herself on the fact that nearly 80 percent of the feminine garb, costume jewelry and odd trinkets in her shop are priced under $110. Yet we’re just as delighted by her handmade scarves ($60–$160), created from luxury fibers such as alpaca, cashmere and merino wool. Elkin’s cozy neck cuffs ($60), cable-knit ear-warmers ($42) and tie-dyed cashmere sweaters ($125) are the ideal stylish antidote to fall’s brisk chill.
Step into this cozy store to bolster your Brooklyn pride. Owners Denise Carbonell and Derek Dominy make a concerted effort to support local artisans, stocking their dimly lit shop with handmade items from Red Hook residents—including themselves (her background is in thread and his is in metal, hence the shop’s name). We find ourselves gravitating toward the duo’s goods made from a lightweight fabriclike mesh, such as stainless-steel scarves ($295), delicate teardrop earrings ($135), armor-inspired lace-up bracelets ($185) and collaresque chokers ($95).
Inspired by the open-air markets of Latin America, Cesar Fuentes (representative of the food vendors at the Red Hook ball fields) has teamed up with others in the neighborhood to convert an empty lot into just such a public space, open weekends for now with some weekdays coming later. Familiar ballfields offerings like pupusas and huaraches will be joined by more global bites, including "Spicy Bitches"—deep fried hot pork wieners from Gridnhaus (a sausage-and-beer bar yet-to-open nearby)—and "Movie Theater" cookies (chocolate chip, popcorn and gummy fish) from FattyCakes NY. A rotating group of artians selling their crafts will also make daily appearances, followed by poetry, music and other performances at night.
After Hurricane Sandy swept through Red Hook, Shannon Lorraine moved her seven-year-old Soho boutique and showroom to help bring business back to one of her favorite neighborhoods. Located in an old furniture factory, the shop hawks seven unique and ecologically sustainable lines of women’s apparel ($88–$650) and accessories ($28–$525). Take in stellar views of the Statue of Liberty while shopping for enchanting pieces from budding designers, including Pol spotted shift dresses ($198), Lambillotte silk draped pants ($259), Flotsam and Jetsam brass-and-silver jewelry ($60–$420) and local favorite Mi Asunta formable layered necklaces ($172–$230). Also be sure to snag avant-garde digitally printed scarves ($36–$59), created by the winners of e-tailer Front Row Society’s (frontrowsociety.com) monthly online design contest.
Parsons grad Kristy Hadeka and graphic designer Sean Tice started selling their countertop slate creations at the Brooklyn Flea (brooklynflea.com) in 2009, and the brand has since been sold in more than 1,000 stores across the U.S. This 850-square-foot showroom and shop is Brooklyn Slate Company’s first permanent location, and features reclaimed-glass shelving and custom-built furniture. The namesake metamorphic rock is sourced from Hadeka’s third-generation family quarry in upstate New York and then ground, sanded and shaped by her brother and father. You’ll find the entire collection, including coasters (four for $22), place mats (two for $39, four for $70) and signature cheese boards ($26–$44) that come with a soapstone pencil so you can distinguish your Brie from your blue. Also nab grub, such as jars of Sqirl jam ($14) and Castleton crackers ($7). Add a wooden knife ($12) carved from maple in Vermont and a jar of Bee Raw honey ($9) to complete your spread.