2009 Buy-Local Holiday Gift Guide: Murray and Warren

I like purchasing gifts online as much as the next lazy person—especially for recipients who live elsewhere, because have you been to the post office in December?—but nothing compares to seeing, touching, maybe even smelling the merchandise. Plus, I like the idea of spending my money in the neighborhood. In that spirit, here’s the first installment of the Tribeca Citizen 2009 Buy-Local Holiday Gift Guide, focusing on Murray and Warren Streets.

The two things I liked most at Spot—channeling my dog, naturally—were Chilly Dog’s Lucky Mutt leash ($23) and these Polka Dog Bakery treats ($8). • 21 Murray St., 212-374-6900, spotdogsrule.com.



The Shop at Equinox has some attractive workout clothes, but they make fraught gifts (“Are you saying I’m fat?”). Better to go for a Top Ranch men’s T-shirt or a Junk Food women’s Madonna T-shirt ($35 each). Of course there’s always a gift certificate for the spa (50-minute Swedish massage, $110). • 54 Murray St., 212-566-6555, equinox.com.



I find buying jewelry for someone else about as hard as buying perfume—it’s so personal. But Yafit Goldfarb’s designs, at Seasonal Whispers, might be worth the risk. The one pictured below—the photo is courtesy of Seasonal Whispers—is also available in orange, blue, and yellow ($75–$151). If that’s too much color, consider the light wire bangles, which won’t drag anyone down; charm necklaces that were featured on Gossip Girl ($30–$50); or the Votivo Candles in scents such as Gingersnap, Moroccan Fig, and Island Grapefruit ($24). • 71 Murray St., 212-233-8663, seasonalwhispers.com.




Barnes & Noble has tons of books bound to please, particularly ones about the city (New York Line by Line, by Robinson, $20; James and Karla Murray’s Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York, $65; and Eric Sanderson’s Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City, $40), and one that I hope never has anything to do with the city (Sites of Impact: Meteorite Craters Around the World by Stan Gaz, $60). But the most covetable item in the store might be Lego’s Guggenheim Museum ($40)—it’s out of stock on the retailer’s website, but the store had a bunch, as well as the Empire State Building and the Sears Tower, which is a building in a place called Chicago. • 97 Warren St., 212-587-5389, barnesandnoble.com.



It’s been a long year; if you’re going to drink, do it with class. Riedel’s martini glasses are $50 each at Bed Bath & Beyond. (I was also drawn to the $4 Hutzler Onion Saver because I just wrote a story for Travel + Leisure in which I got all excited about a similar product that I discovered in Rome. But that’s probably just me.) • 270 Greenwich St., but I’m including it here because, hello, it’s on Warren, 212-233-8450, bedbathandbeyond.com.



The folks at Mysterious Bookshop can help you pick the perfect book for anyone on your list, as long as he/she can handle a bit of tension. At the lighter end of the spectrum is Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger’s awkwardly titled follow-up to The Time-Traveler’s Wife ($27). And as you’ll see as this gift guide proceeds over the next few weeks, I’m a sucker for T-shirts from local businesses ($13). • 58 Warren St., 212-587-1011, mysteriousbookshop.com.



I’ve given knives from Korin as gifts several times, and they’re always well received—can anyone who’s remotely serious about cooking have enough excellent knives? (The ones pictured start at $44.) The shop also has pretty ceramics; in fact, this Friday and Saturday, Korin will be hosting a special sale of White Forest Pottery; artist Nancy Bauch will be celebrated at a party there Thursday, 4 p.m.–8:30 p.m. • 57 Warren St., 212-587-7021, korin.com.



The single coolest thing I saw was the customizable subway-grafitti wall poster at Babesta Cribz—you can choose the station names, too (3′ x 5′, $225). Also tempting, even—or especially?—for someone who doesn’t have kids is Never Mind Your P’s and Q’s: Here’s the Punk Alphabet ($28). And the shop sells cute blank Kid Robot creatures that you can decorate with the accompanying stickers and marker ($10). • 56 Warren St., 646-290-5508, babesta.com.




Truth be told, I’m a sucker for pretty much anything branded with a local establishment’s name: In our increasingly globalized world—where plastic onion containers are everywhere!—this hyperlocal merchandise has an unbeatable sense of provenance. So when you buy wine from New York Vintners, splurge on the $5 canvas wine tote. • 21 Warren St., 212-812-3999, newyorkvintners.com.



One of those places that I love that we have in the neighborhood, Fountain Pen Hospital is also the type of spot where I’d put myself in the staff’s hands, because they know the merchandise far better than I could ever hope to. The pens are works of art, fetishable like wristwatches (even if they’re turning vestigial in the same way). This Aurora Optima in blue marble retails at $495, which would buy a lot of Bics, but that’s not really the point, is it? • 10 Warren St., 212-964-0580, fountainpenhospital.com.



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