Mother’s Day Is May 9

I’ll never forget the year my dad bought my mom a new vacuum cleaner for Mother’s Day—it taught me, and presumably my dad, that Mother’s Day gifts should be (a) indulgent, and (b) for the mother, not the family. I think those are good general rules no matter how old your mother is, but for this year’s Mother’s Day gift guide I’ve tried to help out the dads who need to buy gifts on behalf of their kids (or supplement their kids’ gifts with something the mom might actually want). Because I’m not a mother—even if my pug is a lot like a perpetual two-year-old—I asked the Tribeca Citizen community for input. In no particular order:

euphoria-spa-by-tribeca-citizen••• You can’t go wrong with a spa treatment; if you want to specify a treatment—and I’m not sure you should—stick with facials and massages. (This is so not the time to surprise her with the Botox she’s been wondering aloud about.) Several mothers suggested Euphoria Spa, and another mother said she’s heard that Jeff, a new massage therapist at Equinox, is superb.

petticoat-lane2-by-tribeca-citizenpetticoat-lane-by-tribeca-citizen••• Jessica at Petticoat Lane points out that buying lingerie for someone else can be tricky—you could be sending the wrong message, like you wish she’d try a little harder to be sexy or you just assumed she needed a size-large thong. “Pajamas are better  because they’re pretty-sexy, not slutty,” she says, “and you don’t have to buy by size.” (When she says “pajamas,” she means nighties like the ones above, which cost around $90.) Another good option is a clutch: “Women can be picky about their everyday bags. Clutches are easier. The funkier ones aren’t for everyday so there isn’t so much pressure for one to be perfect. And you can never have enough clutches.” The clutches at Petticoat Lane cost $150–$250.

courtesy-burke-heffner••• This is an edgier idea, but if she complains that she’s not as sexy as she used to be, prove her wrong with help from Tribeca photographer Burke Heffner, who takes pin-up portraits. (What is it about the name Hefner/Heffner?) For $299, she’ll get two hours of studio time, with attention from a professional make-up artist, props, a disk of photos, and one 8″-by-12″ print.

cass-lilien-by-tribeca-citizen••• The great thing about buying Cass Lilien‘s jewelry as a gift, says Cass Lilien, is that if something isn’t exactly to the recipient’s taste, “we can swap in a different stone, size it, or adapt it.” She’s currently excited about the bracelets above, made with sterling silver and semi-precious stones; they can be worn individually or joined end-to-end to form a necklace. One is $125, two are $200, and three are $250.

locanda-verde-by-tribeca-citizen2••• Several mothers said they’d love to be taken out for a nice lunch or dinner, “but not on Mother’s Day,” said one, and not with the kids (no one explicitly said so, but let’s just take it for granted). If my poll is any indication, you can’t go wrong at Locanda Verde (above) or Bouley. if it’s lunch, she might have a little wine, so be prepared to take care of the kids afterward; nothing harshes the buzz like having to parent.

capucine-by-tribeca-citizen1otte-by-tribeca-citizenedon-manor-by-tribeca-citizen••• Buying clothes can be tricky. One mother suggested that she’d like a summer dress ($150–$175) from Capucine, but to most dads, that won’t mean much of anything. Not to worry: Men come in all the time with only a vague idea, says Capucine, and they’re happy to help figure it out: “Look at what she wears. Is she bohemian? Does she like more of classic style? What does she tend to wear—straight, long, simple?” As for finding the right size, “You can always say, ‘she’s a little bustier than you, a little taller, whatever.'” Over at Otte, they tend to suggest men buy jewelry—such as the $335 hand-crocheted mixed-metal necklace above—”unless he knows that she wants a brand like Alexander Wang or Helmut Lang.” Finally, there’s shoe palace Edon Manor. These are shoes as worship objects; either you know going in that she likes shoes such as these—they average $700—or you shouldn’t bother going in at all. (Whether she ever wears them is not the point.)

adeline-adeline-by-tribeca-citizen1adeline-adeline2-by-tribeca-citizen••• There’s something to be said for a gift that the kids can appreciate, too—not that they can use it, but that they can see why Mom might want it. Adeline Adeline, the new stylish-bike shop on Reade, can help you pick out a bike that’ll look as good as it rides. “We’d probably suggest the Pashley Poppy,” says Julie Hirschfeld; it costs $995 and and is not pictured above. Or if she already has a bike, consider a chic basket—and maybe a guaranteed hour every weekend when she can take a ride on her own.

tribeca-treats-nutella-bar-by-tribeca-citizen••• A little chocolate—perhaps one or ten dark-chocolate Nutella candy bars from Tribeca Treats—makes every gift go over better. (If you do buy that chic bike basket from Adeline Adeline, she’s pretty much guaranteed to look inside it.) I suppose most people would buy truffles as a gift, but I kind of wanted an excuse to pick up a Nutella bar….


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