It is about less than a week before Christmas and the bustle and craziness of the holiday shopping has not slowed down. Some of you may have already finished shopping for your holiday gifts, some may be still searching for the perfect gift or not even started yet. Well if you are still strapped for ideas what to get for your loved ones then here are a few suggestions of places you can find around New York City:
1- For those who like a bit of local sparkle: Artists & Fleas and Brooklyn Bleu
In Williamsburg and the Chelsea Market is Artist & Fleas. This is where you can purchase gifts of unique artistry and design. You will find many goods that have a one-of-kind specialty and vintage quality. This market has an atmospheric feeling of an old world marketplace where you can purchase gifts or goods by the local artists. Here you can find anything from clothing, accessories, jewelry and other nifty items.
One of the vendors that caught my eye at the pop-up fall and holiday Artists & Fleas market in the Chelsea Market was Brooklyn Bleu. Brooklyn Bleu is a boutique vendor that specializes in vintage jewelry, clothing, accessories and home décor. Most of their jewelry styles dates in between the 1940s through 1970s. Pictured here is the bracelet I picked up from the Chelsea pop-up shop that is dated in the 1950s with a gold satin-like finish.
2-For the one with the sweet tooth: Fat Witch Bakery
Also in the Chelsea Market is Fat Witch Bakery. Fat Witch Bakery specializes in brownies. Here they have eight different flavors to choose from of brownies that just melt in your mouth. Their original brownie has a textural contrast of a crusty top layer and a smooth inside. The chocolate flavor is light and not overpowering where you can sense the vanilla flavor as well. My personal favorite is their Blondie Witch. This brownie has a cake-like texture mixed with chocolate chips. In addition to the regular brownies they offer gifts sets, cookies, hot chocolate and mugs.
3- For the chocolate lover: L.A. Burdick and Vosges Chocolate
In these colder months I love to savor in some hot chocolate to warm up during the winter. At L.A. Burdick They offer a variety of blends and single source hot chocolate that you can have made to order or purchase a kit to make at home with a mini whisk. Each of the single source hot chocolate flavors has significant characteristic flavor profiles to the origin of where the chocolate came from. For instance, Grenada bar has a complex and high acidity flavor with hints of nutmeg, banana and lychee fruit.
My favorite hot chocolate blend is their white hot chocolate. It is creamy, rich and smooth with a foamy milky cap topped with fresh grated nutmeg. I sometimes treat myself to one of their desserts at the café. Pictured here is L.A. Burdick’s chocolate birthday cake with my white hot chocolate. The cake has a light chocolate cake layer that surrounds a smooth chocolate ganache that has a burst of raspberry flavor.
Vosges Chocolate is a chocolate store that I came across at a Yelp event. Their chocolate specialties have exotic ingredients to make each product have a unique flavor profile. They usually have samples for you to try around the store. All year around Vosges has bulk deals to help you save a bit in the wallet.
I like to get their chocolate covered caramels. They have eight different types of caramels to choose from which comes with four pieces. My personal favorite is their tarte caramels which has flavors of blood orange, hibiscus, Campari and covered in dark chocolate.
If you happen to have a smartphone with the Yelp app, check-in to either Vosges Chocolate location and get either a free truffle (Soho) or a free mini bar (Upper East Side) on your visit.
4-For the quirky person: Story– Home for the Holidays
A great place where you can find unique and quirky gifts is at Story in Chelsea. They love to support local artist and companies. You can always find something neat here. Every other month the small boutique rotates themes. This month’s theme is “Home for the Holidays.” That is quite a fitting theme for this season. They have a variety of goods to choose from for foodies, bookworms, fashionistas, kids and even a little something for the guys.
5- For the sporty type: NYCeWheels
A local shop in Yorkville section of the Upper East Side of Manhattan is NYCeWheels. They specialize in kick scooters, folding bicycles and electric bicycles. As most of you know I have been writing as a guest writer for NYCeWheels about a month now testing out some of their products. I purchased my very own custom Brompton from this shop and have been riding the bike more often than I ever had before.
This is a great place to find the perfect bicycle or kick scooter with experts to help you in the store, on the phone or via email communication to meet your needs of the perfect ride. NYCeWheels has a variety of folding bikes for the city commuter from Terns to Dahons and Bromptons. The best portable ride in the shop in my opinion is the Brompton bicycle. It can be completely customizable from color, handlebar, speeds, seat and tires. It may be a bit too late to get a custom Brompton in by Christmas, but the store also has stock Bromptons ready to purchase in store. Another favorite of mine is the Tern Verge x10. It is one of the bikes that I really enjoyed testing out. It is great for those people who love speed and a very lightweight ride (21.3 lbs). My Brompton bicycle
If you like to have a little assistance of power while riding you bike, electric bikes may be what you want. Electric bikes give an extra boost when pedaling, so you do not need to use as much leg power to pedal up challenging hills. NYCeWheels offers both full sized electric bikes as well as folding bikes with electric kits. A very popular electric kit at the shop is BionX.
If bikes are not for you, NYCeWheels also offers kick scooters. Kick scooters are great for every day city commuters that want to get to their destination in half the time it would take walking or for recreational use. A very popular kick scooter is the KickPed by GoPed. The KickPed is an adult scooter that is a very well-constructed to withstand the abuse of every day traveling on the city streets.
Unsure if you want to make a purchase? If you happen to be in Yorkville, stop by NYCeWheels to take a free test ride of the bicycle or kick scooter you are curious about. If you have any further questions, there are experts in the small shop there to help you.
When it gets warmer, I recommend for you to take one of their free Brompton Bike Tours which will resume in the early spring. You can sign up here when dates are available.
6- For the one who does not go for the ordinary gift: Evolution
I stumbled upon Evolution one day walking around Soho. Evolution has a variety of odd gifts from miniature model kits, bug collections, bug lollypops, taxidermy, sea shells and exploded skulls. Even if this store does not have what you need to get a gift for the holiday season, it is a store that is quite interesting to check out.
See below for more information on the places mentioned in this post:
Artists & Fleas
70th North 7th Street (between Kent & Wythe Avenues)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Sat & Sun 10:00am-7:00pm
Chelsea Market Fall and Holiday Pop-up shop
88 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Open Daily 10:00am-7:00pm
Fat Witch Bakery
75th Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Mon-Sat 10:00am-9:00pm, Sun 10:00am-8:00pm
5 E. 20th Street
New York, NY 10003
Mon-Sat 8:30am-9:00pm, Sun 10:00am-7:00pm
Christmas Eve: café closes at 3:00pm, chocolate shop closes at 4:00pm
132 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
Sun-Wed 11:00am-8:00pm, Thur-Sat 11:00am-9:00pm
Upper East Side
1100 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10028
Mon-Sat 10:00am-8:00pm, Sun 11:00am-7:00pm
144 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Mon-Wed, Fri & Sat 11:00am-8:00pm, Thur 11:00am-9:00pm, Sun 11:00am-7:00pm
1603 York Avenue (between E. 84th and E.85th Streets)
New York, NY 10028
Toll free US (800) 692-3943
Local and International (212) 737-3078
Closes at 3:00pm on Christmas Eve
120 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
Open Daily 11:00am-7:00pm