66 water st, dumbo
It is difficult to find someone who doesn't like chocolate (even dogs like chocolate, despite the fact it's deadly poison to them). Jacques Torres makes the best chocolate in the world, deep in the heart of DUMBO.
We all know someone who hates having to decide what kind of chocolate they're going to eat month in, month out. What a pain. Well, let Jacques Torres help, with his 12-Month Chocolate Plan
! For just $480 your giftee will receive a new delivery of exciting chocolate every month—if it's June, these must be malt balls!
Have you tried the "Wicked" Pecan Brittle
? Holy crap. At $7 a bag, get a couple for yourself while you're at it.
191 fifth ave, park slope
Nothing lights up the eyes of a small child on Christmas morning like a twelve pack of Einbecker Urbock Dunkel. Seriously, we've seen it.
Impress the beer nerd in your life with a bottle of Bokrijks Kruikenbier
, an unpronounceably delicious Belgian beer that comes in an earthenware swing-top crock, with fancy art by underground comic dude Mat Brinkman. It better be fancy for $25 (per 750 ml).
Bring home a bunch of 64 oz. growlers of Clinton Hill's Kelso pilsner
for all your old pals and impress them by saying: "Yeah, it's brewed just down the block from me." Also, they're only $9.95.
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.
372 fifth ave, park slope
We could all use more heroism in our lives. And by shopping here, you contribute to the 826NYC literacy programs, which would make you a hero... See what we did there?
Everybody loves to swim. So it stands to reason everybody would love to swim faster. For only $40, you can make that special someone happy with prosthetic mer fins.
Seriously. Slap 'em on and swim like the wind. Or the tide, rather.
And with your giftee's newfound aquatic prowess, they'll probably need an official map of The North Atlantic's Underwater States and Territories
—at just $15, there's no better way to find your way around the deep blue sea.
269 smith st, carroll gardens
Someday we want to retire to the country and make artisanal goat's cheese. No joke. That is how much we love cheese, and that is why we think this gourmet cheeseshop (that doesn't take itself too seriously—ahem, Bedford and N 4th) is the place to go for your cheesy gift needs.
We want Stinky Bklyn's all-Brooklyn Gift Basket
right now, in the office, to eat. Cheese, chocolate, pickles, cookies, and more (uh, who needs more?), this hundred percent Brooklyn-sourced basket is a steal at $100.
If you think that all good stinky cheese comes from Europe, YOU ARE STONE-COLD WRONG, friend. Vermont cheesemonger Bayley Hazen
rocks an English-style blue cheese that will mess you up BIG TIME (that's a good thing).
430 graham ave, williamsburg
Are you a boy (or girl) trying to shop for a woman? Are you so head-over-heels in awe that you're terrified and clueless about getting her a gift commensurate to her wonderfulness? Let Siri at Treehouse help you—with her perfect mix of vintage and local designers, you really can't go wrong.
We love, love, LOVE the Brooklyn clothing line Feral Childe
, and Treehouse almost always has a great selection of the line's understatedly Bjorkesque future/rural items.
There's always a fresh supply of great under-$20, local, handmade giftables at Treehouse, but you can give a gift that keeps on giving by signing up your giftee for one of their periodic Intro to Knitting
classes. Apparently the $40 includes the price of beer!
355 bedford ave, williamsburg
Human children can be a pain in the ass. However, one of their few redeeming qualities is the visible pleasure they are still capable of projecting. It can be a good feeling, to induce this pleasure, through the giving of gifts. Spacecraft can help with this.
A wooden skateboard
. That is all. ($45).
Give a child a set of colored blocks and he'll build a magic castle. Give a child some wooden blocks
and some paint
and he'll build a magic castle and paint it all kinds of crazy colors. (Also probably half the living room floor.)
103 havemeyer st, williamsburg
It totally sucks that wonderful Williamsburg gallery Cinders is getting kicked out of their cozy Havemeyer Street space at the end of the year, but it also means that you definitely have to stop by to pick up some great (and affordable) art. Now!
We loved Allyson Mellberg
's recent show and, as luck would have it, her charmingly bent illustration-style paintings will not destroy your budget (i.e. "Iceland," a "unique and sweet painting in a vintage circular frame" goes for $250).
For a great primer on what a certain strain of Williamsburg art has looked like for the last five years, Ballpoint Pen Drawing Zine
features a host of Cinders artists over the last decade. It is rad. Also, just $8.
686 fulton st, fort greene
In a relatively short space of time this bright and charming Fort Greene bookstore has set itself up as a kind of weigh station for Brooklyn writers of note, hosting great readings and pushing local titles. For this we commend them, and suggest you shop there.
fancy gift: The Encyclopedia of New York City
($65) is one of the last non-virtual references we use here at The L Magazine
. So we're pretty psyched that they've finally updated it after 15 years. Also, we are nerds.
cheap gift: 20 Under 40: Stories from the New Yorker
($16): One volume of short stories by people we envy.
126 franklin st, greenpoint
Every community needs a good bookstore, and WORD has gone a long way to solidifying the whole Franklin Street scene in Greenpoint (itself a great little stretch for holiday shopping).
Founder of uber-important new American restaurant, the French Laundry, Thomas Keller
is one of the icons of contemporary foodie culture, an importance reflected in the $100 pricetag of his "essential" compendium.
For $15, the 2010 Best American Short Stories
aren't necessarily all by people under the age of 40, but they're all pretty damn good.
131 meserole Ave, greenpoint
The popular website famous for colorful, inexpensive accessories and novelty items opened its doors in Greenpoint two years ago.
This is intended for kids but anyone with taste buds will appreciate the Rice Krispies cooking kit
($22). And you'll probably keep this for yourself anyway. (We won't tell.)
Do you have a sister's cousin's niece's bff who has a brilliant business idea (24 hour cupcake stand?) for whom you somehow feel compelled to buy a gift? The Creative Inc.
book is a great gift for someone who's trying to run a successful freelance business. And it's only $17.95. Score.
203 grand st, williamsburg
This Brooklyn boutique is home to a number of great independent designers and local brands, with locations in Cobble Hill, Park Slope, and Williamsburg. Good taste in art, too.
Screw diamonds! Alexander Wang bags are a girl's best friend. The "Rocco"
leather duffel is a great way into any girl's heart. Because for $875, someone's giving something up.
It's hard finding a cheap gift here, but not impossible! A set of Foxy & Winston notecards
is great because they feature cool art, making them look more expensive, but at $5.50, they won't break the bank.
Thistle and Clover
221 dekalb Ave, fort greene
Since March 2008, Thistle & Clover has been rocking the independent and local designers—they hold quarterly open calls for unrepresented talent. (We like independent and local—can you tell?)
If you're thinking of popping the question or if you're Joe Jonas and want to give a promise ring, classy and understated is always the way to go. The Champagne Sparkler Ring
by Blanca Monros Gomez is 14K yellow gold set with 10 champagne diamonds. At $694 we assume that you're making quite the promise.
Ok, so everything at Thistle and Clover is pretty fancy, so it's hard to find something for under $20. However, the Emily Rothschild necklaces
, with Kara Walker-esque silhouettes on them, are pretty great for $70.
99 franklin st, greenpoint
Former Catbird buyer Tiffany Porter opened this Greenpoint boutique in 2008, with vintage (and vintage-inspired) jewelry and clothing as its main focus (with a decidedly old-school aesthetic).
It's almost impossible to choose the best thing from Old Hollywood, but we'll have to go with the cuckoo clock earrings
: miniature clocks in either plated gold or sterling silver. And for something this cool, $65 is a steal.
Whether you're good for all night or only worth $3 (no judgments here), a brothel token
is the perfect gift for someone you hardly know. At $3.50 a pop, they're about the same price as a single condom.
109 franklin st (men's), 140 franklin st (women's), greenpoint
Separate stores for men and women! You're not going to find super-cheap gifts here, but you're bound to discover a number of fancy finds for the men and women in your life.
fancy gift (men's):
The Arnold Briefcase
by the new Singapore accessories line Property of... in black is made of waxed canvas and trimmed in leather. So it has the same aesthetic as your nasty backpack, only it's aged about fifteen years and the price ($265) has multiplied. But it will last.
fancy gift (women's):
When you're five years old, gloves as a Christmas present are like coal. As an adult, a pair of fancy schmancy gloves is perfection. The suede ruching gloves
in teal are a nice break from the usual black people are used to, but they're still sophisticated enough to wear with a dress ($65).
132 n 5th st (in the mini mall), williamsburg
Lingerie from around the world, ranging from the colorful styles of Deborah Marquit to the more delicate pieces by Simone Perel, right there in the coolest mall in America.
Some people wear their heart on their sleeve. Some people wear their heart in places that aren't usually visible to the general public. The I Heart You knickers
are available in either red or black and feature a heart shaped cut out in the back (wink wink). Hotness.
When one takes off all one's clothes, one feels better when one has good skin. Whether you're giving the Brooklyn Fox shea butter
to the one you love because you hate the scent of their current lotion or to a friend who could use some assistance with the harsh winter weather, for only $15, your wallet will thank you.
218 bedford ave (inside the mini mall), williamsburg
This store carries vintage jewelry and furniture, vinyl, stationery, and rare synthesizers. It's fucking brilliant and has something for everyone.
Macbooks are for posers. The Audio-Tecnica 618 Disc Stabilizer
is for closers (who insist on real turntables). Let the DJ save your life.
Do you enjoy being that person who gives people random shit they're probably never going to use but is just so hilariously weird? Wanna keep up that tradition? Go right ahead. The latest CD by DJ Icewater, Kiss the DJ 2
, is only $10.
210 kent ave, williamsburg
A lot of people in Brooklyn get around using bikes or the subway, but the cool kids use surfboards (we haven't quite figure out how, yet). This California-based surf shop welcomes those who wanna get their Montauk on.
Do love someone very much who also loves Blue Crush? And by "love them very much" we mean "are you rich?" The Hess Pacheo quad
costs $1,425 and it looks really, really cool.
Oh, is $1,425 a little much for you? Cheap bastard. Ok, fine. Hearos silicone ear plugs
are only $5, and they help keep the water (and Jack Johnson) out of the ears of the surfer in your life.
Blanc and Rouge
81 washington st, dumbo
Serving Dumbo for a decade, now, this user-friendly wine shop has a great range of drinkable low-to eyebrow-raising fancy stuff.
Need to impress your significant other's snobby parents? The 2004 Montervine le Pergole Torte
is $100 and is therefore good. (Pairs well with something from Stinky Bklyn, maybe?)
If you show up just late enough to a dinner party, no one really cares if you're bringing something cheap, because by then everyone is drunk. A bottle of Piper Heidsieck
champagne is only $9.99, but you might want to change the label to something French.
308 bedford ave, williamsbug
Everyone thought brick-and-mortar video stores were going to die. They were wrong. Local fave Videology has constantly upped its game with sneaky-smart customer service benefits, like early return credits, delivery and fucking delicious caramel corn. Sigh.
Get yourself (or a loved one) an all-region DVD player
, seriously, just do it, you won't regret it. It's like buying a ticket to the Madrid International Film Festival, for just $32.
Gift buying for a Williamsburger? Get them a gift certificate
(and if they're not already a Videology member, convince them to join).
169 n 9th st, williamsburg
Pet stores are not all the same. Trust us. PS9 owner Joan has great taste and loves animals so much it's scary. Go here for the pet love in your life (or pet) and peruse the latest (and coolest) pet-o-bilia there is.
Gotta a rambunctious dog with more energy than you can handle? Wear Fido down with the very useful Ruffwear Backpack
($75)—let the dog do the heavy lifting for a change.
They sell these amazing deer antlers
that are found in the woods by specially trained dogs—not kidding. They seem pricey (ranging from $8-$20 depending on the size), but they're all natural (duh) and will keep your dog chewing forever.
249 grand st, williamsburg
The super-charming owner of marvelous Mexican kitsch giftorium Fuego ("The Most Beautiful Place on Earth" according to, well, Fuego) is, by himself, worth a holiday visit. There's a bunch of cool stuff there, too.
It's hard to pick from Fuego's uniquely eclectic selection of handmade Mexican jewelry—so we're not going to try. Just head in there and owner Alex will help you out...
We once bought someone a stuffed owl pillow
from Fuego and they still mention how great a gift it was. True story.
Franny and Rooey
252 grand st, williamsburg
Owners Frances Fezik and Illyane Roey designed this store to resemble a teenager's bedroom from the 1970s (and it does!). Selling mainly vintage clothing and accessories, they also carry a line of vintage-inspired clothing for women, Doll & Dame.
Scarves are not lame gifts; and a hand-crocheted neck warmer
by Franny and Roey is definitely
not lame. In fact, it's cool (though warm).
There's no better cheap-o gift than jewelry, especially if it looks all fancy and expensive. Franny and Roey has vintage enamel and metal cocktail rings
that look way more expensive than the $15 price tag.
Main Street Epherma
205 columbia st, carroll gardens
This Carroll Gardens shop sells a wide range of vintage paper goods, including old school Playboys, which we used to read in secret after school, marveling at the quality of the writing. They also sell vintage jewelry!
We think vintage Bakelite bracelets
are really cool, and though they look fancy, they don't actually cost fancy money.
Two dollars for a vintage Time magazine
? SOLD! Finding one that covers the week of your giftee's birth would be so awesome we're shaking right now just thinking about it.
Main Drag Music
330 wythe ave, williamsburg
Founded last century in the spring of '97, this is your indie-rock guitar store epicenter, whether you're a 12-year-old looking for a first axe, or you're finally starting that White Snake tribute band (you should). The nice thing about Main Drag, though, is that they won't look at you funny if all you want to do is try out the bass ukuleles (every weekend—hi guys!).
A 2007 Les Paul
for 900 bucks will make whomever gets it pretty happy.
Yeah, guitars are expensive, and Main Drag doesn't really stock super-cheap "beginners" instruments (DO NOT START OUT WITH A CHEAP PLASTIC ANYTHING). But man, they have some pretty cherry guitar straps
100 frost st, greenpoint
Sharing a space with Brooklyn foodie cool-kid butchery the Meat Hook (see our profile of Sara Bigelow on page 14), the Brooklyn Kitchen is the place for all things locavore and DIY.
Do you know someone who spends too much money on fancy microbrews (and uses too many adjectives when describing them?). Brooklyn Kitchen has an intro class to homebrewing
for $140, which will get them out of your hair.
"Knife Skills with Brendan
." For $40 you can learn knife skills with Brendan. (Also, good band name, right?)