If browsing Etsy for your holiday gifts feels to ingenue, but you’re still going for that handmade feel, look no further than the Handmade Calvalcade. All the crafty and clever trinkets you would make yourself if you had the time or dexterity are hocked at this Etsy New York gathering of talent. With everything from aprons to post cards to homemade treats, there’s something for everyone. Even the person you got stuck with in Secret Santa. Resist the urge to buy yourself prints and various upcyclables. Or don’t and redecorate your entire
If your too lazy, scared or laden down with other gifts to catch the subway elsewhere, this market has the perfect location. With plenty of mid to high brow shops and a free ice rink (skates cost $15) Bryant Park is a veritable wonderland. There are chocolates and ornaments a plenty a well as several New York-themed shops where you can buy trinkets to remind everyone in your life just where you go to school. When you tire of perusing the paper goods and ceramics, take a sit on one of the mini tables that occupy the pathways year round. Or wander over to the NYPL, which sits right next door. At the moment they have several exhibits up that anyone (not just a Scrooge who hates shopping) would enjoy including one on children’s books which we visited earlier this year.
Instead of going straight downtown on your next trip into NYC, head uptown (for once) and take a gander at this holiday shop. Tucked into a corner of Central Park is this stockpile of Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza/nondenominational celebration gifts. From soaps to leather goods to exotic foods, you’re bound to find something here for someone on your list. There are also plenty of food stalls to replenish at after a few hours of shopping. Try Aranchini Bros for some authentic Sicilian street food or Leckerlee for traditional German gingerbread made by hand in NYC. Just remember-before you buy that pillow with a screen print of a sparrow on it- you have to carry all your wares all the way back to Bronxville at the end of the day.
Whether your visiting your hipster friends or shopping for them, the Brooklyn Bazaar is the perfect place for all your mustache/owl/floral print needs. With entertainment, like So So Glos on Dec. 21, and food, like Oaxaca Taqueria and Lobster Joint, it’s easy to spent several late night hours wandering around this hub of artisans and makers. Problem is it ends at midnight and you’re probably going to have to catch one of the last trains in. The bazaar also sports several art shows. Currently Sliks and Louis Lim are showing as well as a few others. It’s a good place to head whether you’re looking for gifts, food, culture or a reason to venture into Brooklyn.
Are you a theatre third? Do you know a theatre third? You would know if you did. Like vegans and Californians they make themselves known. These shops were specially designed to make it sound like you were paying attention during all those nights running lines. In New York’s Theatre District this market has your standard items, like shawls and winter wear, as well as ornaments, souvenirs and the like. If you don’t find something for the Rent-lover in your life you could always buy them tickets to Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark (cause that’s what the kids are going to these days right?) Afterwards you can indulge your inner tourist and visit the surrounding stages, like the Al Hirschfeld, and take pictures outside, like Rachel Berry. Bonus points if you actually break on to the Wicked stage and defy gravity.
Good For: Friends of Theatre thirds
Must Hit: Hot Beverage and Bratwurst stand