Holiday shopping for family and friends can be stressful—but this year, it's also an opportunity to buy fun only-in-NYC loot for your loved ones. The following items will satisfy even the choosiest person on your list.
And, as always, the many holiday markets all around NYC are easy, fun places to shop for distinctive presents. If you're in Union Square, be sure to check out the Parks Department's booth with officially licensed fare. Read on for more ideas.
ONLY New York NYC Collection
Streetwear brand ONLY NY has partnered with the City of New York for an apparel and accessories collection that features some of the City’s most recognizable logos and graphics (the Parks Department leaf, “The City of New York” written in that vintage typeface) on shirts, caps and even a skateboard deck. The fruits of the fashionable collaboration have been flying off the shelves since their November 19 debut. Even better, a portion of the proceeds benefit the City of New York and its various departments.
Who it’s good for: The guy who wants to look good—and do good—repping the five boroughs.
Coffee Made in New York City
NYC-based small-batch coffee roasters Toby’s Estate, Native Roasters and Brooklyn Roasting Company make some of our favorite blends. Brooklyn's Toby’s Estate serves up blends named after the borough; two seasonal offerings that make good gifts are the winter blend and the local espresso blend. Brooklyn Roasting Company offers Fair Trade, organic and sustainable coffees like the BQE Espresso, while Native Roasters, in Queens, has the NYC Diesel blend—a medium-bodied roast made from coffee beans harvested in Tanzania.
Who it’s good for: The friend who needs to kick that holiday hangover. Also, jitterbugs.
Bath and Body Products
Handcrafted in Brooklyn, Apotheke's all-natural, simply designed products include candles, soap, lotion, shaving supplies and a skin care line. Try the peppermint ginger tobacco candle, charcoal liquid soap or Brooklyn Brewery beer soap for distinctly Brooklyn fragrances. You can find them at the Brooklyn Flea.
Who it’s good for: Anyone who needs some “me” time.
NYC-based fashion brand Kate Spade is known for its retro, colorful, preppy style, and for a constant display of NYC love on its apparel and accessories. Inspired by old New York taxicabs, this nostalgic, quirky Taxi Clutch offers just the right touch of classic New York.
Who it’s good for: The 20-something who's still watching Gossip Girl reruns.
New York City–Themed Goods
Show New York City pride with cute, creative products from Lockwood in Astoria. Though the shop carries tons of kitschy Queens-related gifts like the Astoria vs Everyone sweater, they also sell Brooklyn winter hats and totes. If you prefer to stay out of any interboro clashes, you’ll find some general NYC-inspired products as well.
Who it’s good for: Sweatsuit die-hards; fledgling boxers from Astoria (and their infants).
New York Sports Team Gear
1986 World Series Crew
You aren’t a true New Yorker unless your sports team lets you down season after season, and—despite swearing them off—you remain a fan. This holiday season's freshest sports pain belongs to New York Mets fans, who just saw their team lose the World Series on their home turf. But rooters of all kinds can grab gear from their favorite teams at Mitchell & Ness and Steiner Sports, which sell apparel and memorabilia from the Knicks, Rangers, Giants, Nets and the rest of the City's home teams.
Price: $17 and (way) up
Who it’s good for: Mets 2016!
The dark-chocolate gurus at Mast Brothers sell artisanal confections wrapped in understated, lovely packaging. The Brooklyn Blend is a dark chocolate medley with notes of plum, tobacco and earth. Jacques Torres, meanwhile, sells the more ostentatiously presented Chocolate Orange A-Peel, which features chocolate-covered candied orange peels packaged inside a red apple—a nod to one of NYC's more enduring nicknames.
Price: Starting at $5
Who it’s good for: Those among us who have tastebuds.