Gift Guide For the Procrastinating New Yorker

Christmas is now less than one week away! Have you finished your shopping yet? Me neither…  I plan on rushing around like a mad woman for the next four days as I attempt to get it all done before school break starts for the boy. But cheer up, my fellow New Yorkers, I’ve done a little work for you and have a procrastinator’s guide to shopping NYC style. All of these things can be found right here in good ol’ NYC. They celebrate our city’s uniqueness and style and would be welcome under any tree (or by any menorah for that matter…).  Whether it’s your difficult to shop for parent, your brand new niece or nephew, or just someone who needs a little special something – I’ve got you covered. Load up that Metrocard and let’s get shopping!

For the Littlest New Yorkers

Head straight to Piccolini NYC where owner Alex Zagami has curated the cutest, and coolest, collection of kid stuff. Alex’s family has lived in NYC for generations – maybe that’s what guided her great NYC themed selection of gifts for the small set. My personal favorites here are her original Hot Dog Pretzel onesies and tees. For the newest New Yorker you can pick up a hand-knit rattle designed like a Metrocard. Never too young to practice your swipe technique I say!

Piccolini NYC NYCJenny

For the Book Lover

Head to Central Park West and visit the New York Historical Society Museum & Library. My husband, Roger, often does feature stories at this museum and earlier this year after one such story, brought home a new book for me: A History of New York in 101 Objects I love picking this book up at random times and flipping to a new section to read. It makes me fall in love with this city all over again. From black & white cookies to public school doorknobs, and the CBGB sign – I love all of it. This book was a companion piece to an exhibit at the museum earlier this year and it is FANTASTIC. If you’re not sold on this, the gift shop at this museum is chock full of NYC themed items. I could have done all my holiday shopping here, but it’s the book section that really wows me. I could have done some serious credit card damage in there. You can’t go wrong here.


For the Romantic 

Head to the Transit Museum Gift Shop. You’re probably not believing me yet on this one, but think about it. The romance of train travel. Books, movies, images burned into our collective conscience about old-fashioned train travel. It’s true you probably won’t find much old-fashioned romance in the hustle and bustle of Grand Central at rush hour, but utter the words “meet me at the clock” and I’ll bet any New Yorker will know what you mean. To me, that kind of collective understanding and the reverence we have for a century old building IS romantic. Man I love that building. In the transit museum shop you’ll find lots of NYC themed transit type gift ideas, but my absolute favorite is this ornament of the clock. It just captures the magic and romance of one of my favorite buildings in the whole city. Someone please buy this thing for me.

grand central clock ornament

For the Difficult to Shop For

We’ve all got at least one person on our list that we have absolutely no clue what to buy for. I like to resort to chocolate in those cases. Almost everyone I know loves chocolate – you can’t go wrong with it. This year Lindt (they of those delicious Lindor truffles that melt in your mouth) has special  New York City gift packaging only available at their two Lindt Chocolate Shops in mid-town Manhattan, (692 5th Avenue and 665 5th Avenue). They were kind enough to send some over for us to preview and trust me, they’re so pretty and gift appropriate! Everyone I’ve shared them with has loved them. I had friends over one night and paired the chocolates with some champagne and it made everyone in the room happy! Come to think of it – once you’re at Lindt on 5th Avenue, you’re a short stroll away from Sherry Lehmann which is my absolute favorite place to buy champagne. Their staff has always been super helpful and knowledgable when I’ve gone in. Nice when you’re shopping for a gift and want to make sure you get it right. Lindt truffles in a NYC box paired with some great champagne would please all but the most difficult!

lindt chocolate champagne

For the Homesick New Yorker

Food. Always send food. When someone leaves home food is quite often one of the things they miss most. The tastes of home that they cannot get anymore. You can have just about anything shipped if you know what your friend is missing in particular. If you don’t know or just want to surprise them – I vote Katz’s. No seriously – they ship nationwide and this the home of “Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army” How can you not??? I love Katz’s. My kid loves Katz’s. EVERYONE loves Katz’s.

katzs salami

Alright, if you’re not brave enough to send a salami (or matzoh ball soup maybe?) they also have a Chocolate Egg Cream Scented Candle. I mentioned this item to my egg cream loving, New York born and bred husband and his eyes lit up. New Yorkers and egg creams, man. Walking into Katz’s sends us into a wave of glorious nostalgia. Send the salami. Or the candle.

katzs candles

I hope this little gift guide helps. I had a lot of fun putting it together! I’ve always got at least one person who asks for something from New York, and I like to oblige. I live in the greatest city on Earth and it’s fun to be able to share the joy. What are your favorite go-to New York gifts?

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, friends!

Disclosure: I was given the chocolates and book, but nothing else. These are my own opinions!


Gift Guide For the Procrastinating New Yorker — 6 Comments

  1. Great post, covering many of my favorite resources. I also like the Morgan Library and Museum gift and book shop – especially for stocking stuffers. I’ve been known to ship pastrami and corned beef from Carnegie Deli – always a big hit! This year, some family will receive teas from McNulty’s, NYC’s oldest tea merchant (since 1895 mind you). And, Our Name is Mud pottery stores often have fun city-centric gifts, featuring taxis and cityscapes.

    • Considering we just sent a gift today ourselves…I’d say you’re doing ok! Piccolini has the cutest stuff – if your little person is a world traveler like you, you should check out the world map puzzle they carry by Janod. Jack got it this year and LOVES talking about the different countries! 🙂

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