You Know You Want It

Gifts for addicts and fanatics


The easiest and often most welcome gift for art lovers is a membership to the institution of his or her choice—the Museo del Barrio, like most, offers a range of memberships to fit all needs and budgets ($25–$2,500). Gift certificates to museum shops assure no returns; excellent choices in this line include the Cooper-Hewitt and the American Craft Museum. A great source for artistic gifts of all sorts is the International Center of Photography shop, which stocks adorable handbags made from vintage box cameras ($50), terrific books, postcards, calendars, unique jewelry, and, of course, nifty cameras: the stalwart, plastic-lensed Holga ($25), an adorable fish-eye camera ($50), and a pinhole camera kit ($19.95). For working artists, a shopping spree at the Art Store would be bliss; it's generally cheaper than Pearl Paint and the staff is nicer and more knowledgeable than the drones at Sam Flax. The tiny, dreamy Ink Pad offers thousands of rubber stamps, stamping supplies, kid-friendly crafting classes, and special events. BEGHTOL

Crosley Stack-O-Matic Traveler, three-speed record player, $179.95
photo: Holly McDade
Crosley Stack-O-Matic Traveler, three-speed record player, $179.95

El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave, 212-831-7272; Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, Fifth Ave & 91st, 212-849-8355; American Craft Museum, 40 W 53rd, 212-956-3535; International Center of Photography, 1133 Sixth Ave, 212-857-0000; The Art Store, 15 Bond, 212-533-2444; The Ink Pad, 22 Eighth Ave, 212-463-9876


I think it was Samantha Fox who said, "Naughty girls need love too." So why not treat your favorite nymph to a few carefully selected items this season? Maybe in return she'll reward you with some gifts of her own. Unfed makes irresistible 400-thread-count Egyptian-cotton pillowcases ($52) that are mischievous and playful. Each is embroidered with a delicate design of a woman tied up or in mid-disrobement. If you want to spread a little extra holiday spirit in the boudoir, Jolie's lingerie Santa suit ($12.99), available at Joyce Leslie, is traditional-looking enough (red with feathery white trim and a black belt) but much smaller and lots more fun. It even comes with a hat. For an extra dose of kink, head to J&R, where you can whip out the Amex and buy that special little lady the Sony Cybershot DSC-N1 8.1 megapixel digital camera ($499.99). It's as big as a deck of cards, hence discreet, and can hold up to 500 photos. There's no telling what memories she'll be able to make this Christmas. BASTIDAS; Joyce Leslie, 20 University Pl, 212-505-5419; J&R Music World, 23 Park Row, 212-238-9100


If you don't want to get that bookworm friend yet another novel this year, there are some creative alternatives. Coliseum Books carries a line of plush dolls ($15) in the likenesses of writers from Emily Dickinson to W.E.B. DuBois to Edgar Allan Poe. There's even a Charles Dickens finger puppet ($5). Just as writerly but far more practical is the David Levine 2006 Desk Diary: A Literary Birthday Book ($19.95), available from The New York Review of Books. Illustrated with 117 of Levine's classic caricatures, it lists the birthdays of many a famous poet and novelist, so you'll never forget Tennyson's or Faulkner's again. Finally, if get them a proper book you must, then The Writer's Desk by Jill Krementz ($39.95) is appropriate. In lavish duotone photographs, Krementz (who happens to be the wife of Kurt Vonnegut) depicts a host of writers at work—where else?—at their desks. Terry Southern's was apparently very messy. Stephen King's, on the other hand, is quite tidy. MULLINS

Coliseum Books, 11 W 42nd, 212-803-5890; The New York Review of Books, ; The Writer's Desk ,


Napoleon Dynamite doll, $19.99
photo: Holly McDade
Toys, particularly the import collectible variety, have gotten to a weird place unknowable to outsiders, where super new and retro are almost indistinguishable. Soho's Kidrobot is tops in the game for "art toys" and mini-figures, but the glass cases of Munnys, Dunnys, and Ice-Bots can induce panic. Afterward, finding a talking stuffed Napoleon Dynamite ($19.99) in a choice of two outfits (one of them the celebrated brown dance suit!) at the East Village's Toy Tokyo is a relief. Plastic Godzillas in all different sizes, colors, opacities, and widely ranging scarcities are also available: How about a Gatorade-yellow two-and-a-half incher ($24)? There are many types of toys in the city, but sometimes the best ones are still the classics. In this vein, nothing beats a prototype Christmas-morning robot, such as FAO Schwarz's Chrome Smoking Robot ($80), with "lighted eyes" and "stop and go action," or Atomic Robot Man ($30), whose box promises nothing except "choking hazard." FONG

Kidrobot, 126 Prince, 212-966-6688; Toy Tokyo, 121 Second Ave, 212-673-5424; FAO Schwarz, 767 Fifth Ave, 212-644-9400


In this digital age, decent—yet affordable—new turntables are devilishly hard to find; when your beloved requests a portable model, you really have only two choices: hiding his or her body somewhere it'll never be found, or tracking down a Crosley. This clever manufacturer introduced a sturdy three-speed model built into a small suitcase in the 1950s and they still make them today in spiffy black or tweed leatherette; we love the Stack-O-Matic ($179.95). For those who prefer solitude, pick a pair of stylish, quality headphones made by Brooklyn's family-owned Grado Laboratories ($69–$695) from the wonderful Lyric Hi-Fi shop. And when you've had precisely enough of other people's noise—be it screamo, Schumann, or Rhino's superlative new girl-group box set, One Kiss Can Lead to Another ($63.60)—have yourself fitted for a pair of custom earplugs at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary ($162). BEGHTOL

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