Best of NYC®

Best Of 2012

Neighborhoods

  • + Allerton
  • + Alphabet City
  • + Astoria
  • + Auburndale
  • + Bath Beach
  • + Battery Park City
  • + Bay Ridge
  • + Bayside
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  • + Belmont
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  • + Chelsea
  • + Chinatown
  • + City Island
  • + Clinton Hill
  • + Cobble Hill
  • + College Point
  • + Coney Island
  • + Corona
  • + Crotona Park
  • + Crown Heights
  • + Cypress Hills
  • + Ditmas Park
  • + Douglaston
  • + Dumbo
  • + Dyker Heights
  • + East 100s
  • + East 40s
  • + East 50s
  • + East 60s
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  • + East Flatbush
  • + East Harlem
  • + East New York
  • + East Village
  • + Elmhurst
  • + Far Rockaway
  • + Financial District
  • + Flatbush
  • + Flatiron
  • + Flatlands
  • + Floral Park
  • + Flushing
  • + Fordham
  • + Forest Hills
  • + Fort Greene
  • + Garment District
  • + Gerritsen Beach
  • + Glen Oaks
  • + Glendale
  • + Gowanus
  • + Gramercy Park
  • + Gravesend
  • + Greenpoint
  • + Greenwich Village
  • + Greenwood Heights
  • + Hamilton Heights
  • + Harlem
  • + Hell's Kitchen
  • + High Bridge
  • + Highland Park
  • + Hollis
  • + Homecrest
  • + Howard Beach
  • + Hunts Point
  • + Inwood
  • + Jackson Heights
  • + Jamaica
  • + Jamaica Hills
  • + Jersey City
  • + Kensington
  • + Kew Gardens Hills
  • + Kingsbridge
  • + Koreatown
  • + Little Italy
  • + Little Neck
  • + Long Island
  • + Long Island City
  • + Louisiana
  • + Lower East Side
  • + Marine Park
  • + Maspeth
  • + Meatpacking District
  • + Middle Village
  • + Midwood
  • + Morningside Heights
  • + Morris Park
  • + Morrisania
  • + Mott Haven
  • + Murray Hill
  • + New Jersey
  • + New Lots
  • + New Utrecht
  • + Noho
  • + Nolita
  • + Ocean Hill
  • + Out of Town
  • + Ozone Park
  • + Park Slope
  • + Parkchester
  • + Pelham Bay
  • + Pennsylvania
  • + Prospect Heights
  • + Prospect Park South
  • + Prospect-Lefferts Garden
  • + Red Hook
  • + Rego Park
  • + Richmond Hill
  • + Ridgewood
  • + Riverdale
  • + Rockaway Beach
  • + Roosevelt Island
  • + Rosedale
  • + Sheepshead Bay
  • + Soho
  • + South Park Slope
  • + South Riverdale
  • + South Street Seaport
  • + St Albans
  • + Staten Island
  • + Sunnyside
  • + Sunset Park
  • + Throgs Neck
  • + Tribeca
  • + Union Square
  • + Unknown
  • + Utah
  • + Washington Heights
  • + West 100s
  • + West 40s
  • + West 50s
  • + West 60s
  • + West 70s
  • + West 80s
  • + West 90s
  • + West Village
  • + Whitestone
  • + Williamsburg
  • + Windsor Terrace
  • + Woodlawn
  • + Woodside
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Arts & Entertainment

Food & Drink

Shopping & Services

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Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best Jewelry Store

For ladies in the know, it used to be that you'd have to hunt flea markets, craft fairs, and boutiques for the offbeat jewelry of Erica Bradbury, the designer behind Species by the Thousands. But this spring, fans of her brass and bronze treasures rejoiced when she finally opened her own shop with the equally hip accessories team of Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer (a/k/a Cold Picnic). Their Williamsburg store, fittingly named A Thousand Picnics, is a small, rustic space with reclaimed-wood flooring, '70s-inspired macrame plant holders, and a large cactus centerpiece. Nature and folk magic are the predominant themes here. Native American–inspired beaded necklaces, mystical rocks on chains, and skull crucifixes all feel as though they should be worn like talismans. Perfect for gifts, many pieces are priced well under $100, such as hoop earrings with dark crystals dangling from them ($24) and an array of vintage rings ($10 each). The place also carries an assortment of items for the home, such as hand-loomed rugs, screen-printed pillows, and a delightful "White Magic Room Spray" to bring you good spirits. 171 South 4th Street, Brooklyn, 347-606-8715 (11211)

Multiple Locations
Best T-Shirts
Metropolis Vintage Apparel

Wish you still had that concert T-shirt from your favorite band? You might just find it again at this East Village shop. Nothing makes a cotton tee softer than years of use, and these shirts have been thrashed to perfection. Chloë Sevigny, Julian Casablancas, and Kim Gordon have all been spotted browsing the racks here, which are stuffed with shirts bearing the faces of Cyndi Lauper, Adam Ant, Alice Cooper, and Morrissey, to name a few. Prices start at $35, though the rarest will go for much more, with the most valuable collector's items decorating the walls. But it's not all rock and roll at our best T-shirt store, Metropolis Vintage Apparel. The racks also include souvenir shirts with the names of sports teams (remember the L.A. Raiders?), films (Return of the Jedi!), and places ("Come to Aspen"), plus there's a whole section devoted to the bad-ass graphics of Harley-Davidson. If you don't have much dough to spare, $5 and $7 bins also carry plenty of oddball tees. And while you're there, take a gander at the vintage boots and shoes. 43 Third Avenue, 212-358-0795, metropolisvintageonline.com (10003)

43 Third Ave., New York, 10003
MAP
212-358-0795
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362 7th Ave., New York, 11215
MAP
718-768-1328
Best Video Store
Video Free Brooklyn

Customers were in a panic this spring when it looked as though their beloved Cobble Hill video store would close. Would they finally have to get that much-delayed Netflix account? Not so fast. Aaron Hillis--editor of GreenCine Daily and film critic for the Voice, among other publications--along with his wife, Jennifer, stepped in to save the day. They purchased the 375-square-foot shop--which counts actor and local resident Paul Dano as a member--with serious plans of reinventing the traditional video-store model. After raising more than $14,000 on indiegogo.com, they gave Video Free Brooklyn a complete makeover, including shelving units on castors that can be easily pushed out of the way for in-store screenings, readings, and panel discussions. The DVD selection has already grown to include more art-house, indie, foreign, and cult films, as well as Blu-ray discs. And the price is still nice: just $3.50 per movie and a dollar off rentals on Wednesdays. Check out the shop on Twitter and Facebook for news on upcoming releases, daily deals, and weekly trivia games. 244 Smith Street, Brooklyn, 718-855-6130 (11231)

244 Smith St., New York, 11231
MAP
718-855-6130
Best Cruelty-Free Cosmetics
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

After seeing The Hunger Games, what adventurous soul couldn't stop thinking about the wild lip colors (pale blue! lavender!) worn by Effie Trinket, Katniss's eccentric adviser? Thankfully, you don't have to live in the future to find them. The company behind Effie's memorable look has just opened its first shop—a clean, sleek Lower East Side space with exposed brick walls. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is 100 percent vegan and our pick this year for best cruelty-free cosmetics. David Klasfeld, an editorial makeup artist and vegan, found the company in 2004. At his new store, you'll find 36 bold shades of long-lasting "lip tar" ($16), which squeeze out like a gloss but have the satin finish of a lipstick, with peppermint oil for a minty tingle. Although the lip tar is certainly its most popular item, OCC has a whole range of outstanding and affordable products, from shimmery mineral-based eye shadows ($12.50) to paraben-free tinted moisturizers ($25), made from a blend of purified water, coconut, and wild-berry extracts. Going vegan has never felt so good. 114 Stanton Street, 212-675-2404, occmakeup.com (10002)

174 Ludlow St., New York, 10002
MAP
212-675-2404
Best Musical Instrument Store
Main Drag Music

So you've just moved to Williamsburg, you've seen all the cool kids carrying their instruments to band practice, and you wonder to yourself: Maybe I could be in a band! What's your next move? A trip to Main Drag Music, of course. Here, the friendly and knowledgeable staff (which includes co-owner and drum specialist John Fell, formerly of bands Heroine Sheiks and China Shop) will walk you through everything you need to know about its drool-worthy selection of vintage and new guitars, basses, drums, amps, and keyboards. Or, if you want to be the quirkiest member of your soon-to-be group, you might pick up a pocket piano, a three-string mountain dulcimer, or one of the many sweet ukuleles (starting at the nice price of $35). For accessories, they have all the sticks, strings, cables, picks, sheet music, and boutique guitar-effects pedals you could possibly need. And after you break your instrument in a fit of passion onstage at your first show, come back and have the expert repairs team fix it for you. 330 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-388-6365, maindragmusic.com (11211)

330 Wythe Ave., New York, 11211
MAP
718-388-6365
Best Hair Salon
Arté Salon

You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to be treated like a VIP in a New York hair salon. You just need the number for our 2012 Best of NYC pick. It offers expert haircuts, starting at $80, from stylists trained at such prestigious establishments as Vidal Sassoon and Toni & Guy, plus the kinds of perks you'd expect at a more expensive place. A tranquil oasis in Noho, the two-level Arté Salon (in what was once a Russian Orthodox church) offers such amenities as complimentary Scotch, wine, lattes, and tea in its outdoor garden. Shampooing is done in super-comfortable chairs that don't leave your neck bruised the next day, and the scalp massage will make you feel like you've received your money's worth before the haircut even begins. Keep the cost down by going on a Tuesday, when, if you bring a friend, you'll both receive 25 percent off select stylists. If you can't get an appointment with the owner, veteran stylist Joseph Artale (the most expensive at $140 for haircuts for men and $160 for women), we recommend their popular stylist Kyoko Motonaga, whose fabulous precision haircuts stay fresh for months. 294 Elizabeth Street, 212-941-5932, artesalon.com (10012)

294 Elizabeth St., New York, 10012
MAP
212-941-5932
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102 Suffolk St., New York, 10002
MAP
212-979-7801
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Best Jewelry Store: A Thousand Picnics

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