Shopping & Services

  • Best Brooklyn Manhattan-Style Nail Salon

    Polish Nail Emporium

    Peep Flatbush Avenue, and it's obvious that Brooklyn isn't lacking for places to get your nails done. But Brooklyn girls who fiend for a little pampering as they get their pedi on have had to head to Manhattan. Enter POLISH NAIL EMPORIUM. The airy storefront offers heretofore un-Brooklyn-like luxuries, such as a fruity Lemango manicure or a Honey Latte pedicure.… More >>
  • Best Urban Threads

    TG 170

    TG 170 has sold clothes on Ludlow Street for nine years—practically before gentrification was a glint in a landlord's eye. The stock has changed plenty in that time, but not the governing spirit—TG 170 still provides some of the edgiest, girliest, fiercest, and most gorgeous clothes around. The racks hold 90 percent local designers (like Lauren Moffat or Kathy Kemp)… More >>
  • Best Place to Let Your Freak Flag Fly

    Social Tees

    It's unlikely that Robert Shapiro ever set out to be all things to all people, but his business, SOCIAL TEES, is action central for T-shirts, bags, and hats with attitude and for (human) education and (animal) rescue. At any given moment, Shapiro is finding a foster home for an abandoned pit bull, feeding a monitor lizard, or filling orders for… More >>
  • Best Original T-Shirt Designs

    Fab 208

    I may be battered for writing this by women dressed in T-shirts that read "KissMyMuthaFuckingAss," "I Love My Pussy," and "Cunt"; by chicks in Indiana Jones tanks; by girls in tucked or pleated wife-beaters. Ten-year-old East Village treasure FAB 208 has been kept largely secret by its devotees. There are silk scarves that triangulate the torso and detachable ties to… More >>
  • Best Proponent of Local Fashion Pride


    "And please watch the buttons on that jacket; it's a MOSHOOD," warns a customer at Different Cleaners II, and so goes another testament to one of black Brooklyn's most cherished cultural institutions. The line's logo—the omnipresent African Spirit—can be seen borough-wide, staring at you from a red-and-black-plaid wrap suit outside Atlantic Center or from the back of a T-shirt inside… More >>
  • Best Way to Clean Out Your Closet

    New York Cares

    Three facts about you, dear Voice reader: You have too little storage space, you own coats you never wear, and you wish you were kinder. Do something about all three simultaneously this December, when NEW YORK CARES organizes its annual coat drive. Drop-off spots include every police station in the city, and that weird tan thing that made you look… More >>
  • Best Blouses


    The small-breasted and large-bosomed can at last see eye to eye (or, at least, aureole to aureole) when it comes to the blouses at ANNA. Kathy Kemp, Anna's proprietress and chief designer, fashions flattering chemises in silk, gauze, and cotton blends. These feather-light garments, which range from brilliant buttercup and turquoise to more demure peach and cream, are finished with… More >>
  • Best Multipurpose Clothing Store for Joan Jett Wannabes

    Built by Wendy

    Aspiring rock stars, take note: BUILT BY WENDY stocks clothes with a combined sense of humor and badassness. For dudes, she offers button-down shirts with "HI" stitched in orange thread on the collar (another version has a wee deer head). For ladies, she's got hard-to-find, breast-accommodating cowboy shirts and stretch jeans in a wide range of hues, with a sassy… More >>
  • Best Unknown Downtown Designer

    Mina Buqet

    While the likes of Daryl K, Pixie Yates, and Rebecca Danenberg have risen from the fashion underground to gain mainstream (well, magazine editors') recognition, MINA BUQET continues to turn out unique designs in her obscure, eponymous Lower East Side storefront. All this summer, I coveted the bubblegum-pink voile halter top with a high frill and faux flower at the neck.… More >>
  • Best Survivor of Lower East Side Fallout


    With chichi boutiques opening, then going bust, as modistes try to cash in on the Lower East Side's gentrification, SHOP's longevity is proof of the survival of the fittest. Originally named Min Lee after its designer, Shop features fashion-forward yet wearable items for the downtown girl. The slinky tees, ruffled halters, asymmetrical skirts, and low-rise pants in a rainbow of… More >>
  • Best Shop for Britney Spears Fans

    Contempo Casuals

    O beloved staple of New Jersey malls, at whose altar legions of teenyboppers worship! CONTEMPO CASUALS, we salute thee! Where else can we buy glittery Lycra boob tubes and navel-baring microminis, plunging halter tops and denim hot pants? Who else would take a studded, one-shouldered T-shirt, slap a Statue of Liberty silkscreen on the front, and add strategic cutouts at… More >>
  • Best Do-It-Yourself Couture

    In the Pink

    Match the craft to your art at IN THE PINK: Come in with a castoff to be remolded or a brilliant from-scratch idea, and for mere pennies per hour, store mastermind and designer Sarah Davis will make it happen. If you're feeling especially festive, brag to everyone who dropped 200 bucks on their prom dresses that you made that glittery… More >>
  • Best Custom-Made Gowns


    The elegant owner of BLUE, proudly flipping through her scrapbook, points to a young lady in a surpassingly shapely wedding gown and jokes, "I get the prettiest girls." More like the prettiest girls get Blue, for eight years a source of clever and classic bridal creations, bridesmaid dresses, and cocktail and ball gowns. The sample rack, despite its ragged hems… More >>
  • Best Spot to Get Last-Minute Gifts/Save Your Relationship on Valentine's Day

    The Vendors On and Below Houston Street

    Dear Journal: Valentine's Day is today, but it is so hard to shop for my Michel. He's picky about his aesthetic and he's that strange French/New York combination of jaded and whimsical. He won't want anything from a department store . . . and a boutique wouldn't be edgy enough for him! I know what I'll do! Why didn't I… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy an Outfit for a Go-Go Dancer

    Classic Concepts

    I keep having this reoccurring dream: I'm dancing in a tattered little number that's so old and unadjusted that it's falling off in front of an unenthusiastic crowd. As you may have guessed, this is a go-go's living nightmare, so if you dance for tips or have friends who do, a quick trip to CLASSIC CONCEPTS may save you from… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Designer Duds for Less

    Nice Price/SSS Sample Sale

    Why settle for the bootleg, $10-or-less cheapies that won't last the wear or tear? Being an educated consumer means you dress to the nines at much less, right? Brand recognition works as long as you don't sport it on the front of your shirt—too obvious. Now that we got that straight, I have four words and a few S's for… More >>
  • Best Cheap-and-Cheerful Boutique

    Lina Tsai

    It's like spring all year round in LINA TSAI's jewel box of a store, decorated in Easter-egg blue and yellow to match the feminine but funky goods inside. Little flower-print cotton tank tops sit in tidy stacks, while pale green or pink hip-huggers entice on the racks. Simple, ladylike dresses and skirts update the Jackie Kennedy look for 2001.… More >>
  • Best-Ever Vintage for Young People

    Search & Destroy

    Filled with a massive assortment of old T-shirts, studded belts, jumbo knit ponchos, and '70s punk iconography, SEARCH & DESTROY wears its flag of anarchic fashion with pride. Opened a couple of years ago by a group of Japanese kids, the shop ranks just on the basis of how virulently its owners edit for those (once) subversive (now) collectible pieces… More >>
  • Best Vintage Clothing Store for Trust-Fund Mods


    When the meek take over the earth, I plan to take over AMARCORD. A relative newcomer to the prime shopaholics' block of 7th Street, it stocks an orderly array of choice retro garb, plus a considerable number of snakeskin pumps, Gucci purses, and other gewgaws. First I intend to confiscate the swirly, Pucci-like polyester frocks and the '40s red polka-dot… More >>
  • Best Couture Imitations for Under $30


    By day she is Junior Editor, toiling away in relative (or is it utter?) obscurity, filching invitations to fancy parties from the mailboxes of more estimable colleagues, and asking the Ouija board when she'll get her own key to Bungalow 8. So what does she wear at night? Usually an item from DILARA, since sucking up to tacky teenage heiresses… More >>
  • Best Place to Go for a 50-Cent Sweater

    Everything Goes

    A mysterious commune owns the three EVERYTHING GOES shops on the Staten Island waterfront, located a five-minute walk from the Staten Island Ferry. They cook huge, wonderful meals together and communicate by walkie-talkie. The plunder at their stores is well worth the slow boat ride. Well-made vintage skirts and sweaters as cheap as 50 cents at one store. Smurfs, record… More >>
  • Best '30s Look

    Cheap Jack's

    Remember the '30s? Well, not the Depression and the threat of war, but the emerging power of glamour: Hollywood began to influence fashion, and Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Joan Crawford brought magic to the decade's grim realities. To go back in time, step into CHEAP JACK'S and browse the flat crepe and alpaca fabrics that were '30s fashion favorites.… More >>
  • Best Thrift Shop Attended by a Knitting, Goateed Boy

    Fifi Lefrock

    A decadent art nouveau sign lures passersby into FIFI LEFROCK, a shoebox-sized emporium chockablock with men's and women's vintage garments. Combing through the two long racks crammed with goodies is like rummaging through a grandmother's closet, with shoes jumbled below and hats and scarves above. Unusually for a downtown thrift shop, it bypasses the current trend for hideous '80s wear,… More >>
  • Best Lingerie

    Enelra Lingerie

    The success of Victoria's Secret never fails to baffle. Badly designed and badly made, its wares are barely a cut above Kmart's. Head instead to the venerable ENELRA LINGERIE, a neighborhood institution with a consistently luscious display of intimates in its double front window. These are dainties for East Villagers—smart and sexy, not tawdry or embarrassing—like camisoles trimmed with antique-looking… More >>
  • Best Schizophrenic Store Concept


    Everything about the STÜSSY/HEADPORTER shop on Wooster Street should work in tandem, at least ideally. Stüssy, hallowed label of skaters and white hip-hop kids, and Headporter, Tokyo-based supplier of urban-aggressive bags and accessories, came together last year in a bi-level concept store. You'd think that it would create a cross section of customers, but most times, the Japanese kids run… More >>
  • Best Marketing Gimmick

    Carol's Daughter - CLOSED

    You imagine yourself in step with that alternative image of the bourgeoisie—comfortably nestled in the talented tenth of affluence, you still help out the hood. So you skip the beauty floor at Barneys and head toward CAROL'S DAUGHTER, the charming shop on DeKalb that Essence told you was the bomb. Inside, you inhale the rich aromas of voluminizing hair oils… More >>
  • Best Customer Service for Masochists

    House of Field

    The HOUSE OF FIELD stands as a totem to New York fashion culture's daring and individualistic credo. But the service one gets for coveting Pierrot knits and Acne Action Jeans leaves much to be desired, from the virulent demeanor of the cashiers—amazons who bang receipts down at the slightest complication—to the chain-smoking sales help. You gotta love a store in… More >>
  • Best Place to Bag a Designer Impostor

    Gift Show

    In a world full of fake boobs, bottle blonds, and Lee press-on nails, it's hard to tell an impostor from the real thing. And when it comes to handbags, that's a really good thing, especially for just-scraping-by girls like myself, who as Americans should have equal access to Gucci, Prada, and Ferragamo. The ubiquitously named GIFT SHOW is barely noticeable… More >>
  • Best Place to Practice High School Debate-Team Skills

    Chinatown Designer Purse Vendors

    Ahh, the awkward art of haggling over material goods. The lurking question being "Exactly who is getting screwed?" At the CHINATOWN DESIGNER PURSE VENDORS there are many unknowns: Are any of these Prada bags real? Can I find better prices down the street? If I pretend I'm not crazy about the bag I am crazy about, will it be cheaper?… More >>
  • Best Cheap Fashion Accessories: They'll Ask, Don't Tell

    CVS Pharmacy

    Minerva McNamara was not the best-dressed girl in school, though she certainly was the blandest. The sort of dull, decent Milquetoast whom everyone invited to parties, but nobody remembered to talk to. The worm turned during third-period study hall, though, when Minerva met Warner Van Camp, future fabulous mogul. "Accessorize," he commanded, and whisked her away to CVS PHARMACY after… More >>
  • Best Chain for Aggressively Trendy Hipster Specs


    His mother had always picked his frames for him: ghastly gold-plated bits of ill-fitting wire from places like Costco and LensCrafters. She liked them because they reminded her of men she knew in Santo Domingo, varones in white suits who drove Mercedes cars. He hated them for the same reason. At 23 years of age, he dreamed of freeing his… More >>
  • Best Knit Store

    Magry Knits

    Each Polaroid along the wall frames a nearly identical picture, a customer resplendent in a clingy dress, body-skimming skirt, or kicky hat—all creations of Michele Renee at MAGRY KNITS. But as smart as those clothes are, the pearl of this knit store is its hand-dyed, homespun yarn. These unique balls embrace a joyful mélange of color and texture, unspooling rich… More >>
  • Best Place to Pick Up a Stud

    M&J Trimming

    Ode to M&J TRIMMING: Rhinestones on buckles and pink frilly tassels, sturdy gold cords and zipper pulls without hassle, white ornate lace and chains with some glaze, these are a few of my favorite things. When the sewing machine sings, and Betsey Johnson rings, when I am feeling crafty, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I feel so… More >>
  • Best Mall to Go Shopping With Your Parents

    Queens Center Mall

    Open since 1973, the aging QUEENS CENTER MALL is like family—not fancy at all, kind of embarrassing, and simply unavoidable. Queens Center Mall doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. It knows full well it's a no-frills rinky-dink mall with a giant plastic Bugs Bunny in the center, and so patrons accept it for what it is. We'll forgo the… More >>
  • Best Side-Benefit of Getting Engaged

    The UPC-Scanning Registry Gun at Macy's Herald Square

    You're going to get presents, and you might as well tell people what they should be. Most registries, though, require you to walk around with a note pad, carefully indicating makes and models. It can wind a body up. THE UPC-SCANNING REGISTRY GUN AT MACY'S HERALD SQUARE is the antidote. It allows you to steer Aunt Edna away from the… More >>
  • Best Corporate Monolith to Shoplift From

    Barnes and Noble

    The brick fronts and green trim of inescapable chain BARNES AND NOBLE enclose opportunities for the amoral, impoverished, and fleet of foot. This is the place to steal Steal This Book as the rumored "no follow" policy (security guards will neither tail you nor chase after your fleeing form) makes this bookstore an-ahem-criminally easy target. Simply check that you are… More >>
  • Best Video Store That's Way Too Easy to Take for Granted


    Go ahead. Complain. It takes forever and a half to check out. They're expensive. The security is surly. Their flagship store's lobby gets more dubious all the time. They never have what you're looking for, and if they do, it's filed under "Great Slovenian Lighting Designers of the '70s." Know what? If you don't know how goddamn lucky you are… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy the Videos You Usually Rent at Kim's

    The Video Store in Cinema Classics

    There's something of a speakeasy quality to THE VIDEO STORE IN CINEMA CLASSICS: To get there, you walk through a café and pitch-black, vacant movie theater to an unmarked door in back. Inside a windowless room, where three taciturn guys at desks seem to barely notice you, are over 2000 hard-to-find movies on videocassette and DVD, ranging from the sublime… More >>
  • Best Curbside Used Bookseller for Choice Paperbacks From de Sade to Chomsky


    ZACKARY, the curbside bookseller outside Bobst Library for years, has an erudition that could put some college lecturers to shame. What the customer gets here is the cream of the crop, with its bias towards the classics, and a fraction of his total stock. His handpicked choices appeal to readaholics and the student crowd, but anyone chancing by will find… More >>
  • Best Asian American Bookstore

    Asian American Bookseller

    There's much more to Asian American lit than Amy Tan, and the ASIAN AMERICAN BOOKSELLER—the biggest of its kind in the country—is proof of the field's breadth and depth. Carrying the canonical, the obscure, and the emergent, the store also has a sizable selection of Asian literature translated into English. Browsers can hang out in a loft space with comfy… More >>
  • Best Bookstore to Corrupt Your Conservative Mind

    Soft Skull Shortwave

    You've regurgitated Marx to all your pothead friends. Now take your progressive leanings to new heights at SOFT SKULL SHORTWAVE, which stocks such independent-minded and -published books as Michael Hemmingson's What the Fuck and William Upski Wimsatt's No More Prisons. The store—centered around a structural "cave" that keeps the literature "pouring into the space"—helps fill the recent Blackout void.… More >>
  • Best Spanish-Language Bookstore

    Libreria Hispanica

    Rosario walked down the creaky stairs in search of her friends. They were close, she knew. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Blink. Open. She was right! There they were, neatly lined up in the LIBRERIA HISPANICA's wooden shelves, waiting for her to greet them. José Donoso, Silvina Ocampo, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Miguel de Unamuno, Gustavo Adolfo… More >>
  • Best Temaining Comic-Book Spinner Rack

    Jewel's Newsstand

    At the tourist crossroads of Union Square Park, New York City shows its sense of history with a relic of the pop-culture past still proudly in use. In front of JEWEL'S NEWSSTAND, topped by the word "COMICS" blaring in a suitably 1950s font, is a rotating rack full of that currently embattled commodity. Low-art anthropologists will be impressed to find… More >>
  • Best Comics Store if You're Willing to Play it Their Way

    St. Mark's Comics

    Jim Hanley's Universe has a bigger selection of new stuff; Cosmic Comics is more new-reader-friendly; and nobody's ever matched the long-gone Second Avenue Comics' pain-and-pleasure mix of vicious contempt for customers and flabbergasting bargains. A great comics store should have a certain air of mystery about it, though, and ST. MARK'S COMICS is positively otherworldly. Where does velvet-gloved, iron-fisted manager… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Vintage Copies of 'Vogue'

    Gallagher's Paper Collectibles

    The claustrophobia kicks in as you enter the warren of basement rooms housing GALLAGHER'S PAPER COLLECTIBLES. Every surface is piled high with every magazine imaginable—Ebony, Harper's Bazaar, Time—and many more titles you never imagined. Customers flock here to perfect an authentically vintage look, crib graphic-design ideas, research period details for that novel, or just soak up our pop-cultural history. There… More >>
  • Best Print Shop

    Teigman Press

    Pretending to be professional in New York is hard work. Especially when your fax number happens to be the same as the local deli's and your business card comes standard issue—a beer-soaked cocktail napkin. But just because you have no real employer doesn't mean you have to have shabby, self-made stationery. TEIGMAN PRESS is a small, forgotten, antiquated print shop… More >>
  • Best Furniture Store

    The Street

    You just moved here from Ohio and spent all your money on a small, crusty broker and apartment. Now your place is barren (if the word can apply to an eight-by-10 studio), as in completely bereft of shelving, seating, TV stands, etc. Where is the best place to get furniture on a budget? Find that shit on the THE STREET,… More >>
  • Best Place to Support the Aspiring Bourgeois in You

    Martha Stewart Home

    Everyone secretly wishes Martha Stewart was their mama. Think about how fly our gritty apartments would be if she "popped by" once in a while with little homemade knickknacks ("Look, my pretend child, I've made you country crochet curtains! See how rustic-in-an-upscale-way they are?"). Thank God the woman's elegance doesn't stop her from making mega deals with Kmart. What with… More >>
  • How to Decorate an Apartment on a Paltry (Not Paltrow) Budget

    National Wholesale Liquidators

    Before this sublet in Chelsea there was a studio in Boerum Hill. Before that, an East Village share, and before that, an Ikea couch squashed into a converted three-bedroom with five fellow masochists on the corner of Mott Street. Real estate is an affliction, a racket, a ritual, fiscal disembowelment. But at least interior designs can be had for less.… More >>
  • Best Deals on '60s-Style Home Accessories


    The vogue for all things midcentury well past, one would think it easy to find great-looking home accessories from the Kennedy years, but no. Showrooms have mined the country's rummage sales for anything remotely smacking of the clean lines and exotic colors that leave you fawning for a life lived in a Blake Edwards movie. YU, a charming, warm shop… More >>
  • Best '30s, '40s, and '50s Collectibles

    General Nitemare

    "Send lawyers, guns, and money, the shit has hit the fan!" reads Barry Jetter's business card above the appellation "Chrome King." Owned and operated by a self-described former member of corporate America, GENERAL NITEMARE's amazing, quality collection may look junky from the outside, but ask for just about anything, and the remarkable Jetter will fish it out of the crowded… More >>
  • Best Utterly Confusing Quasi-Retail Outlet

    The Heartbreaking Store of Staggering Genius

    This category could also have been called "Best Place to Buy Little Rubber Cubes." The Park Slope storefront in question doesn't even seem to have an official name—also, its phone number is unlisted, and the hours sign on the door is deliberately uncommunicative—but we like to call it THE HEARTBREAKING STORE OF STAGGERING GENIUS. As far as shopping experiences that… More >>
  • Best Whimsical Impulse-Buy Store

    Lunettes et Chocolat

    For some reason, the wares on offer in Nolita's LUNETTES ET CHOCOLAT—eyeglasses and chocolate, as the high school French students among you already knew—are perfect complements to one another. There's something refreshing about a boutique that knows exactly what it wants to sell, and doesn't need to cram in a lot of scented candles and handmade journals and the other… More >>
  • Best Indescribably Cool and Inexpensive Stuff

    Gary's on 4th

    It's probably safe to say that generations of New Yorkers have outfitted their homes entirely from GARY'S ON 4TH. Inventory changes daily, but at any given time, expect to find vintage bark-and-tobacco tins, white linen napkins, toy train-set buildings, picture frames, and plastic handbags celebrating Spanish soap operas. In the back room, the radio's playing the Isleys, and there are… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Live Frogs

    Lucky Seafood

    Look at the frogs, big momma Gertrude, Sitting in the buckets, at LUCKY SEAFOOD; A thousand webbed feet, squished into 500 heads; How cute? How cute? Leaping up the plastic walls, looking for ground, They only… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Flashed in the Flatiron

    Jean-Claude Biguine Salon

    You're a barber's man, a man's man. You decry the soft commodification of the salon, championing the self-assured masculinity of the red, white, and blue pole. But lately, you wrestle with doubt: When Sal trimmed your cautiously advancing sideburns to regulation length—with neither provocation, nor consultation—it was too much. Fed up with spending every sixth Saturday with a reactionary surrogate… More >>
  • Best Barber

    Essex Street Market

    To find him, enter the north doors of the ESSEX STREET MARKET, take a left at the fresh fish stand, veer past the papayas and cherries (no tasting), and swing right down the far corridor. The barber shop has 47 clocks hanging on the walls. His name is Yacha, from Uzbekistan. He doesn't… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Eyebrows Threaded

    Menka Beauty

    Ladies take heed: Threading is like mild rug burn for the face. But you know what they say: no pain, no gain. In our great metropolis, five bucks still buys you less hair and some culture. A win-win combo at MENKA BEAUTY, where Bollywood is a television set away. Sit back, relax, and let their fingers do the pulling. Beautiful… More >>
  • Best Place for All of Your Pollution-Free Mobility Needs

    Hub Station

    From electric scooters and detachable in-lines to tandems and folding bikes, Soho's HUB STATION can provide you with seemingly limitless modes of green transport. Want your old-fashioned sucker-powered cycle converted to electric? They'll fit it with the latest in lightweight motors. The friendly, laid-back staff seems amenable to just about anything you may have in mind. If they sell it,… More >>
  • Best Places to Check Your E-Mail for Free

    Canal Jeans; NYU Bobst Library; JFK Airport

    There is no more disturbing insult to urban culture than the Internet coffeehouse, or businesses that charge you—by the half-hour, and by the balls—to check your e-mail. Fuck them. Try the basement of CANAL JEANS (504 Broadway, 226-1130), where four iMacs are waiting for you. One catch: You need a photo ID and a $20 deposit or credit card. However,… More >>
  • Best Pharmacy New York Lost to Semi-Extinction


    Where is the LOVE, man? With up to 26 locations, Love used to be on every street corner in New York, flooding the city with magical, positive vibes. The name made something as commonplace as going to the pharmacy seem like Fate, like burning incense, like seeing a psychic. Yes, pre-1999 Pharmacyland was all whimsy. The hardest thug, the most… More >>
  • Best Place to Resurrect Your Favorite Bag, Backpack, Coat, Tent . . .

    Greendad, Inc.

    The crafty women at GREENDAD INC., New York City's renowned shop for repairing and customizing outdoor clothing and gear, are the antithesis of the disposable garment industry. Their prices will sometimes make you wonder why you care for that beloved rag so much, but they patch and re-zipper bags, coats, tents—and probably almost anything else that you're willing to spend… More >>
  • Best Green Market

    Abingdon Square

    Am I the only one who thinks the Union Square green market has declined in the last couple of years? There seem to be more customers and fewer vendors, and a greater proportion of bad baked goods and items like minicomposters that never originated on a farm. I've found much better stuff at the satellite green markets lately, especially the… More >>
  • Best Downtown Health Food Store


    Downtown literary types cobble superwholesome meals (organic? That's what they claim) at Healthy Pleasures' (93 University Place, 353-3663) humongous salad bar. However, the perpetual state of freezer meltdown at this establishment encourages a trek over to LifeThyme (410 Sixth Avenue, 420-9099) or COMMODITIES (165 First Avenue, 260-2600) to stock up on essentials. All three stores score well on fresh… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Birthday Cake Decorated With a Fantastical Beach Scene

    La Moderna Bakery

    Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like a cake with the faces of all three Teletubbies drawn in Day-Glo green, yellow, purple, and red icing. For a mere $35 to $55, the women of LA MODERNA BAKERY will adorn a cake with just about any scene you can imagine. And they definitely don't skimp when it comes to the icing. A friend's… More >>
  • Best Used Cookbooks

    Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks

    Cooks and foodies throng to Kitchen Arts & Letters for new books, but they go to BONNIE SLOTNICK COOKBOOKS when they want something with a little more age. The vintage volumes are in splendid condition, and Bonnie will be glad to advise you of related titles, even keeping a running list of your needs. I collect volumes of restaurant criticism,… More >>