Shopping & Services

  • Best selection of enchanted antique typewriters


    Like a smaller, more convincing version of the enchanted bookshop in "The Neverending Story," A REPEAT PERFORMANCE stocks a range of typewriters that will keep the children entertained for hours. Lovingly carted in from around the world by shop owner Beverly, stock has over the years included an 1890s machine endearingly named Oliver and a Hebrew model that comes in… More >>
  • Best selection of bootleg sci-fi-superhero videos no one would bother confiscating anyway


    If Big Media wanted your money for 'em, they'd bring 'em out themselves, so enterprising pop scavengers are free to roam MIDTOWN COMICS' archives of the never aired (like the thrift-store-costumed live-action Justice League pilot), never screened (the infamous copyright-holding Fantastic Four quickie), and never rebroadcast (Captain Nice, anyone?). Whole Gigantor and Johnny Soccoruns? If you trust the man with… More >>
  • Best fake scabs and gashes


    You never know when some spare scabs and gashes are going to come in handy. Don't be caught unprepared. Stock up at RICKY'S, where you'll find temporary tattoos in an assortment of wounds and cuts. The next time you're sponging a gash onto your forehead, be sure to remember the store's motto: "Looking Good is Feeling Good."… More >>
  • Best place to return used lipsticks


    SEPHORA will "gladly" take anything back if you're not satisfied. It's like a candy store for women! Not only do you get to go in there to spray on all sorts of potions and lotions (in so many brands to choose from: L'Occitane, Philosophy, Murad, Nars, Fresh) and get all glittery and sparkly by dabbing on their testers, but you… More >>
  • Best hat store to buy a cute, affordable purse


    Whenever I am in a purse frenzy, which is often, I go to BARBARA FEINMAN MILLINERY to get a quality, stylish, unique purse (or two, or four). Some are leather and pricey enough to cause one to pause, but not so expensive that you'll feel like a fool when the season's over and your trendy purse is out of favor.… More >>
  • Best umbrellas


    Rain, shine, or snow, the adorable VILLAGE SCANDAL stocks the city's most "scandalously" creative overhead protection (hats, too!). I'm thinking in particular of a hot-pink umbrella that, when sheathed in its white plastic cover, exactly resembles a giantess's tube of lipstick, its handle primed for application.… More >>
  • Best place to judge your neighbors' former clothes


    Deliberately nestled in the hippest of Brooklyn neighborhoods, the two branches of BEACON'S CLOSET rely on "neighborhood fashionistas" to supply an ever ready surplus of vintage go-go boots, used indie CDs, worn ironic T-shirts, and frumpy-cum-sassy dresses.… More >>
  • Best treasure trove for vintage-loving fashionistas


    Yes, there is a real SUZETTE SUNDAE, and she looks exactly like you'd picture: funky and punky and super-stylish—just like her eponymous East Village boutique. Clothes have a 3 a.m. clubbing feel to them—patchwork tees, slinky halters, hot accessories (she can even make them to order). Vintage footwear, from stilettos to strappy Mary Janes, completes the look. Two words:… More >>
  • Best vintage shoe collection


    You can find buckled Fred Braun shoes from the '70s, white rain boots from the '60s, cherry-red pumps from the '50s, and black suede-with-bows numbers from the '40s at COBBLESTONES. At the start of summer, the store got in 80 pairs of vintage sandals. For fall, there are cowboy boots. Delanee Koppersmith, owner for 23 years on East 9th Street,… More >>
  • Best place to buy '70s librarian shoes


    The walls are stacked with dusty moccasins, espadrilles, metallic ankle boots, and oh, the glory of endless variations on the orthopedic clunker. Plus, every shoe they sell is guaranteed to be pure magic! That's why the joint is called MAGIC SHOES. Enter only if you're willing to flex your twinkle toes.… More >>
  • Best low-key shoe shopping


    If you like your shoe shopping like you like your shoes (i.e., airy and comfortable), pop into the REEBOK CONCEPT STORE near Lincoln Center. They have a large, cool space with none of the customer cramping you get downtown. And there's plenty of seating.… More >>
  • Best uncool place for cool sneakers


    Hipsters, beware. This store is not designed for you. The back-to-school backpacks, football jerseys, and packs of Fruit of the Loom undies are discouraging, but not pathetic enough to invite snarking. Yet a trip to the Harlem MODELL'S may prove rewarding, as the downstairs features an array of chic sneakers (retro Reeboks, Nikes, Adidas) at starving-trendster prices.… More >>
  • Best place to see Japanese kids waiting in line


    Like 24-inch rims on a busted-ass Honda Accord, the must-have sneakers of this past summer spruced up even the jankiest of outfits. At $300-plus a pair, Bapestas—from Tokyo design house A BATHING APE—were not for the idle sneakerista. This fall, Ape—long a favorite of the Beastie Boys and Pharrell Williams—is opening its first U.S. retail location. Japanese kids who queue… More >>
  • Best simple clothing craze


    At AMERICAN APPAREL, now popping up all over Manhattan, the clothing is not as outrageously expensive as other casual fashion lines (think of ridiculous Juicy), but priced just high enough to not be "cheap." So it's sort of what the Gap was back in the '90s. Except American Apparel doesn't use sweatshops.… More >>
  • Best uniforms


    POP, the concept-heavy Union Square restaurant-bar, possesses (intentionally!) all the intimacy of an international airport. The only thing this Wallpaper-wannabe does well is server's uniforms: blue jumpsuits modest as burkas, but sexy as hell. Imagine your slim serving-boy naked under that thing, and dinner feels like the expository scenes in a porn film: You'll anticipate the moment the jumpsuits come… More >>
  • Best dresses


    When designer Ann French Emonts and her sister talked clothes as girls, "That's darling!" was their highest praise. So when a grown-up Emonts decided to open a clothing shop, choosing the name was easy. DARLING debuted last summer; it's been charming the pants off of, and the new outfits onto, patrons ever since. And its offerings—dresses especially, designed primarily by… More >>
  • Best muumuus


    Ladies, do you find that as you venture further into life, you feel an increasing biological urge to wear muumuus? Like nothing else even makes sense? Well the only hope you have of getting that "your mom used to be hot" look, rather than the alternative, which could be devastating, is by purchasing any and all muumuus at the CHELSEA… More >>
  • Best place to pretend you're a Bollywood star or a Barbie doll


    A palette of fuchsias, reds, turquoises, mandarins, emeralds, and dozens of other Technicolors dazzles from the second you walk by KARISHMA FASHION. Styles are similar to what your lucky dolls got to wear, and come in colors and cuts you felt obligated to give up after age 17. Pants, dresses, skirts, and midriff-baring tops are hand-jeweled and sequined with alarming… More >>
  • Best fishnet knee socks


    Certain to brighten up any outfit, the fishnet stockings at FLYING A come in flirty pastels or strong solids, and range from ankle socks to knee socks to full tights. If you're feeling adventurous, layer a few pairs. Made by high quality brands such as the British Jonathan Aston, they may even last longer than one wearing. Also on offer:… More >>
  • Best infant T-shirt


    I dig your 718 onesie, your Never Mind the Bollocks baby tee, your "I might barf" bib. But our kid is boss of the playground in his black rocker shirt from URBAN MONSTER ($28); it tweaks the logo of our favorite Aussie juggernaut to read, "AB (lightning bolt) CD..… More >>
  • Best thrift and vintage store operated by an intentional community


    Staten Island is the forgotten borough—good news for shoppers in search of thrift stores unravaged by hipsters hunting ironic T-shirts. EVERY THING GOES offers four stores, the most tempting of which calls itself "Variety." Walkable from the ferry, these St. George treats are run by an intentional community called Ganas. Quirky conversation with co-op inhabitants? Jaw-droppingly low prices? Great selection… More >>
  • Best junk shop


    Barry Jetter, the self-proclaimed "Chrome King," spends his days in the back of his store, GENERAL NITEMARE, attended by a winsome miniature Doberman pinscher named Tiny, scraping, stripping, and sandblasting school paint off metal furniture that he salvages from Maryland. I can't imagine what Jetter's and his doggie's lungs look like, but their merchandise is fantastic, cheap, and available in… More >>
  • Best store name


    Gail Kessler was a carpooling housewife; then, in a radical shift (or not?), she switched to herding goats as the tender of a New Jersey goat farm, selling her cheese at a New York City egg-and-dairy shop. Next she moved to Bali and worked with farmers there; now she runs an inviting East Village housewares shop—mostly batik items, and mostly… More >>
  • Best high-concept retailer


    With a large-screen window display transmitting various media, TKNY appears to be a gallery. Inside, various stalls resemble science projects, though they display objects for sale. By careful examination, I found a necklace that lights up, inflatable speakers, and Archimedes, a little green man in a bottle who I'm still trying to figure out. A store that makes me use… More >>
  • Best pint-size toy turned into a gallery phenomenon


    Though the dictionary definition of DUNNY is "dumb, stupid," this little, rabbit-like, huge-headed vinyl creature captured the imagination of dozens of artists, resulting in a packed-house exhibition at Soho's Visionaire Gallery this past May. Likely, the people at KidRobot who designed it saw a great opportunity to promote the hip quotient of this "action figure." Judging from the show, it… More >>
  • Best place to get ripped off


    The APPLE STORE's employees are usually helpful and sometimes even attentive. But man, that's not much comfort when you buy your G3 laptop at full price only to have the G4s come out two days after your return period has expired; said laptop promptly ceases to function, necessitating an hour-and-a-half wait to see a "Genius" even though you'd made an… More >>
  • Best way to avoid "losing it" at Kinkos


    Kinkos is a fluorescent, electrically humming chain that generates mass anxiety and fits of hysteria. But sidestepping the corporate anarchy altogether is easy at the SOURCE UNLIMITED, an independently run copy shop where long-haired male owner Santo has a magic touch on the buttons. No panic, no long waits. He's also a musician.… More >>
  • Best place not to put an Ikea


    There are a dwindling number of spots along the city's waterfront that truly, and gloriously, recall the days when Brooklyn was a bustling shipping port. But plans to tear down a block of century-old warehouses along the RED HOOK WATERFRONT to build an Ikea—with its jarring blue facade, multi-acre parking lot, and daily carloads of hipsters and families—threatens to transform… More >>
  • Best onshore nautical experience


    Ahoy, shopper. Doing the marketing doesn't usually require waders, but you might want to bring a slicker and wellies before venturing into the deeps of the SEA AND SEA FISH MARKET. Averaging an inch or two of water and sluice on the floor, this enormous Harlem fishery makes shopping a high-seas adventure. And while no whirlpools or giant squid will… More >>
  • Best place to get mentally traumatized by cat Nazis


    You want a cat? You can't handle a cat. And the frizzy-haired spinsters at KITTY KIND AT PETCO are going to guarantee you never so much as glance at a poor old homeless cat again. You pervert. If you do happen to find your feline soul mate at this place, rehearse the following facts, and be prepared for a grueling… More >>
  • Best pampered-pooch store


    The "dog boutique and pawtisserie for the well-heeled hound," SCOUT provides cute doggy wear like dainty leather collars and leashes outfitted with rhinestones and hearts. Puppies can dine on tasty, refined doggy treats in the debonair patio out back, where the store also hosts doggy birthday parties, weddings, and barkmitzvahs. They've even had a dog-massage workshop.… More >>
  • Best gas station selling everything on earth but paper underpants


    For around 10 bucks, a bunch of guys at 10TH AVENUE CAR WASH will wash your ride and vacuum the sand and dog hair out of the cracks. But what really makes this place cool is its NASCAR souk of a convenience store. Here, the entire Armor All line shares space with chain-link license plate frames, Tweety Bird floor mats,… More >>

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