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  • Best Bikini Waxer

    Professional Threading Studio

    There is a time when you want flawless workmanship combined with lightning-fast speed, and that time is when hot wax is being applied to your precious, flower-like nethers. Professional Threading Studio more than lives up to its name. It's a quiet, immaculate upstairs space on St. Marks Place, where everyone knows their (lady) business and how not to scald it… More >>
  • Best Affordable Fashion

    Brandy Melville

    What can we say; the Italians seem to know L.A. style better than L.A., or at least how to mass-market relaxed, affordable basics. This Roman brand was founded more than 30 years ago, but only just secured its second New York location (on the Upper West Side). Brandy Melville, seen on Lindsay Lohan and a Kardashian or two, is still… More >>
  • Best Communal Office

    Bat Haus

    Most neo-Brooklynites just want to escape their suburban towns, coolly sidestep a 9-to-5 office job, and avoid ever having to buy work-appropriate apparel as a freelancer. Trouble is, after the third consecutive day of writing in a noisy Starbucks, it's hard not to yearn for the peace and quiet an office provides. Never fear, professional freelancers: You can have your… More >>
  • Best Vintage Clothing You're Going to Have to Sift Through

    Urban Jungle Vintage

    Lengthy industrial racks are packed tight in the sprawling Bushwick warehouse. The wood paneling on the walls clashes with the jazzy orange paint job, which, in turn, clashes with just about every article of clothing in the place. We've seen shirt patterns here that defy our wildest dreams. Yes, Urban Jungle Vintage is vintage shopping in its truest form: an… More >>
  • Best Fashion Truck

    Nomad

    The apparel sold out of the back of the sleekly retrofitted Nomad truck is chiefly of the gypsy-bohemian style, which couldn't be more fitting. Owner Jessie Goldenberg peddles her women's fashion at markets, street fairs, and music festivals, but can also be seen wheeling her caravan around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Hoboken on a sporadic basis. Nomad hit the gas in… More >>
  • Best Hair Salon

    High Horse Salon

    There are times when, with scissors in hand, we remember the advice our mother gave us: "Professional haircuts are for suckers." And then there are times when we don't want to look like a pack of feral cats went at it on our head. For the latter, we love High Horse Salon. Owned by Kristi Banister, the Wild West-themed establishment… More >>
  • Best Place to Bring Your Sad, Fried Macbook

    Dr. Brendan Mac Repair

    With only a steady hand and a YouTube tutorial, Brendan McElroy began fixing the cracked-up MacBooks and iPhones of his friends as a freelance gig in 2009, operating out of his tiny East Village walk-up. Now, four years later, Dr. Brendan Mac Repair has three Manhattan shops, one Park Slope location, and even makes house calls in a logo-emblazoned Fiat.… More >>
  • Best Place to Learn a Creepy New Skill

    Observatory

    Remember those kids in biology who were just a little too into pinning insects and dissecting small mammals? Well, they grew up and got their own place, and, my, is Observatory fascinating. Founded by eight artists and bloggers in 2009, this Gowanus institution has recently come of age with an inspired roster of lectures, classes, and programming in the vein… More >>
  • Best Supply Store for the Urban Naturalist

    Evolution

    Times are hard for the modern Audubon, especially in this city—that is, unless you want to sketch pigeons or the overaggressive squirrels around Shake Shack. Thankfully, this Soho oddity shop provides a surrogate biology classroom in which your inner Darwin can dissect and examine to his anatomically correct heart's content. Evolution celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and whether you… More >>
  • Best Place to Stop Before Making a Quick Getaway

    Muji

    We think New York is the best, clearly. But sometimes you just need to get out of town. Before you do, swing by this emerging Japanese chain. Everything in the new, two-level Cooper Square location of Muji seems geared toward ultra-efficient travel—the store has another branch, fittingly, in JFK. A decidedly simplistic, streamlined design scheme features breezy pastel scarves, all-purpose… More >>
  • Best Comic Book Store

    Forbidden Planet

    Forbidden Planet is insane—the noise, the size, the sheer staggering display of comic force at work, complete with manga, Marvel, graphic novels, and everything comics freaks ages five to 85 could possibly hope for. For that reason, it's always crowded, a joyous throng of kids and teens and older, quieter devotees. But the noise is in itself kind of beautiful.… More >>
  • Best Stationery

    McNally Jackson Store

    Upon launching her Prince Street bookstore in 2004, Sarah McNally said her motivation was to "make reading more alluring." This April, she worked that same magic on the art of writing. Cupboards of supplies and pristinely arranged sample desktops display the esoteric but irresistibly romantic tools of the trade at Soho's new McNally Jackson Store, purveyor of "goods for the… More >>
  • Best Sexcessories

    SHAG

    The thing about a lot of sex toy stores is that they so often lack a theme. Not the case here. At SHAG, it's clear that owners Ash, Sam, and Pearl have a mind for aesthetics, among other things. The Williamsburg boutique, which feels like the boudoir of a particularly classy Coney Island madam, features products by local designers that… More >>
  • Best Used Bookstore

    Molasses Books

    Only slightly more bookstore than bar, and only slightly more bar than community space, this Bushwick storefront caters to the neighborhood. In the middle of an otherwise residential block, Molasses Books is hot on the salon scene for lit-minded folk. Owner Matthew Winn has curated a small but choice collection of classic titles and vintage editions with attention to cover… More >>
  • Best Furniture Store

    Eclectic Collectibles and Antiques

    This cavernous used furniture store has all the appeal of a suburban garage sale, only partly due to the fact that it's located in an actual garage. Owners Anthony and Cookie, as well as their family, can often be seen around the store, propped up on a silk couch or kicked back in one of the courtly velvet chairs. The… More >>
  • Best Place for Non-Comic-Book People to Buy Comics

    Midtown Comics

    Aficionados, avert your eyes: You probably already know about Midtown Comics' comprehensive selection and helpful service. But let's say you're one of those people who hasn't bought a comic book—or even a graphic novel—since that day in 1972 when you picked up a copy of Archie's Pals 'n' Gals. You've just started dating an awesome pal or gal who's totally… More >>
  • Best Un-Famous Place for Aspiring Fashion Designers to Shop for Fabric

    Paron Fabrics

    Anybody who's ever watched Project Runway already knows about Mood. But for a less overwhelming experience and prices that are comparable or better, head just a few blocks north to Paron Fabrics, a family-run business with a 40-year history. Have a sudden hankering to dress like Sharon Stone in Casino? Paron stocks silk jersey that will help you fulfill your… More >>
  • Best Jewelry Store

    Christopher 19

    Sure, you can buy throwaway costume jewelry in chain stores like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters. But for pieces that you'll wear and cherish long after fads have died and gone to the graveyard, head over to Christopher 19, a small but beautifully curated shop featuring pieces by local and international jewelry designers. Whether your tastes lean toward delicate Victorian-style… More >>
  • Best Place to Shop When You're Craving German Techno and Françoise Hardy

    Other Music

    You wake up on a Saturday morning—the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and everything is right with the world . . . until you realize that your CD collection is lacking in Thai pop chanteuses of the 1960s. How can this be? Before your friends catch wind of this gap and roundly humiliate you, head down to Other… More >>
  • Best Place to Score Gently Used Prada, Marni, and Miu Miu

    Tokyo Joe

    If you love clothes and haven't been hiding under a rock for the past year, you've probably heard about the deadly sweatshop conditions that help keep all of our favorite fast-fashion chains profitable—and allow us to fill our closets with clothes that we might wear only once or twice before we tire of them or they fall apart (or both).… More >>
  • Best Shoe Store

    Verve

    This joint is heaven for shoe and accessories nuts. Verve seeks out brands that you won't find everywhere. For shoes and boots, check out the offerings from Coclico and Chie Mihara; they don't come cheap, but the workmanship is amazing, and even the higher-heeled options are so well-balanced that they're astonishingly comfortable. Once you've found a pair of shoes that… More >>
  • Best Tattoo Parlor

    East Side Ink

    Apart from a brief, six-year hiatus, East Side Ink has been steadily drawing on people since before it was legal in this city. Along with sister shop Graceland, East Side's artists sling some of the most masterful, inventive custom ink in town. As consummate professionals, they'd probably draw a boring piece of flash if you asked, but you'd be wasting… More >>
  • Best Place to Find a Book for a Train Ride out of NYC

    Posman Books

    Left the house for a getaway train trip upstate, only to realize that you don't feel like reading any of the hundreds of books you've loaded on your Kindle? Stop into the Grand Central outpost of Posman Books for a real, live book—something beyond the James Patterson and Fifty Shades of Grey quickies offered at most meccas of urban egress.… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy New Buttons for a Tired Old Jacket

    Lou Lou Button

    Walking around with buttons missing from your coat, your shirt, or, God forbid, your pants is the surest way to mark yourself as a complete and utter slob who's not living life to the fullest. Get what you need to fill in the gaps at Lou Lou Button, a little midtown shop that really packs a punch, buttonwise: The shelves… More >>
  • Best Wi-Fi Cafe

    Grounded

    Whether you're trying to escape your roommates or simply need a place to work that's not full of distractions ("I'll get down to business right after I re-grout the shower!"), Grounded, in the West Village, is the kind of spot that feels like home away from home—if home resembled Havana, Cuba. Filled with beautiful green plants hanging above dark wooden… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Hair Extensions

    Lugo's Hair Center

    Voluminous, thick, shiny hair isn't a luxury exclusively for the rich and famous. We normal folk deserve luscious locks, too. The East Village's Lugo's Hair Center, which specializes in extensions and wigs, provides beautiful—dare we say life-changing?—manes made specifically for you. The process is long and taxing, but well worth it (they don't call themselves the "mecca of hair" for… More >>
  • Best Antiques

    Nook n' Crannie

    Love the classic armoires and fringed lampshades of Downton Abbey? Like your sofa to come in a '60s burnt orange à la Mad Men? For those looking to replicate the set designs of their favorite set-in-the-past TV shows, there's a good chance you'll find what you need at Nook n' Crannie. The store, located in north Astoria, offers antique and… More >>
  • Best Place to Shop for Groceries and Get Tipsy

    Eataly

    Inside Eataly, an Italian marketplace specializing in the most exquisite pastas, cheeses, chocolates, and wines, everything looks and smells like heaven. And what really makes it so extraordinary for shoppers is that—to quote one of Eataly's owners, Mario Batali—it's meant to be "a grocery store with tasting rooms." Indeed it is. You can easily purchase drinks and snacks inside and… More >>
  • Best Vegan Fashion

    Vaute Couture

    This year, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart's animal-friendly brand, Vaute Couture, proudly became the first all-vegan label to show on the runway at New York Fashion Week. The Chicago native launched her compassionate clothing line designing winter dress coats that were both warm and style-conscious without using fur, leather, or wool. Find her original outerwear, along with an expanded collection of everyday… More >>
  • Best 24-hour Ceramics

    Williamsburg Ceramic Center and Choplet Ceramic Studio

    It's 4 a.m. You're all alone. You can't sleep. You've got the urge. There's no shame. We know what you're thinking: pottery. Local clay maven Nadeige Choplet has made her craft accessible at any time of the day or night with her Williamsburg Ceramic Center, which offers sculptors 20 wheels, five kilns, and one magnificently peaceful outdoor garden in which… More >>
  • Best Vinyl Record Store

    Academy Record Annex

    While most record stores specialize in a single genre, Academy Record Annex manages to carry something for everyone. Where else in New York can you stop in to buy the latest indie release and scoop a first pressing of a Sun Ra record? This Greenpoint outpost just relocated from its original Williamsburg digs but hasn't lost any of its charm… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    Zakka

    Do you get giddy over Godzilla figurines? Feel your heart flutter in the presence of Star Wars collectibles? Zakka, a toy junkie's heaven, is where you'll find a drool-worthy selection of Japanese and vintage toys. Tucked away on a quiet cobblestone street in DUMBO, this shop draws collectors from all over for its display cases brimming with rare gems. You'll… More >>
  • Best Lingerie

    Town Shop

    Your bra doesn't fit right, and that's because you're a civilian. But the ladies of the Town Shop are soldiers in the Breast Army, ready to size you up with a single pass of the eyeballs. This is real, old-school, literally hands-on lingerie fitting, where you and your salesperson will scrunch up together in one of their curtained stalls and… More >>
  • Best Spa

    Asanda Aveda Spa Lounge

    Looking for a quick and luxurious way to recharge? Asanda Aveda Spa Lounge will have you feeling fresh in no time. This Soho retreat offers everything you need—facials, manicures, massages, lash extensions, you name it—for women and men. And the prices are reasonable. A 25-minute Aveda Perfecting Plant Peel facial that exfoliates and includes a glycolic peel is only $25.… More >>
  • Best Barbershop

    Ben's Barbers

    We have nothing against salons—this isn't some macho take on how expensive haircuts are sucking the testosterone out of dudes everywhere—but if you're sick of places that take more from your wallet than they do from your head, then consider popping into Ben's Barbers, the small storefront shop a few blocks from the First Avenue L stop. Here, haircuts cost… More >>
  • Best Vintage Video Game Shop

    Video Games New York

    Walking through Video Games New York (after you've been greeted by statues of Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog just outside the entrance) is like going back home and rifling through your old toys in the basement. Look! There's an Atari game box, still shrink-wrapped! Whoa—Intellivision! There's a Power Glove! There's Mattel football, basketball, and soccer, all ready to fire… More >>
  • Best Skateboard Shop

    Reciprocal Skateboards and Pinball

    Reciprocal Skateboards and Pinball bears the hallmark of any serious skateboard shop: It hardly advertises its presence. It resides inconspicuously on an anonymous block of 11th Street in the East Village, hidden behind curtains—almost like a modern speakeasy. Along one interior wall, there's an art installation of used and abused boards. You can almost hear rails screeching, wood scraping on… More >>
  • Best Thrift Shop

    Goodwill Industries

    The environs aren't fancy or trendy, and you won't spot many tattoos or beards. But Goodwill Industries' Upper East Side shop offers consistently banging-for-your-buck thrift. Navigating the store requires patience and perseverance, as the goods are neither curated nor cataloged. But the location appears to ensure a steady influx of top-shelf merch in eminently wearable condition—names like Banana Republic, Ann… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    St. Mark's Bookshop

    In the age of infinite online inventories and e-readers that instantly download any book you desire, a store that's full of titles you never even knew you wanted in the first place is more of a treasure than ever. St. Mark's Bookshop has persevered in the East Village for more than 35 years and remains New York's best bookstore for… More >>
  • Best Collection

    Morbid Anatomy

    Morbid Anatomy is a labor of love for curator and artist Joanna Eberstein, who wanted to make a home for objects that celebrate "the places where death and beauty intersect." The fabulously eccentric, seriously fascinating warehouse space is lined with lots of books, which live alongside santo statues, taxidermied animals, vintage prints, medical oddities in cloudy jars, surgical tools, wax… More >>
  • Best Gift Shop

    Greenwich Letterpress

    At some point in the past decade, paper became a feisty underdog to its digital counterpart, an unthinkable notion when the Sunday editions approached the thickness of a phonebook. This shift makes a delightful little boutique like Greenwich Letterpress such a welcome sight. Its slogan—"supplying NYC with paper goodness since 2005"—encapsulates all the charm of this pastel oasis that's full… More >>
  • Best Sneaker Store

    DQM

    The shop offers dozens of varieties of the latest Vans sneakers, in addition to skateboarding models by Adidas and Nike. DQM—"Dave's Quality Meat"—is owned by Dave Ortiz, formerly of Zoo York. It's worth at least a weekly pop-in to see what new sneakers and clothing have hit the (meat) hooks. You can outfit yourself head-to-toe at DQM, but if you… More >>
  • Best DIY Supply and Hipster Hardware Experience

    Crest Hardware and Urban Garden Center

    From the curb, Crest Hardware and Urban Garden Center could be any True Value store in the country. Step inside. An African Grey parrot, Finlay, observes shoppers up front; out back, under the peach tree, there's a garden where eggplants, peppers, and big beefsteak tomatoes grow. Over in the corner, Franklin the pot-bellied pig snoozes in his pen beside a… More >>
  • Best Nail Art

    Valley Nail-Wax

    It's not easy getting in the door at Valley Nail-Wax. Sure, the salon "welcomes" walk-ins, but it hardly ever has openings; reservations are booked well in advance, especially for Valley's coveted nail art appointments. But nothing worth having ever comes easy, and an original commission by the artists is definitely worth it. Inside the cozy, low-ceilinged Nolita salon, two neat… More >>
  • Best Urban Day Trip

    Orchard Beach

    Hamptons, Shmamptons. Between May and September, you can't even make a left turn out there. We have the Bronx Riviera, aka Pelham Bay Park: a 13-mile, polyglot blue-collar crescent of sand backed by 2,772 acres of parkland and forested trails. Orchard Beach was created in the 1930s to give New Yorkers who didn't have the ways and means to sally… More >>
  • Best Curated Vintage Clothing

    Collections

    Up until this year, Lucy Ann Wheeless only took appointments, fitting friends and clients with her handpicked vintage finds. So we're glad that now, following an epic thrifting road trip through the American South, the Marc Jacobs alum has opened the doors to her cozy Bushwick fashion bodega. Collections feels breezy and relaxed—easy chairs and seashells abound—and is very much… More >>
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