Selecting the perfect present can be stressful—but Chelsea’s array of boutiques make the process less of a chore and more of a pleasure. Whether it is a Moroccan wedding blanket for your favorite engaged couple, cookware certain to get you invited to the recipient’s next dinner party, jewelry for Mom, or collectibles for your quirkiest friend, you are certain to find the ideal gift here. And why not treat yourself while you are at it?
Chelsea Market, 88 Tenth Avenue (at West 15th Street)
This ever-changing assortment of wares from a variety of artisans and curators is an excellent source for unusual and even one-of-a-kind items. Hand-printed womenswear from Avalove, laser-engraved leather pillow covers from Hudson & Kings, all-natural beard-care treatments from Real Bearded Men, and pendants in the shape of soda-can pop tops from Yah Yah Jewelry are among the delights one might find during a given visit.
255 West 18th Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)
At Authentiques you can purchase something old and something new. Its assortment continually changes, but if you are searching for souvenir glasses from the 1939 World’s Fair adorned with the Trylon and Perisphere that symbolized the exhibition, lava lamps, Howdy Doody puppets, Playboy Club ashtrays, or McCoy pitchers, this is a great place to start. It also offers an exhaustive selection of Christmas ornaments and other Yuletide decor year-round along with a curated collection of modern-day cards, picture frames, and the like with a days-gone-by aesthetic.
Chelsea Market, 88 10th Avenue (at West 15th Street)
Pro chefs and enthusiastic amateurs alike flock to Bowery Kitchen Supplies (no longer on the Bowery but instead in Chelsea Market). Recycled-cast-iron pots and terrycloth-lined leather oven mitts from Combekk, precision knives from Shun and Boker, Peugeot pepper mills, and tableware from Miya are among the myriad items that would make fabulous housewarming gifts. Bowery Kitchen also sells aprons and chef’s jackets in traditional white as well as tie-dyed and embellished with fanciful slogans and images, so that even those who do not cook can look as if they do.
122 West 20th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues)
Ethically sourced products from South Africa and neighboring countries make up the product line of Dumela Crafts. If you expect a shop filled exclusively with handwoven baskets and animal wood carvings, though, you will be surprised by the breadth of merchandise. Yes, you will find traditional handicrafts and artwork but also fine jewelry hand-made with fair-trade metals and diamonds, luxe leather wallets, and statement-making limited-edition prints, among other eye-catching gifts.
Chelsea Market, 88 10th Avenue (at West 15th Street)
A visit to Imports from Marrakesh’s Chelsea Market shop will show you why so many designers and tastemakers are enamored of Moroccan decor. Plush handwoven Beni Ourain rugs, handmade cement tiles in both traditional and modern patterns, pierced metal lanterns in elaborate shapes, filigreed tea glasses, and leather poufs in a rainbow of colors are among the highlights. A sequined, handwoven handira, or wedding blanket, will delight your favorite newlyweds.
140 Ninth Avenue (between West 18th and 19th Streets)
Those whose aesthetic is more European than Middle Eastern might prefer this jewel box of a shop with home goods and gifts from France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, and the UK as well as a few homegrown brands. Seda France’s fragranced candles are so beautifully packaged, the recipient might never want to take them out of their boxes; lighting from Seletti in the form of antique marquee letters add a personalized dash of whimsy; Match Pewter serveware will bring a dash of grandeur to the humblest meal; Mullanium’s jewelry and decorative boxes will tickle the fancy of any steampunk aficionado. You are far more likely to walk out of here with a gift for yourself as well as for your friends and family than you are to exit empty-handed.
136 West 18th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues)
Michael Aram has been designing tableware, jewelry, and decor in metal for more than 30 years, and many of his pieces take inspiration from the fluid forms of nature. These include glass bowls supported by nickel-plated metal that replicates a coral reef, rings adorned with gold orchids dotted with diamonds, and flatware with twig-shape handles. He has expanded into textiles as well, offering pillows with distressed metallic textures and jacquard floral duvets. Items such as porcelain casserole dishes with brass handles in the form of gingko branches perfectly marry functionality and beauty.
146 West 26th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues)
This shop has scores of opals, quartzes, jaspers, amethysts, and other stones for those who practice crystal healing or feng shui, but that is only a portion of its offering. You will also find a trove of decorative items fashioned from stones: geode bookends, agate coasters, birds and Buddhas carved of quartz, chunks of malachite and aquamarine to place atop a coffee table or mantel. There is jewelry too, of course, as well as stones that hobbyists can use to craft their own baubles. Along with stones, Rock Star Crystals sells fossils, seashells, and even chunks of meteorites. And if the shop’s name led you to believe you will find crystal balls inside, you will not be disappointed.
Gift-Givers Delight in Chelsea