Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday Toy Store Gift Guide

I love toys. So do you. Everyone loves 'em. And in New York City, you're not limited to KB Toys at the mall or Toys R' Us. You can find some toys here that you can't find in many places. Not even at the North pole.

The Store: Dinosaur Hill, 306 E. 9th St.

What You'll Find:
Wild Thing
"Where The Wild Things Are" Puppets, $27.50. This is one seriously cute monster.

Also look for: Handcrafted, old-fashioned wooden toys, kid's instruments like a miniature Calypso Steel Drum, and the adorable shaggy Razzy, the owner's schnoodle (not for sale).

The Store: Kidding Around, 60 W. 15th St.

What You'll Find:
Pottery Wheel
Pottery Wheel, $50.00. Because how else can your kid re-create the scene from Ghost?

Also look for: Shrinky Dinks, Creativity For Kids arts & crafts sets, the kid-ridable Yellow Jacket Plane.

The Store: Alphabets, 115 Ave. A

What You'll Find:
MyTunes MP3 Amp
MyTunes MP3 Amp, $40.00. Crank up your Coldplay/Joe Santorini collection way past 11.

Also look for: Gag gifts, funky t-shirts, Ugly Dolls, Slinky Dogs, wallets and watches, like the Android “Radar” Watch.

The Store: Boomerang Toys‎, 173 W Broadway

What You'll Find:
Elite Flyer
Elite Fleet Battery Powered Backyard Flyer Airplane, $18.00. For those not old enough to fly a real airplane.

Also look for: Classic brand name toys like a Thomas the Train Engine Wooden Train Set, animal puppets by Folkmani, and activity sets like Marvin's Magic Box Of Tricks.

The Store: FAO Schwarz, 767 5th Ave.

What You'll Find:
Make Your Own Muppet, $130. Amateur Jim Hensons, now's your chance to create the new Kermit.

Also look for: The home version of the Piano Dance Mat featured in the Tom Hanks movie, "Big," plus basically every toy you can imagine.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Monday Museum Gift Guide

There are lots of museums in New York, all with their own gift shop. And those are great places to find unique gifts not found anywhere else. Below are five that I've been to. There's a lot more where this came from, so get out this week and help the NYC economy by shopping until dropping.

The Store: MOMA Design Store, 81 Spring St.

What You'll Find:
Lumen Oil Lamp
Lumen Oil Lamp, $50.00. Start a forest fire, without all the damage!

Also look for: Muji products, like the Muji Jewelry Box With Mirror, and funky watches, like the Matthew Waldman-designed Zub 20 Zot Watch.

The Store: American Folk Art Museum Gift Shop, 45 W. 53rd St.

What You'll Find:
Board Piano
Handcrafted Board Piano, $38.00. Made in Pennsylvania, adapted from an ancient African folk instrument, its a finger-pickin' good time.

Also look for: A Cat Face Pillow, handsewn by Indian artisans, and an folk-artist-designed Compass Necklace.

The Store: Ukranian Museum Gift Shop, 222 E. 6th St

What You'll Find:
Ring Box
Inlaid Ring Box, $27.00. Because your mail-order Ukranian bride will need something to put her other husband's wedding ring in.

Also look for: Гаррі Поттер - повна серія книжок, which translates roughly to, a collection of 7 Harry Potter books, in the "original" Ukranian. Also Ukranian Dolls and Teddy Bears.

The Store: American Museum Of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St.

What You'll Find:

Space Navigator
Space Navigator, $75.00. Give them the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars with this electronic guide to the night sky.

Also look for: The gravity defying Cosmic Rocket, a Paint-Your-Own_Butterfly art kit, and the Chemc500 Chemistry set.

The Store: De La Vega, 102 St. Marks Pl.

What You'll Find:
De La Vega
Become Your Dream T-Shirt, $35.00. James De La Vega's St. Marks street shop isn't a museum, per se, but he's got plenty of graffiti-style, counter-culture art to buy.

Also look for: Prints, stickers and T-shirts from De La Vega's "Mother Series," in which he depicts his mother as Castro, John Lennon, and other figures.

Stay tuned, the city gift finder continues...

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