Congratulate and celebrate the grad in your life with a gift from one of these only-in-New York specialty stores. By Jessica Allen.
Local jewelry maven Samantha Levine’s Auburn Jewelry offers original, distinctive pieces of art crafted in sterling silver, and 14k gold. Her “Elle by Auburn” collection melds colored enamel with classic sterling silver designs. The initialized, custom pendants and earrings come in 12 different colors making them accessible and stylish. For the fellas, Auburn also offers cufflinks and keychains.
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Send your grad off to his or her first job looking spiffy as can be, carrying a briefcase from this Manhattan institution. Or perhaps a wallet or belt is more your grad’s speed, or a backpack, or a weekend bag. Everything at Village Tannery, from the just-scuffed-enough, oaky brown “doctor bag” to the fashionably slumped, bright green “Askim” purse, is carefully, lovingly crafted by hand at the Great Jones Street studio. Long after your grad has switched jobs and maybe careers, he or she will still have the bag you bought here.
Terrariums make excellent presents: they greenify any space, they don’t require any maintenance, and, if they come from Twig Terrariums, they’re often very amusing. Take, for example, the “Zombie-arium” (pictured), which features a tiny, blood-splattered zombie hanging out in a graveyard, encased in a laboratory flask. “Boobies!” has a wee woman flashing anyone who cares to look. There are more traditional terrariums too, as well as gardening accessories, DIY kits, and classes/workshops.
No doubt you’ve heard of farm-to-table. Well, Village Fishmonger is “boat-to-table.” Give your grad the gift of fresh fish, in the form of a 12-week subscription or a gift certificate. As a community-supported fishery (CSF), Village Fishmonger works with anglers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to ensure a steady supply of fish, caught sustainably and processed humanely. In addition to the catch of the day, you can often tack on a la carte options, including lobster, clams, and oysters.
Toy Tokyo sources its toys straight from Japan, Hong Kong, and various other countries in Asia and Europe, so you know the merchandise here is cool with a capital C. The collectibles currently on offer include plush dolls of Studio Ghibli characters, as well as figurines by Tamashii Nations, KAWS (pictured), and bags from Burning the Register and Sprayground. If these names mean nothing to you, you might see about getting a gift card.
Subtly remind the grad in your life that school is always in session with a book or five from this store in Williamsburg. Started by four people who once sold their stock on the streets of New York, Book Thug Nation stocks tons of gently used titles in several genres and subjects, from sci-fi to poetry to drama to erotica to mystery/noir, graphic novels, and literary fiction. We particularly like their collection of pulps.