The Very Best of New York: Shop & Get Served
Best Manicure Worth Traveling For, Best Hotel for Pretending You’re on Vacation...
Best Place to Get Inked
Saved Tattoo 426 Union Ave, Brooklyn, savedtattoo.com. Celebs like Courtney Love, Marc Jacobs and the late Heath Ledger have all been inked with Saved, which specializes in Japanese style, tribal and new Americana. Rock on!
Best Sexy Stocking Stuffers
Babeland 94 Rivington St, babeland.com. Purveyor of many delightfully decadent pleasures, this toy store for grown-ups has an endless supply of pocket-sized, battery-operated goodies. Talk about one-stop shopping.
Best Vintage Wardrobe
The Family Jewels Vintage Clothing 130 W 23rd St, familyjewelsnyc.com. Whether your taste trends toward the Edwardian era or Atomic Age, this shop can stock your armoire with Victorian negligee, flapper frocks, New Look gowns, 1970s couture or Mad Menswear. Don’t forget the de rigueur accessories, like a Bakelite purse or Vera Neumann scarf.
Best Flea Market
Hells Kitchen Flea Market W 39th St between 9th and 10th Aves, hellskitchenfleamarket.com. There’s a good reason National Geographic chose this as one of the Top Ten Shopping Streets in the World, with hundreds of unique vendors and hagglers mingling with celebrities, tourists and artists in the gayborhood.
Best Store for Gay Wedding Gifts
Rainbows and Triangles 192 8th Ave, rainbowsandtriangles.com. You can find absolutely any gay-themed card, book, trinket, t-shirt, comedy CD, movie or adult gag at this store. Make it your first stop for all of your lesbachelorette bash or gay Christmas party needs.
Best Place to Catch Up on the Latest Lesbian Lit
Bluestockings 172 Allen St, bluestockings.com. This cool bookstore-slash-café in the Lower East Side gets brownie points for its vegan nosh and Fair Trade coffee, in addition to its 6,000-book inventory. At night it hosts readings, workshops, performances and films on queer topics, a magnet for girls in glasses.
Best Boy Buzz
West Village Barber Shop 131 Christopher St, 212-243-3686 (no website). Don’t let the three-chair chop shop’s modest décor dissuade you. Here, you can get an all-scissor cut for the price of a scotch on the rocks.
Best Shoe Store
Shoe Market 218 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, shoemarketnyc.com. They make orthopedics sexy! With old-school Euro comfort brands like Worishofer, Clarks and Tretorn, and newer trends like Swedish Hasbeens and Jeffrey Campbell, Shoemarket keeps your toes and your ego happy.
Best Kitchen Supply
Whisk 231 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, whisknyc .com. For the home chef with pro taste, Whisk is the perfect kitchenware shop. The displays are easy on the eyes, and whether you’re in for a seriously badass knife set or a pretty handmade apron, they’ve got what you need.
Best Department Store for a Power Suit
Macy’s 151 W 34th St, macys.com. Head straight to Floor 7 for a vast selection of women’s suits in all forms, from menswear-styled to garden party-feminine to full-on Bette Porter. Macy’s reasonable prices and enormous range of brands guarantee that you’ll find shopping success.
Best Manicure Worth Traveling For
Blossom in Astoria 22-04 31st St, Queens, blossominastoria.com. Plunk down your $2.50, ‘cause the budget-friendly nail treatments are worth the trip on the N or Q to Astoria. Try the winter manicure special: softening warm paraffin treatment, manicure and 10-minute massage for just $20.
Best Zen Experience
Himalayan Salt, Sea and Chakra Therapy The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, 80 Columbus Circle, mandarinoriental.com. This three-hour indulgence releases toxins through gentle touch and warming of the skin; ancient breathing rhythms intensify the cleanse. A Tibetan salt-scrub massage, facial and Chakra realignment conclude the treatment, leaving you in a puddle of total relaxation.
Best Hotel for Pretending You’re on Vacation
The Plaza Hotel Fifth Ave at Central Park South, fairmont.com/theplaza. Imagine stepping back in time to the Gilded Age, where tycoons entertained in French chateau-inspired mansions on Fifth Avenue. You won’t be far from the mark at the Plaza. Your weekend in Paris is just a cab ride away.
Best All-Around Health Clinic
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center 356 W 18th St, callen-lorde.org. From dentistry to gynecology to HIV care, Callen-Lorde keeps our LGBT community healthier and stronger in innumerable ways. This clinic should be in every LGBT New Yorker’s rolodex.
Best Place to Shop (if You Have a Car)
Fairway 480 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, fairwaymarket.com/store-red-hook. Like no other grocery shopping experience you’ve ever had, Fairway is a maze of fresh produce, specialty foods and kitchen staples. Halfway through the store, you can park your cart and take a break on the back patio that overlooks the harbor and the Statue of Liberty. When you finish, you’ll need a U-Haul to lug all the goods home.
Best Olive Bar
Sahadi 187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, sahadis.com. Fight the urge to nibble your way through this Lebanese specialty market and focus on the immense bar stocked with dozens of types of olives, from glossy kalamatas to the piquant Nicoise and gaeta varieties. Try the Moroccan mix spiked with chili and cinnamon.
Best Boi Clothes
Marimacho 463 Lincoln Place #101, Brooklyn, marimachobk.com. Marimacho’s vintage-y fashion line focuses on menswear-inspired garb properly tailored for butch, queer, trans and masculine-identified women. The clothes have the sophistication of the early 20th century dress, but with a fresh focus on female fit.
Best Estate Gems
Pippin Vintage 112 W 17th St, pippinvintage .com. This petite Chelsea shop is a goodie bag for fashionistas out to find one-of-a-kind jewels at eBay prices. Collections are marked by decade, making it easy to match your ‘80s sweater with a pair of doorknocker earrings.
Best Place to Trade in Last Season’s Look
Buffalo Exchange 504 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn; 332 E 11th St and 114 W 26th St, buffaloexchange .com. It’s like hunting for treasure, minus the map! This resale shop boasts an eclectic collection of trendy and vintage clothes with reasonable prices. They only take the best trade-ins—and if you’re lucky, you can walk out with a brand new outfit for about $30.
Best Flavored Chocolate
Vosges Haut Chocolate 132 Spring St, vosgeschocolate.com. Why settle for simply milk or dark when you can gorge on Vosges’ toothsome choco-combos, blending sweet cocoa with ginger, wasabi, Indian curry or fiery chipotle chilies? Don’t miss the ever-popular chocolate and bacon bars.
Best Place to Park Your Motorcycle
Motorgrrl 117 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, motorgrrl.com. This Williamsburg bike shop has all the services you’ll need for your hog. The grrls store ‘em, sell ‘em, fix ‘em and detail ‘em. And if you’re sick of parking your bike on the street all winter, call Motorgrrl and put your ride to rest.
Best Leather Pieces
Stella Zotis stellazotis.wordpress.com. Try to find one thing that is not sexy about a girl in leather. You might remember Stella from her run on Project Runway Season 5 when we couldn’t help but drool at her punk rock designs; since then she’s designed custom gear for Debbie Harry and other legends.
Best Holiday Pop-Up Store
Grand Central Holiday Fair 87 E 42nd St, grandcentralterminal.com. Around the holidays, a slew of seasonal stores pop up all over the city shilling the finest snow globes, wreaths and Christmas sweaters. But not all are as fabulous as the shop in Grand Central. Pick up New York-y gifts like a sterling silver Christmas bell etched with the Statue of Liberty.
Best Wine Cave
Crush Wine & Spirits 153 E 57th St, crushwineco.com. This is not just a wine store—it’s an experience. Sip on a flight from its massive inventory in the shop’s curvilinear tasting room, or drop in on cocktail hour every Friday for free nips of the latest spirits. We suggest you head over here for personal recommendations on a sexy vintage.
Best Outdoor Outfitter
REI 303 Lafayette St, rei.com. We’re stoked that the first NYC outlet for REI’s comprehensive collection of outdoor gear opened this month in the historical Puck Building. Aside from 39,000 square feet of sports necessities, the SoHo store operates a full-service bike shop and holds clinics on topics as varied as snowshoeing, backcountry climbing and avalanche awareness.
Judith Ripka Boutique 673 Madison Ave, judithripka.com. Oprah’s favorite jewelry designer mixes classic style and cuts, combining elegance with wearability. Her affordable pieces—like a statement blue quartz ring—are just as dazzling as the big ticket bling, like a $10,000 pave diamond ring set in 18k gold.
FAO Schwartz 767 Fifth Ave, fao.com. Who didn’t dream, as a young’ un, of tiptoeing down the stairs on Christmas morning to find one of those oversized stuffed animals sitting beside the tree? Or fantasize about being locked in FAO Schwartz for a night and sliding across the giant piano? This toy store is every kid’s dream house.
Best Holiday Travel Sanity Saver
Altman Luggage 135 Orchard St, altmanluggage.com. This Lower East Side retailer carries dozens of tried-and-true luggage brands to help you take the terror out of travel. Just remember, no one likes a woman who comes with too much baggage, unless it’s designer!
Chelsea Market 75 9th Ave, chelseamarket.com. This classic indoor marketplace forgoes the Aeropostales and Foot Lockers in favor of an eclectic collection of restaurants and epicurean shops like Ronnybrook Dairy, Amy’s Bread and Jacques Torres Chocolates. The former National Biscuit Company bakery also houses the Food Network and Oxygen studios, NY1 and Google.
Rabbit Movers rabbitmovers.com. What, ‘U’ thought we’d go with someone else? Rabbit Movers blends three traits—honesty, patience and brute strength—rarely found in moving companies. And let’s not kid ourselves here; lesbians know better than most the value of a quick, reliable and compassionate mover. We’ve got these guys on speed dial.
Best One-Stop Chop Shop
Arrojo Studio 180 Varick St, arrojostudio.com. Don’t let the impossibly put-together salonistas intimidate you. SoHo’s Arrojo Studio’s enormous, modern complex is fully dedicated to your tresses, from the first brush of color to trim to blowout. Plus, there’s an on-site espresso bar to perk you up after a relaxing shampoo.
Best Pup Boutique
Walter’s Pet Styles 201-C E 33rd St, walterspetstyles.com. Take one look at Walter’s coiffed canine clients on Facebook (especially the excellent photos by Marshall Boprey), and you’ll see why dog moms swear by Walter’s deft grooming. This friendly shop also offers cage-free boarding, a boutique and play groups (even birthday parties!) for your precious pup.