holiday shop the old-fashioned way

Maybe the really old-fashioned way to give material love during the holidays was to make something special for your nearest and dearest. But if you don’t have the time to get crafty, walk or bike to the small, local businesses in your neighborhood. Keep your hard-earned dough in your community. It’s good for the local economy, and you may just meet some great people along the way.

Here are some of the stores in or near my neighborhood with unique goods and friendly faces.

Cog & Pearl

190 Fifth Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 623-8200

I’m always inspired by the selection at this cute little shop on 5th Ave in Park Slope. Beautiful locally made jewelry, soft & cozy screenprinted tees, and a slew of upcycled goodies. Some of the sustainable merch they’ve got:

Eko-logic upcycled mittens
the cool thing about these is that you can peak your fingers out the top, or tuck them under a cozy flap inside

Picture 1

Preloved upcycled sweaters


Book Journals
(super cute, made from old school books)


Remake It Home


Bob & Judi’s Coolectibles

217 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215-1256
(718) 638-5770

You can’t go wrong with a sweet vintage find and this quaint little shop is chock full of interesting goodies. I especially love the vintage Christmas cards and decorations, including vintage glass ornaments that remind me of my grandmother. Here are some other things I spied there…

Vintage Xmas cards


Vintage decor


Lots of vintage & antique finds


Also… Though it’s about half the size of Bob & Judi’s, just down 5th Ave is a similar selection of vintage baubles at Under the Pig.

Unnameable Books

456 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 789-1534

Recently relocated from Bergen Street on the other side of Flatbush, this book nook is full of carefully curated new & used books, including a few kids selections. The staff is friendly and helpful, and they’re always playing great college-radio-like music. Here’s a title that caught my eye:

Fat of the Land – Adventures of a 21st Century Forager


Green in BKLYN

432 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205


Elissa Olin, owner of this great green shop in Fort Greene is sweet as can be. So is her adorable Basenji-mix, Lola (wish I would’ve snapped a pic of her!). If you’re looking for an organic baby gift, housewares, or personal care, she’s got it all. Right now, Elissa’s running a special end-of-2009 promotion – spend $20.09 in the store and you’ll be entered to win a green gift basket (value $200.90). A few green standouts:

Aminals organic stuffies


Stuff for your furry friends


(the felted ones double as a washcloth; skinny-skinny soaps are made in Brooklyn)


Root Stock & Quade

297 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 788-8355

I’d love to just sit in this shop all day long and stare at all of the dreamy greenery.  Now that we’re all spending some more time indoors due to the frigid weather, the shop is full of terrific houseplants, including low-maintenance snake plants (also good for filtering polluted air). But this Fort Greene plant shop also specializes in garden design. They’ve also got festive mistletoe – but take care – be sure to pick & discard the poisonous berries if you have kids and/or pets roaming your home.


I brought home some mistletoe (mwa!)


And here’s a fave o’ mine on the other side of the river…


83 Orchard Street
NY NY 10002


I have to give props to my girl, Kate, owner of this super eco clothing shop. She’s got an eye for gorgeously designed, sustainable & fair trade clothing & accessories. Plus, many brands are Brooklyn, NYC, and/or USA made. Kate will help you pick out something special for most everyone on your list, like one of these beauties:.


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