We’re suckers for rooting for the little guy, even if, in this case, the little guy is a ubiquitous chain David taking on an even more suffocatingly ubiquitous Goliath. Local, mostly beloved, sometimes begrudged, 40-year-old drug store Duane Reade overtook Walmart in the number of Twitter followers on Monday, 321,009 to 312,026. What does this mean!?! Probably nothing much, other than it’s a nice stick in the eye to the hyperglobalmega retailer, which still continues to be thwarted in its efforts to get a gun-peddling toe in any of the five boroughs. The company can take some pride in this, as Walmart has thousands of stores nation-wide, while Duane Reade has fewer than 300 stores in just the NYC area. But the news also gives us a lesson for companies that we can call How Not to Suck At Social Media. (more…)
This is going to sound like the first world-iest of first world problems, but it is a real thing that has been on my mind when doing shopping, and something that would fall under the purview of the Broke Ethicist, if we had one. I was shopping in a thrift store in Atlanta recently (in which the relatively minimal prices mark the only place where Atlanta trumps Brooklyn), minding my own business and going through the sort of slash-and-burn, try-on-and-discard method that I have fine tuned over a decade of thrift shopping mastery.
This is partly due to my desire to be left alone in my shopping bubble, because I know what I like and I like what I want, and no one else, not salesperson nor family member nor Thrillist listing, has ever been able to accurate predict it. I decided on a ringer tee from Stone Mountain, chosen not only for its dirty retro 80s summer-camp aesthetic, but also for as a souvenir from the town in which both my friend I was staying with worked and from where Kenneth Parcell came. When I got to the register, the cashier asked, “Was anyone helping you today?” The real answer was “no,” but I looked around at the cute girl who smiled at me before and pointed, “her there, with the bangs.” As such, bangs girl got some commission from the sale. But she didn’t really help me at all. Was I ethically wrong to do this? (more…)
If you didn’t do any Christmas shopping this year because you were waiting for the end of world, well, we have bad news for you: we’re all still alive. And yet, we’re here to help you make your own Christmas miracle, by rounding up our picks of the 25 best local gifts to get and putting them in one place. We’ve got hand-painted baseball cards, magic rocks that regulate your whiskey temperature, skull bike lights and vegan treats. There’s something for everyone, up to and including those of you who have made the mistake of being Nets fans. So Merry Christmas one and all, even you, Emma Koenig. (more…)
If you’ve got a friend who moved here and instantly fell in love with New York (and why shouldn’t they, really?) give them an opportunity to tell people how much they love it without using words. And this isn’t from some fly-by-night operation looking to take advantage of NY puppy love: Brooklyn Charm, the folks behind this necklace have been profiled in this very space, and are going strong with their own Williamsburg storefront where they make plenty of brokester-friendly jewelry pieces. They sell other state charms, but come on, why would you even want one repping another state? You live in New York now, and therefore don’t have time for places like “Ohio” or “Kansas.” New York state love charm, $16, available here or 145 Bedford Avenue
If you’ve been procrastinating on your holiday shopping, don’t you worry, we’re here for you. While most of Brooklyn’s wonderful craft markets have packed up, to hibernate until next year, there’ still a few that can provide you with all the hand-made, locally sourced holiday cheer that you can handle. All markets open Saturday and Sunday unless otherwise noted.
What’s the worst part about a glass of whiskey? Well, OK, yeah, finishing it and not having any whiskey left in it. But the second worst part? Having it on the rocks and first having the ice make it too cold, and then racing against the clock to finish it before the ice melts and dilutes it. It’s like, have a little human kindness, frozen water, we’re trying to enjoy our drink here. But with these nifty soapstone cubes from Uncommon Goods, water leaking into your precious, precious booze will be a concern of the past. And don’t worry, despite it’s name “soapstone” has nothing to do with the hygienic product, it’s just called that because it’s so easy to carve. Into say, ice cube substitutes for whiskey. Just store these guys in your freezer and take them out whenever you need them to get your whiskey down to the perfect drinking temperature. Which is apparently 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The more you know. Whiskey stones, $19.50 for a set of six, available from Uncommon Goods
It’s not in our gift guide because at $35 it’s a bit on the expensive side, but if you’re looking for the perfect gift to bait your Knicks fan friend with an anger problem, here it is. At least if they like basketball anyway, and are taking sides in the coming war between Knicks and Nets fans. Well OK, yeah, you can also buy it for someone who actually likes the Nets we suppose. (more…)
Once I heard a story about a girl who got pinned down by a big cat who fell asleep on her tent. So cute, right? Like a kitty purring at the foot of your bed only 10-100 times bigger and more dangerous. This big cat calendar is a good pick for friends who would love to spend the night with a wild animal, every night of the year. Each of these drawings depicts a different fuzz face with an attitude. You’ve got proud lions, pouty looking cougars, alert ocelots, and sultry looking clouded leopards. Hand drawn in B-town by Jacqueline Schmidt of Screech Owl Design. Each purchase sends a few bucks to Panthera.org, which supports the survival of big cats. Big Cats calendar 2013, available at Spoonbill and Sugartown (218 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg) for $22, Screech Owl Design for $24
You’re in a real pickle. You’re feeling the holiday gift-giving pressure because you only have a few days left to buy for your boyfriend’s aunt, mother, and step brother-in-law. What do you do, hotshot? What do you do? Chill out Keanu Reeves.(Where does a name like that come from, anyway? Japan?) Fab.com is having a pickle sale! If you’re a connoisseur of Brooklyn’s artisanal pickles, then you know McClure’s products are just bawse. They’re spicy, briney, and were the pioneers of the homemade pickle industry, back when consumers only had Vlassic and Claussen to choose from. Can you imagine?! This gift set includes three jars–garlic dill spears, spicy spears and Bloody Mary mix. McClure’s products retail for about $10 per jar, or more, at Whole Foods, so $22 for all three is quite the deal. $22 for trio at Fab.com.
Do you have family or friends who still make a weird face at you and ask what you could possibly eat when you tell them you’re vegan? There are a couple ways to deal with that. One is to roll your eyes and just leave it alone. But where’s the fun in that? The much more fun way to deal with that is to buy a Super Foxy vegan sweets sampler and replace or remove the labeling so your gift recipient doesn’t know that the candy they’re eating is free of animal products. It’s not like they’ll know until you tell them, because the truffles, fudge, caramels and cookie dough taste like, well, truffles, fudge, caramels and cookie dough. This stuff is seriously delicious, and everyone loves candy. Plus whoever you give it to can then take parts of it and give it as gifts themselves. And yes, this also makes a great gift for people who are already vegan, but then, you must not have been raised to consider gift giving to be an endless series of undermining and one-uppery. Weirdo. Super Foxy Sweets vegan candy sampler, $25, available online here or many Brooklyn locations
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