Even though more and more chain stores seem to be popping up throughout the city, the Upper West Side’s streets still abound with small businesses and family-owned boutiques. It’s always been part of what makes this neighborhood so irresistibly charming. From rare international products to locally made items, you’ll find a special gift at one of the following unique gift shops. Finding an original present for others or for yourself has never been this easy before.
Stationery Toy World
This independent neighborhood store has been brightening the lives of many children living on the Upper West Side for more than 30 years. Stationery Toy World is a father and daughter operated business that has a great selection of art supplies and toys. Amongst the store’s isles, you’ll find pens, paper, tinker toys, baby toys, Legos, glitter paint, glowing stars, rainbow laces, sparkling marker, sand pails, craft supplies, drawing pads, notebooks, and even sleds for the winter season. The staff is always ready to help customers find something unique and it’s the place to go when planning for a kid’s birthday party (they’ve got bottle bags!). The hard to find toys available here and the amazing variety of items have turned Toy World into a neighborhood fixture.
Stoopher & Boots
Stoopher & Boots opened in 2010 and has since attracted quite a following in the neighborhood. The local boutique sells creative and original children’s clothing as well as accessories and jewelry for adults. Owner Stephanie Goldstein adds to the store’s already intimate feel by greeting children and their parents by their names. This is a great place to find items made by local artists and that can’t be found anywhere else. It’s impossible to leave Stoopher & Boots without having purchased something for the little one in your family or for yourself!
What separates Magpie from many other shops of it’s kind is that it prides itself on offering items that are exclusively made in the USA. This is a store that’s designed towards those who are environmentally minded and who’d like to see the Earth’s resources being used at a sustainable rate. Some of the products you’ll find while browsing around Magpie are bath & body accessories, food, home decor items, jewelry, and even a section for the gentlemen. Their products are mostly made in the NYC area and either constructed from recycled materials or crafted by fair trade cooperatives. Magpie has a lovely atmosphere and is the perfect place to find a thoughtful and high-quality gift whether it is an artisanal jam made in Brooklyn or a silk bracelet crocheted by women in Turkey.
West Side Judaica
West Side Judaica has been a part of the Upper West Side for more than 80 years making it one of the neighborhood’s more emblematic stores. Judaicas have been closing down in Manhattan throughout the years and the one on the West Side is the last one of it’s kind left standing. Customers can find a great selection of books, CD’s, DVD’s, memorabilia, yarmulke, bar mitzvah cards, cookbooks, and other rare items. Some of them coming straight from Israel. More than just a shop, the West Side Judaica offers a complete cultural experience and is welcoming to those that are practicing or of some other faith. The friendly and knowledgable staff is Orthodox and is always ready to help find a unique gift for any occasion.
The Museum Shop @ American Museum of Natural History
We often times forget that many of Manhattan’s world class museums house world class gift shops. The American Museum of Natural History’s gift shop is replete with magnificent finds that will leave kids and adults with a wide smile on their face. In this three-floor shopping experience, museum goers and West Siders can find a fine gifts gallery, puzzles, board games, science kits, gems, minerals, dinosaur-themed merchandise, fossil replicas, and lots and lots of stuffed animals. The gift shop recently collaborated with Etsy designers to create a unique line of original items. You’re bound to find something wild at this gift shop for your kid or for your inner kid!