Holiday Shopping on the Upper West Side: One Woman’s Experience

MILo and I are both from Chicago, so we usually spend Christmas there.  I do a lot of my shopping online, but I still need to get things locally for the kids, MILo, and other random people. Being exceptionally time-crunched (and lazy), I always hit the UWS first, then branch out to scarier places. Like Fifth Avenue.

So I’ve been venturing out this week and would love to share some experiences with you.

Rag & Bone (182 Columbus, b/w 68th and 69th): If you need something tweedy, cozy, or very cool hit this shop. They carry  clothes for both men and women. David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, the designers of Rag & Bone, won the CFDA award this year for menswear. It’s amazing. And for the girls? Footwear (chunky boots), jackets, and sweaters. Yum.

Patagonia (426 Columbus b/w 80th and 81st):  I have to admit, it hurts my eyes a little bit to look at all the brightly colored nylon and fleece here. But certain people I know like functional clothing, so in I went. I can’t reveal what I got, but I can say this. DO NOT ask them for a gift box. They will look at you like you just chopped down 5 trees. Gift packaging is NOT GREEN. I slunk right out of there, clutching my non-reusable Starbucks cup.

Greenstones (454 Columbus b/w 81st and 82nd): As you know, I have two boys. Which is sort of a tiny slap in the face for a shopper like me. Boys’ clothes are boring. And often offensive. Why do they always have to be sports-themed? Anyway, I luckily have a niece and a new “cousin” to buy pink frocks for.  My niece loves anything dramatic and with a lot of embellishment. If she were 25 she would love Balmain and Chanel. For now she will have to settle for this: Yes, dear readers, I bought it.

Essentials (Broadway at 81st): While the toy prices here are frankly rather outrageous, they have a really good selection. Seven will be receiving Boggle and some small K’nex sets in his stocking, direct from the grubby toy department at Essentials. Don’t tell him, please.

Intermix (210 Columbus b/w 69th and 70th): Yes, sometimes one must buy oneself a gift while shopping for others. This one happened to be black and furry and courtesy of Adrienne Landau. At a very good price. That’s all I’m saying.

Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store Pop-Up (2408 Broadway, nr. 88th St): Annie’s has come to Brooklyn-ize our neighborhood for a few weeks with an adorable pop-up store on Broadway. It will be there until December 24, so definitely take a peek. Lots of cheeky New York tchotchkes (loved the Upper West Side poster, below), cute toys, and generally funky useless things that make great gifts.

There are obviously many, many other great stores here in which to shop. These just happen to be the ones I patronized this year. Happy shopping!

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