Buy, Buy, Buy
It’s beginning to look a lot like stress-mas. The Palisades is packed and Macy’s is mobbed, so what’s a holiday shopper to do?
Head to the markets.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Open through January 2, more than 150 boutique-like shops and eats surround their popular (and free) outdoor rink. Fun find: Vinyl, featuring jewelry, iPhone cases, clocks, ornaments, and more made out of reclaimed vinyl records. And make sure to stop by Baked Cheese Haus, where they heat half wheels of Alpine cheese under traditional Raclette warmers, and scrape the melted cheese onto potatoes, toasted baguette, and hot dogs.
Grand Holiday Bazaar
Sunday, December 18
More than 100 local artists, designers, and antique/vintage dealers sell one-of-a-kind or limited edition goods ranging from art and photography, antique watches, vintage collectibles, handmade jewelry and furniture, to delicious artisanal foods. Plus, these are gifts that give back. Grand Bazaar NYC donates 100% of its net revenue to four neighborhood public schools, benefiting more than 4,000 children, while building and supporting a vibrant community of talented artists, designers, artisans, and entrepreneurs.
Union Square Holiday Market
Open through December 24, this market is one of the most popular around. With more than 150 merchants featuring pretty much everything (Tibetan crafts to crack pie), this market is equal parts amazing and a maze, so check out this handy dandy map to see where you’re headed. Bang-for-your-buck find: $20 City Shuffle Diner’s Deck, gives you a deck of 52 $10 gift certificate or coupon cards redeemable at the destination (food or drink) it describes. That’s $500 in savings.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Forget the expensive shops at Columbus Circle Center! Right across the street in one of the most stunning locations in NYC, you’ll find this market where you can pick up hanging poetry, handmade wooden puzzles, and more through December 24. Check out BarkShop, from the makers of BarkBox, our favorite curated subscription box for your favorite pup.
Chelsea Market’s Holiday ID Pop Shop and Jingle Holiday Market
On December 13–18, step inside the Jingle Holiday Market for an eclectic mix of products from stocking stuffers to funky treasures that have a particularly “New York” sensibility by 19 US-based shops. On December 19–26, shop the best of holiday/winter fashion with independent designers at the ID Pop Shop featuring clothing, jewelry, accessories, and more from more than 20 independent designers. Plus, Chelsea Market has dozens of finds on a regular day, including Artists & Fleas, a daily market that brings 30+ independent makers and collectors into one room for lots of shopping, and food favorites like Fat Witch Bakery, Doughnuttery, and Eleni’s New York for family members with a sweet tooth.
Grand Central Holiday Fair
One of the finest, longest-running indoor holiday fairs is back and filling up Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall with 40 vendors through December 24. A convenient stop if you’re waiting to catch a train to Pleasantville!
Hester Street Fair Holiday Market
The Hester Street Fair Holiday Market is now at the South Street Seaport, bring 30 of the market's most cherished gift and food vendors to you through December 24. In addition to curated and handmade gifts, there’s a roster of artisanal food vendors fueling holiday cheer. Food find: Pick up a peanut butter pit bull from Rescue Chocolate, the first and only artisan chocolate company which dedicates all profits to animal rescue. Can we get a (p)awwwww?
If you’re going to flea, it should be to Brooklyn. With 100 vendors (both food and shopping) on Saturdays and Sundays through March, you can do some pre- and post-holiday shopping indoors. The flea is back at its Williamsburg Savings Bank Clocktower location, conveniently located above the Atlantic Terminal. Pick up an old film camera or a ramen burger. The choice is up to you.
Pleasantville Farmers Market
This little Pace Setter went to the market and found more than 50 vendors selling everything from alpaca shawls to gourmet peanut butter. Indoor market open through March 25.
So maybe you can’t spent $750 on a sweater for mom. That shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the extravagant holiday window displays at some of the city’s biggest department stores like Saks, Barneys, Bergdorf, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales, and Macy’s without spending a cent. Each year, they get bigger, better, and more out of this world—Macy’s 2014 windows send Santa on a sleigh spaceship through the galaxy back to Earth to deliver a kid’s Christmas wish. Start at Macy’s and head up Fifth Ave to see the shops along the way with this NYC Holiday Windows Walking Tour Map.
Additional markets and fleas include:
- >> Grand Holiday Bazaar: December 17
- >> Astoria Market through December 18
- >> Westchester’s Winter Wonderland through January 4
Pay It Forward Shopping
You’re familiar with Toms and Warby Parker, popular names in the buy one, give one world. Here are a few others:
Love Your Melon: A gorgeous winter hat for you and one for a child battling cancer. So far 85,000 beanies have been donated and $1.5 million raised.
The Giving Keys: employs those transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles to make jewelry out of repurposed keys with inspiring words that get sold and shared around the world.
Bombas: Socks are a great stocking stuffer, especially when one pair purchased provides a pair for the homeless and at-risk. So far 1.6 million socks have been donated.
Yoobi: You may have seen some of Yoobi’s I am OTHER school supply collection presented by Pharrell Williams at Target. This company has a huge impact, donating enough school supplies to impact the lives of more than two million kids. For each item you buy at Yoobi, one will be donated to a classroom in need.
Sevenly: Buy a super trendy t-shirt and Sevenly gives 7% of every item to a cause. These monthly, weekly, and even daily campaigns support causes such as autism, environment, veterans, animals, and much more. So far, $4.5 million has been donated to different organizations.
ONEHOPE Wine: Each bottle of wine supports causes near and dear to our hearts. Some bottles provide 15 meals to children in need, while others support a clinical trial for a woman with cancer. So far, ONEHOPE has provided $2 million in donations, more than 2,600 clinical trials for cancer patients, 13,000 forever homes for shelter animals, 1.1 million meals for children, and much more.
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Daniella Pajonas ’19 is the co-founder and current co-president of the Queer Society, a queerleader for the LGBTQA and Social Justice Center, and an RA on the NYC Campus. With all that experience, she has plenty of advice for her fellow Setters!