What's Hot in New York City: 2011

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In every big city there are fascinating places to visit that only the locals usually know about. This guide presents some of the top stores to visit in New York city to find thoughtful gifts of unique aesthetics and quality.

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Satya Jewelry
West Village, 330 Bleecker St. at Christopher St. | 212.243.7313
Average Item Price: $500
What is fascinating about this store is the combination of a large jewelry collection and the extraordinary taste and quality that is prevalent in each piece. The collection combines semi-precious gemstones, with sterling and gold. Stones are chosen for their healing properties such as garnet (grounding and inner strength), sapphire (fulfills dreams and desires) and tourmaline (inspiration). Each piece of jewelry is tagged so that the wearer will know the healing property of the stone and the meaning of the pendant. Satya Jewelry is available online and in hundreds of stores across the US and internationally. Visiting their location on Bleecker Street will make for a pleasant walk.

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Ralph Lauren Women’s Store
383 Bleecker Street New York, NY
Average Item Price: $500
The clothing collection in this store is breathtaking; this might very well be the best women’s clothing store in New York City. It is so complete that makes for a one stop shop. The quality of the clothes is top notch. One can find here from meshed, glamorous cardigans, purses, jackets, beach dresses, to sunglasses and earrings with great attention to detail. All items have an element that adds a bit of an edge without going overboard. At the time of the writing light creams, beiges, and aquamarines are the prevalent colors in the collection; incredibly appealing shades for the upcoming Spring/Summer. The visual merchandisers have done a great job balancing the colors of the accessories on the manikins with the rest of the outfits allowing customers to easily pick an entire set and skip the mix and match ordeal. Note that this store will move to SOHO on May 8 2011 in which place they will also be serving ice cream! It is worth noting that the Ralph Lauren collection in this store cannot be found online or in their traditional stores or retailers.

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Antonio Verdi
Average Item Price: $225
Antonio Verdi introduced in 2011 a new concept in luxury romantic gift giving called COSIMO (pronounced KAW-zee-maw), an elegant, handmade, wooden artifact used to deliver a message. Simply said, this is an alternative to jewelry gifts, it is a romantic poem delivered in a unique, medieval inspired, timeless artifact. Hours of detailed hand work and a unique flame treatment technique make the COSIMO a unique keepsake capturing both the transience of life and the enduring strength of true love. This artifact is infused with intricate elements of Celtic art elevating it to one of the most unique romantic gifts that can reignite passion and strengthen the bonds of love. This is a New York based firm that will soon announce physical locations where the COSIMO can be purchased. On the Antonio Verdi website one will also find a personalization feature placing this artifact at the top of our personalized gifts list.

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James Perse
361 Bleecker street, New York, NY
Average Item Price: $500
James Perse is a clothing designer, but clothing is not what we recommend you visit this store for. Instead, one will find in the back of the store, a unique collection for sale of rare books that inspired the designer. James has a passion for minimalist architecture and music and in this store one will find gems like Jimmy Page's limited edition photo book ($750) which had sold out its pre-sale inventory. The first run was limited to 2,500 copies by Genesis Publications. Each book is leather-bound and wrapped in silk. Page also signed and numbered each of the copies personally. The limited edition 2 Volume Boxed set Woodstock Experience is also available here published by Genesis Publications: a visual time line on the path to the political and cultural explosion of Woodstock. Produced in association with Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang, the set is limited to 1,000 numbered and signed copies. A rare collection of coffee table books on architecture (Minimal Living – beta plus publications), dogs (Dogs – Tim Flach), and other topics is also available.

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Le Chateau
704 Broadway (between 4th St & Washington Pl)
Average Item Price: $100
Le Chateau is a retailer offering contemporary fashion apparel, accessories, and footwear with locations in Canada, United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Walking in a Le Chateau store you will come across an abundance of stylish women’s clothing and accessories. There is European finesse in their collection paired with great low price. What makes this a man’s gift heaven is the multitude of clothing/accessory themes hanging on the walls, ready to be picked and packed. It is the “sound” of efficiency that will ring in the ears of a man with a mission to “gift.” Do not forget to walk all the way to the back of the store for some insane sales. They traditionally store there the previous season’s collection.

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Matt Umanov Guitars
273 Bleecker Street, New York, NY | 212.675.2157
Average Item Price: basic models start at $400
If you are buying a gift for a musician, specifically if you are buying a guitar, it is a must stop to enter the fantastic world of Matt Umanov guitars. Unlike the "supermarket" style music stores, they specialize in guitars and only guitars...new and used, acoustic and electric, basses, amps, effects, and accessories. This store has been standing in the heart of the Village since the 60s. Over the years, Matt has become one of the world’s leading experts on guitars, which is often expressed in his passion of putting the right instrument in his customer’s hands.

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