Well, it has been quite a year in Gotham, dear reader. And yet, we’re still standing strong. And we still feel the same giddy and passionate love for New York City that we did the very first time we ever visited. Maybe even more. If someone on your list really loves NYC, as New Yorkers ourselves we’ve curated a holiday luxury gift shop filled with insider ideas on the best gifts from New York City right now.
what are the best luxury gifts for those who love new york city?
F. Scott Fitzgerald characterized the sight of the New York City skyline as offering the “wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.” How do you give a gift that captures that electric feeling?
We all know that there’s no one New York City – there are hundreds, maybe thousands of them – depending on where you live, what you do for a living and what passions drive you. So for this holiday luxury gift shop, we’re sharing ideas based on 10 different segments of New York City life. One of them is sure to be a perfect match for your gift recipient’s dreams of the city.
Literary New York
1. Metropolitan Stories by Christin Coulson.
Metropolitan Stories is a wonderful novel about what happens inside after the Metropolitan Museum closes for the night. From a writer who worked at the Met for more than twenty-five years, it’s a very special view of a beloved New York City cultural institution.
2. A Booklover’s Guide to New York by Cleo Le-Tan.
A Booklover’s Guide to New York is an illustrated guide to New York City tailored for the book-obsessed explorer showcasing the city’s best bookshops; libraries; homes and haunts of world-famous writers; and scenes from literary classics with charming drawings by the famed New Yorker cover artist Pierre Le-Tan.
3. New York Public Library T-Shirt.
The marble lions, Patience and Fortitude, flanking the entrance to The New York Public Library are familiar and beloved icons. They were modeled by sculptor Edward Clark Potter and carved from pink Tennessee marble by the Piccirilli brothers in 1911. This vibrant vintage-style tee is perfect for the library lover.
BUY NOW: $28.00
4. New York Times baseball cap.
Show The Paper of Record some love with this classic baseball cap. The Times calls the baseball cap “the common man’s crown. It’s ubiquitous, but not anonymous and with the tilt of its bill or a curve of its brim, it conveys a point of view.”
BUY NOW: $28.00
5. A weekend at The Library Hotel.
Gift a long literary weekend in the city with a hotel stay at The Library Hotel (just steps away from the Public Library in Midtown).
6. An exclusive literary desk caddy.
Made from reclaimed heart pine and finished with tung oil, this exclusive desk caddy commissioned by the New York Public Library is engraved with a quote by Jorge Luis Borges: “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.”
BUY NOW: $54.00
Old School New York
New York Stories edited by Connie Rosenblum ($17.95) is a peek inside the real New York City. Each Sunday, the City section of The New York Times – which is distributed only in papers in the five boroughs, since it’s the “local news” section – shares the tales of people and places that make the city unique. This anthology includes some of the best and most memorable essays from the section’s archives.
Open City by Teju Cole ($15.50) is the widely-acclaimed author’s first novel. Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor wanders, reflecting on his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. On the streets of the city, he encounters people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey and illumination of the deep corners of his soul.
These striking shelves ($99) from Uncommon Goods are a homage to the classic New York City fire escapes all over town.
This New York taxi tea towel ($15) from the MoMA Design Store is printed with a photo of an iconic yellow cab in the city’s busy streets. Made by a Japanese firm founded in 1922, the Japanese characters on the towel spell out “New York.” Or gift a coffee mug ($14) that’s an iconic love letter to New York City first created by designer Milton Glaser.
Featuring a collage of photographs of New York City arranged by color, this 500-piece New York in Color puzzle ($14) is a great way to celebrate the colorful diversity of Gotham. And what’s Old School New York without a bodega shopping bag? This one from the Cooper Hewitt Museum shop ($36) is made of taffeta and is washable and reusable.
Finally, what’s New York without the smell of the city? Your loved one will swoon for the fragrance from D.S. & Durga, a luxury perfumer based in Brooklyn. First Light Five Boroughs ($175) has notes of “waterfront dockwoods, bootleg fougère and Adirondack flowers.” Sounds about right for the smell of a fresh new morning in Gotham.
Design Lover’s New York
New York Splendour: The City’s Most Memorable Rooms by Wendy Moonan ($85) is a guided tour with an expert insider of some of New York City’s finest residential rooms, both past and present. New York is the epicenter of interior-design innovations, and there are myriad styles on view here.
This New York City skyline playing cards deck ($15) features 13 architectural illustrations of iconic NYC landmarks. The front of the cards have a city aerial map.
The Streamliner was selected as a Swedish Design Classic by the Swedish National Museum for its inventive style and sleek surface. In this special yellow taxi design ($58), it’s the perfect NYC souvenir.
For a newly-arrived New Yorker, or someone who’s missing Gotham, we love this serving board ($20) that toasts the city skyline. Or perhaps a set of salt and pepper shakers shaped like two iconic buildings in the city skyline ($32). Or a pillow in the shape of a New York City pigeon ($35).
Remember the millions of small moments that unfolded in New York in spring 2020, when coronavirus decimated the city and New Yorkers rallied to meet the challenge and flatten the curve with a framed print of the cover of The New Yorker from May 4, 2020 – a drawing entitled Still Life by Chris Ware.
Artistic New York
Elevate your gift recipient’s next chess game to new heights. Celebrate New York’s diverse architecture, including the Freedom Tower, Flatiron Building and Empire State Building with this handsome chess set ($135). Includes 32 double-weighted acrylic pieces with soft felt bases, and a folding board.
A MoMA tote bag is the perfect only-in-New-York gift for someone who loves contemporary art.
BUY NOW: $38.00
As is this tee from the Whitney Museum of American Art – this exclusive T-shirt ($34) features an illustration of the Statue of Liberty done by artist Tamara Shopsin. CW Pencil Enterprise, based in New York City’s Lower East Side, created this set of gold embossed pencils with quotes from artists and phrases inspired by the Whitney Museum ($11). Jay Maisel took some of the most stunning photographs of the city that we’ve ever seen. Jay Maisel’s New York ($54) is an essential addition to the library of anyone who loves art and the city. Larger budget? Gift a print of his extraordinary Statue of Liberty in Mist ($2,400).
Warhol by Blake Gopnik ($40.50), published this year, is the definitive biography of the iconic New York artist. And Juniper Books’ New York City set ($295) includes three books exploring the history and culture of Gotham. When stacked together, the trio’s custom jackets create an intricate sketch of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Chelsea is home to many leading lights in the creative class in New York also the site of many leading contemporary art galleries. Celebrate it with a dome paperweight ($60) from New York’s own John Derian.
Star architect Daniel Libeskind designed this desktop-sized homage to the New York City water tower for Alessi ($275).
An apple covered in graffiti from Janus et Cie – in either paperweight size ($342) or outdoor icon size ($2,822) captures the perfect balance of elegance and edge.
Fashionable New York
A framed print of the iconic Audrey Hepburn moment in Breakfast at Tiffany’s ($379) channels the hopefulness and fragility of a chic dreamer’s Manhattan life.
The compilation of the street photography of Bill Cunningham ($57.99) along with his memoir ($17) tell the same story of a bright spirit in love with the city, except this one is true.
Our absolute top pick, though, is Dapper Dan’s memoir ($24.99) of building a fashion business from scratch in Harlem.
It doesn’t get more New York than this Marc Jacobs x New York Magazine tote ($450). Unless you opt for this durable replica of the iconic shopping bag from Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street ($39).
Bond No 9’s Eau de New York scented candle ($105) is “for when you want a roomful of the city’s non-stop energy.”
Foodie New York
Upper West Side institution Zabar’s offers a hometown gifts by mail basket called the “Don’t be Homesick Gift Crate” ($259).
Or how about a sampler of Manhattan rooftop honey ($65) from Bee Honey? The honey flight allows a taste of honey from apiaries on rooftops near the High Line, Hell’s Kitchen, Harlem and Central Park West.
It’s not New York City without a slice, and the gift of an official New York by-the-slice pizza map ($7.95) will ensure that their next visit is fueled properly. No fork or knife, please! Eat it like a real New Yorker. Better yet, gift a “Forever Pizza” ($250) – an authentic New York slice encased in an acrylic cube.
The iconic “We Are Happy To Serve You” Grecian-style paper coffee cup was introduced in 1963 by Leslie Buck. This ceramic New York Coffee Cup ($15) is the perfect reminder of authentic New York foodways.
A framed print of one of the many iconic foodie hangouts in New York City would be a perfect gift. We love this one of Momofuku Noodle Bar ($95) – but you can choose your favorite. We also love this chic black wool beanie from Mission Chinese Food ($20). And if money is no object, the “Burger Queen” from the Les Miniatures Big Apple collection of bag charms from luxury handbag brand Delvaux on Fifth Avenue would be just the thing.
New York Sports
MLB fans will love this New York Yankees stool made from a base marker certified as used at on a game day at Yankee Stadium ($925). We love this hand-sewn replica of the caps worn by the Brooklyn Eagles in 1935 ($49) – the Negro National League team played in New York for one season at Ebbets Field.
If hockey is more their sport, then how about a bottle opener made from a game-day puck used by the New York Rangers? In both cases, the game date and team name are written on athletic tape, and a unique hologram number verifies the actual game details online.
New York sports is all about trash talk – so this backpack channels the authentic spirit of competition in Gotham, whether on a neighborhood court or at MSG.
Featuring a detailed map of the New York City marathon path, this powder-coated stainless steel hydration bottle ($36) from Uncommon Goods is triple-wall vacuum sealed to keep cold drinks that way for 24 hours and hot drinks warm for up to 12. It also has a leak-proof screw-on cap. So tossing it in a gym bag or backpack isn’t a problem when you’ve got to run.
City/Game: Basketball in New York ($45) covers not only the city’s three pro teams. It also takes readers inside the many local high-school and college basketball teams with legendary rivalries. Explore the famous street-ball courts on a map of the five boroughs, home to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kyrie Irving. Read about New York’s style of play, like the infamous one-handed jump shot. And get smart by reading the glossary of NYC-style trash talk and slang.
the best luxury gifts for those who love new york city
If you or someone on your list really love New York, we hope these may inspire you. We think they’re among the best luxury gifts this year to bestow a piece of the dream of New York City.